It is normal practise to have one hours training before the test, this time is normally used to go through the show and tell me questions, practise a manoeuvre or two and generally just to calm any pre-test nerves. You will then drive to the test centre with your instructor, park in a bay and go into the test centre to await the arrival of your examiner.
The examiner will ask to see your provisional license and you will be
asked to sign a declaration
to state that the test vehicle is covered by a valid insurance policy and that you have lived in the UK for at least 185 days in the last 12 months. He or she will then ask you if you want your Instructor to accompany you on the test.
If your answer to this is yes your instructor will sit behind you but will not be able to comment or help you in anyway but will be able to see any problems that occur first hand. If you do not want to be accompanied by your instructor the examiner will ask you if you want him there at the end to hear the debriefing say yes to this!
You will then walk to the outside of the test centre where you will be expected to be able to read a car number plate. A newer style plate made after the 1st of September 2001 at 20 metres, or an older style plate at 20.5 metres if you can not do this you will fail the test,
The next stage will be to go through the vehicle safety checks known as the show and tell me questions, you will be asked one show me and one tell me question to demonstrate basic safety check knowledge.
The test will then begin it normally lasts for around 35 to 45 minutes and you will be expected to drive in various road and traffic conditions to a high standard and unless told otherwise you must follow the road ahead but you can ask the examiner to repeat directions if you are unsure.
As well as pulling over and moving away you may be expected to deal with busy junctions, meeting situations, roundabouts, dual carriage ways, crossroads, traffic lights, a variety of different speed limits and to demonstrate a high level of competence and ability in mirror use and reading the road ahead to pass.
There will be a reverse exercise which could be the turn in the road, reverse around a left hand corner or a reverse park which depending on the test centre could be into a bay or a parallel park around another car.
You will also be asked to carry out ten minutes of independent driving following traffic signs, verbal directions or a combination of both. If you forget the route you can ask the examiner and it will be confirmed for you, if you go off route it wont affect the outcome of the test unless you make a driving fault whilst doing so.
You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop!
At the end of the test you will drive back to the test centre, park back in one of the bays and be given the result, If all has gone well you will be given your pass certificate which you can use to drive until your license comes through which usually takes about three weeks, if you have failed you can rebook another test the same day but wont be allowed to take it for at least ten working days.
It is possible if the weather is bad that the test may be cancelled, bad weather could be snow, ice, high winds or fog. If there is a fault with your car such as a bald tyre or a faulty brake light which can not be fixed the test could also be terminated.
If the test is cancelled the DVSA will rebook you test for the next available date which you can change if its not convenient for you.
It is rare but also possible that the test could be cancelled if one of the examiners is ill again the DVSA will rebook the test for you and you will be able to claim out of pocket expenses.