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Pupiline’s Guide To Get To Grips With The... Practical Driving Test

OK, now I've passed the theory test and have had loads of lessons am I ready for the big one, the practical driving test?

  • Your instructor will be the best person to know when you're ready to take either the practical or the theory, driving test.

  • They WILL tell you, there’s no point rushing and taking it because this thing ain't cheap you know and if it takes that little bit longer it WILL benefit you in the future by making you a better driver.

Right, my driving instructor tells me that I’m ready, what do I do now?

  • Well you need to apply for the test, and yes, again there are more forms to fill in. You’ll need a DL26 form to apply for the test which you can get from the following places,

    • Your Driving Instructor

    • Theory and Practical Test Centres

    • The National Test Booking Line, using your credit or debit card you can also book your test, on 0810 01 01 372

  • When booking you’ll need to sort out a time and a date, tests are available from Monday to Friday from 8.40am to 3.35pm, though tests can be taken at weekday evenings and Saturdays for a higher price.

  • BUT bear in mind that driving tests are always booked very far in advance so try to book a day that you know you’ll definitely be free on and at a time you will be comfortable and confident. Even though this may mean you have to wait longer at least you’ll be in better frame of mind come the test.

  • Once you’ve booked your test then you’ll receive a card back confirming the details.

So how much does it cost?

  • The Practical Driving Test costs £36.75 from Monday to Friday and £46.00 on Saturdays. Unfortunately if you fail, and we all hope you don’t, you’ll have to fork this costly sum out again.

What other stuff can I do in preparation to help pass the practical test?

  • Well, like the Theory Test there are books available to help you learn and test you on situations that will arise in your final test. Not only that your Driving Instructor will definitely take you on a ‘mock’ test under exam conditions on a similar route, with similar tasks to do before your final test.

  • Driving Schools, such as BSM, will give you a ‘mock’ test with a different instructor so you really feel the conditions of the test.

Now I know exactly how to apply and the cost, what the hell does the test actually involve? Should Ibe fearful, due to all the test-gone-wrong-stories I've heard?

  • Well the test will probably seem daunting but it only actually lasts for 35 minutes, it ain’t no 3 hour Classical Studies exam, though in those 35 minutes you will have to be extremely concentrated on driving pretty much immaculately.

  • Your test will start and end at the Test Centre, always arrive a bit early to avoid missing your test, as they won’t make delay the test they’ll cancel it if you’re not on time. There’s a lot of stuff you’ve got to take with you on that day, which are,

    • Your Appointment Card

    • Your Theory Test Certificate, you got when you passed

    • Your Provisional Driving Licence

    • Photo Identity such as your passport, your school us pass, cheque/credit card, your TU/NUS card or you work ID card

  • So get this stuff together well in advance, as forgetting it means you can forget the test.

  • The test itself will start and finish at your local test centre and the person examining will be a Driving Standards Agency (DSA) examiner. The examiner will tell you if you want to know what is in the test and you will then set off from the test centre.

  • The test has to be in English but if you are deaf then you may have an interpreter, ring 0115 901 2500 for more details on special help.

  • They will assess you by taking you out on the roads around the town where your local test centre is, these are the roads you learnt on, so don’t be too worried.

  • You will be assessed on your competence and safety when driving, you will have to carry out set exercises, things like reverse parking, and you’ll also have to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of The Highway Code. in your driving ability. However don’t worry this will just be putting into practice the things that you learnt in your lessons.

  • The examiner will assess you on a number of different topics when driving.

  • The examiner will mark on his form under these topics, either =Minor Fault, X= Major Fault, D= Dangerous Fault. If you get an X or D you, unfortunately, automatically fail, but getting a does not mean automatic failure, however if you get 15 minor faults you WILL FAIL.

  • As soon as you get back to the Test Centre, the moment of truth arrives, the examiner will either turn to you and say the ultimate words ‘Well Done’ or those dreaded words ‘I’m really sorry but…’. Whatever happens you’ll definitely get a certificate, one will be a Pass, but unfortunately one will be Fail with a test application attached. However if you do fail your examiner will give you a little ‘chat’ about exactly why as well as a printed record and hopefully some tips so you will succeed the next time around.

So if you’ve passed congratulations, if you’ve failed don’t worry it might not be that you’re a bad driver and won’t pass ever. It just might be that you were not quite ready, something bad or unseen happened that day or the stress and nerves got to you but you will pass next time. There’s still some more to do so click to pupiline’s guide to getting your final licence or re-taking your test again.

What to do after you've passed your test

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by ChrisM

Driving Survey
What turns you off learning to drive?
Price of Petrol, Insurance, Tax etc.
Effect on the Environment
Too much hassle

Driving Survey
Why do you want to learn to drive?
To get some freedom from my parents
Public Transport's crap and it'll make it easier to get to around
To look cool

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick