The aim of this page is to offer you some general advice covering some of the areas you will need to navigate as a new driver. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions.
The Theory Test
The aim of the theory test is to help you develop your hazard perception skills and ensure you have a good knowledge of the rules of the road. The test is made up of 2 parts:
- Part one consists of 50 multiple-choice questions covering a wide range of driving topics. You will be given 57 minutes to complete this section of the test, so make the most of the time you have available! If you aren’t sure of an answer, you can flag the question and return to it later.
- Part two is the hazard perception section. You will be presented with 14 short clips and will be asked to identify ‘developing’ hazards by clicking on the mouse as soon as you see it happen. A ‘developing’ hazard is something that occurs which you will need to either brake or change course (steer). Each hazard is scored out of 5 and the earlier you identify the hazard, the higher you will score for it.
Each video clip has 1 developing hazard, except for one of the video clips, which will have 2 developing hazards. You can be disqualified from a clip if you are deemed to be persistently clicking when no hazard is present, so be careful when you click.
You must pass both parts of the theory test to get a pass overall. The pass mark for the multiple choice questions is 43/50, whilst the pass mark for the hazard perception section is 44/75.
Once passed, your pass certificate is valid for two years, during which time you will have to pass your practical test. We recommend that you prepare thoroughly for your theory test. There are apps., DVDs and books available to help you prepare. If required, we can also provide dedicated theory test lessons to help you prepare for your theory test.
The Practical Driving Test
The practical driving test is the second, and final, test you will need to successfully complete to gain your full driving licence.
At the beginning of your test, the examiner will check your driving licence and you will need to successfully complete a basic eyesight test. You will then be asked a single ‘tell me’ question, with a further ‘show me’ question asked during your drive.
The test lasts for approximately 40 minutes, during which time you will be asked to complete one reversing manoeuvre and 20 minutes of independent driving. You may also be asked to undertake an emergency stop exercise. The drive will cover a variety of roads, and could potentially include in town, country roads, faster roads (up to 70mph) as well as slower residential routes. Motorways will not be included in the test. There are no fixed test routes, so make sure your well prepared for all road conditions before you book your practical test.
The independent drive is designed to test your ability to drive without the input of a passenger to give you directions. There are two ways this part of the test could be undertaken:
- Using a sat nav system, which will be set up by the examiner and will provide you with both visual and audible directions.
- The examiner will ask you to follow traffic signs to a particular destination (for example, follow signs to the town centre).
Don’t worry if you go off route or don’t follow the directions given to you. As long as you complete your turning safely, and don’t make a driving fault during it, your test result won’t be affected.
The manoeuvre will be selected from four possibilities:
- parallel park
- reverse bay park
- reversing out of a bay
- pulling up on the right-hand side of the carriageway, reversing two car lengths and rejoin the traffic.
You will be taught all of these manoeuvres during your lessons with us. On the day, you are allowed up to 5 minutes to complete your manoeuvre, so please take your time to ensure it’s done as well as possible.
To pass the practical test, you need to accumulate less than 15 driver faults in total, and not pick up either a serious or dangerous fault. Serious and dangerous faults are those which have, or have the potential to, cause danger to either yourself or other road users. You should also not accumulate more than 3 driver faults in the same driving competency. Your result will be given to you within a few minutes of you arriving back at the test centre.