What should I expect when taking the UK driving test?

The UK practical driving test lasts for about 40 mins. It’s broken down into the following sections:

  • An eyesight check. Your instructor should’ve already checked your eyesight. He or she will have given you advice about this if you need to wear glasses to drive.
  • Show and Tell safety questions. The examiner will ask you questions about your car. This is nothing to worry about, and usually quite straightforward. You can learn more by reading our Show and Tell learner guide.
  • Driving in various traffic conditions. For the next part of the test, you’ll actually get behind the wheel and start driving. Your examiner will tell you where to go. They will take you on a route that includes a mix of different traffic conditions.
  • Independent driving for 20 minutes. Your examiner will watch you driving independently, following road signs without guidance. You’ll be tested on your ability to drive safely. There’s no need to worry about taking a wrong turn or forgetting where you’re going.
  • Perform one reversing manoeuvre. This could either be a turn in the road, a parallel park or reversing round a corner. See our learners guide to driving test manoeuvres for help with mastering these skills.
  • Stopping. You may also be asked to do a controlled stop or perform an emergency stop too.
  • Feedback and result. Once you’ve returned to the test centre your examiner will provide feedback on your test. Most importantly, he or she will tell you whether you’ve passed! You’ll only fail your practical test if you make 16 minor faults or commit a serious or dangerous fault.

You may also want to visit the official Gov.uk website for more information on the practical test. This site also includes fantastic resources on many other aspects of learning to drive.

Am I ready to pass the practical driving test?

Use our guide below to help you figure out if you’re ready to take your driving test in the UK:

The five stages of learning to drive; from learning new skills as a beginner to demonstrating skills independently as a test-ready driver.
The five stages of learning to drive

Watch the official DVSA guide to the driving test

The DVSA have produced a step-by-step guide to make sure you’re ready to pass your practical driving test

Watch the video below to find out what to expect when you take your test:

Driving test 2024: official DVSA guide
Watch this video for more information about the practical UK driving test

How to book your practical UK driving test

No doubt you want to book your practical test as soon as possible. But first, you must make sure your instructor agrees your driving skills have reached a suitable level.

Before you can book you need to have passed your theory test. You can read our learner’s guide on preparing for your theory test if you need help with this.

Practice your theory test – for free!

It’s never too early to start revising for your theory test. That’s why we offer you free driving theory test practice via the Theory Test Pro app!

Theory Test Pro contains the official revision questions from the DVSA. That means you’ll be revising the kind of questions you’ll be asked in your exam.

Already started your revision? We’ve got you covered! Use the app to take a mock theory test and find out whether you are ready for your real-life test.

Double your chances of passing your theory test first time. Download the free app today!

The amount of time it can take to find a suitable booking at your local driving test centre can vary. This mainly depends on how many other learners are applying for their tests around the same time as you.

Please note – you mustn’t book your test before making sure that your instructor’s car will be available. Speak to your instructor first to make sure they have a car for you to use on the day! Always check with your instructor before booking your test yourself.

Use our checklist before you book your test

Before you book your driving test, make sure you can answer ‘yes’ to the following questions:

  • Do you hold a current UK provisional driving licence?
  • Have passed your driving theory test?
  • Have you spoken to your driving instructor about taking your test?

If so, congratulations! Go ahead and book your driving test. Good luck!