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You are required to take two tests and successfully pass both in order to obtain your full car driving licence. Before starting lessons and in order to take the two tests you are required to apply for a provisional licence via the Driving Vehicle & Licencing Authority (DVLA). You can obtain an application form via the Post Office or visit their website at www.dvla.gov.uk for further information. Please note: you must be 17 years of age to start taking driving lessons or 16 years of age for disabled drivers.


This is split into two tests. The first part is a computerised touch-screen, multiple choice test and the second is a hazard perception video test. Both parts have to be passed to get an overall pass certificate, fail one part and you have to re-take it all again.

Once you have been successful, you will be issued with a certificate and you then have a period of 2 years to achieve your practical driving test. Failure to pass the practical test within 2 years will result in having to undertake the whole theory test process again.

You can book your theory test via the Internet at www.gov.uk or by telephoning the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency booking line on 0300 200 1122 .


The practical test takes 40 minutes. You are allowed up to 15 driving faults before you fail the test; a serious or dangerous fault results is a failure. In addition to this, before you conduct the test your eyesight will be checked. You must read a number plate at a distance of 20.5m (67 feet) where the letters and numbers are 79.4mm (three and one eighth of an inch).

The car driving test in England, Scotland and Wales will change from Monday 4 December 2017 

The changes will only apply to car driving tests 

The 4 main changes to the car test are:

  • The independent driving part of the test (currently taking approx 10 minutes) will increase to 20 minutes
  • Most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav during independent driving
  • The reversing manoeuvres will be changed. No more reversing around a corner or turn in the road (3 point turn)
  • Answering a vehicle safety question while you’re driving. At present you are asked 2 questions at the start of the test. This will change to answering a 'show me ' question while you drive.

The examiner will ask you 2 vehicle safety questions during your driving test - these are known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.  

From 4th December 2017 you will be asked one ‘tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving and then while your driving during the test, the driving examiner will ask you one ‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers. 

You must pass your theory test before you can apply for your practical test. You can book your practical test via the Internet at www.gov.uk or by telephoning the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency booking line on 0300 200 1122 quoting your theory test certificate number at the time of booking.


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