You will have to perform one of the following reversing exercises:
- parallel park at the side of the road
- park in a parking bay - either by driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do)
- pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for around 2 car lengths, and rejoin the traffic.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is now able to offer tests outside the normal test times at a number of test centres. This provides customers a wider range of appointments over an extended working day. Practical tests are generally available at all permanent test centres. Saturday and weekday evening tests, subject to resources being available, are offered at a premium rate. Non premium rate tests are available at various times between 7.30 am and 3.27 pm Monday to Friday.
The driving test is straightforward and has been designed to see if you can drive safely and know The Highway Code and can demonstrate this through your driving.
For about 20 minutes, half of the test, you will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav. This will be set up by the examiner, one in five driving tests won't use a sat nav you will follow road signs instead. The examiner may show you a diagram to help you understand where you'll be going. It doesn't matter if you don't remember every direction, or if you go the wrong way.
The purpose is rather to assess your ability to drive safely whilst at the same time having to make your own decisions in order to reach your target destination. This includes for example deciding when it's safe to pull over and ask for directions. Your result will not be affected unless you commit a driving fault, even if you go off the independent driving route.
The cost of taking the practical test is £62 if taken on a week day and £75 if taken over the weekend.
Changes from December 2017
From December 2017 the practical driving test will follow a new format. The changes are listed below.
1. Independent driving part of the test will increase to 20 minutes The independent driving part of the test currently lasts around 10 minutes. During this part of the test, you have to drive without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner. This part of the test will be made longer, so it’ll last around 20 minutes - roughly half of the test.
2. Following directions from a sat nav During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav. The examiner will provide the sat nav (a TomTom Start 52) and set it up. You won’t need to set the route - the examiner will do this for you. So, it doesn’t matter what make or model of sat nav you practise with. You can’t follow directions from your own sat nav during the test - you have to use the one supplied by the examiner. You’ll be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going if you’re not sure. It won’t matter if you go the wrong way unless you make a fault while doing it. One in 5 driving tests won’t use a sat nav. You’ll need to follow traffic signs instead.
3. Reversing manoeuvres will be changed The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but you should still be taught them by your instructor. You’ll be asked to do one of 3 possible reversing manoeuvres: parallel park at the side of the road park in a bay - either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do) pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic.