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Your online driving test expert, helping you pass your driving test.

Our aim as Your Driving Test Expert for the UK DVSA theory and practical driving tests is very simple. That is to give you all the driving test facts and information that you need, plus hints, tips and products. All there to help you to achieve your goal of passing your driving test the first time.

Bad weather and the practical driving test.

Why are tests cancelled?

It is frustrating if your practical driving test is cancelled because of bad weather, however, the test will only be cancelled if it’s absolutely essential.

The DVSA has a duty of care when conducting practical driving tests. When deciding whether a test can go ahead the main priority is to make sure that it’s safe to do so both for the candidate and other road users.

Also, the DVSA must make sure all candidates have an equal chance to be assessed fairly. Taking a driving test in adverse weather conditions may be a disadvantage to the candidate.

Read more.

Date updated: 18th November 2017

Our How-To Pass, Driving Test Tips, will give you great advice on your UK practical driving test.

Want to pass your driving test the first time? Let us the test experts help you to pass.

About the practical driving test (plus test changes from Monday 4th December 2017).

The Driving Test is designed to check whether or not the learner driver has reached the minimum driving standard. The test includes a variety of types of roads and junctions, plus certain reversing exercises (manoeuvres). The aim of the driving test is to make sure that all newly qualified drivers are safe competent drivers. Capable of driving safely on their own.

The practical driving test will normally last between 40-45 minutes and will include one of the four set manoeuvres and you may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop (approximately 1 in 3 tests conduct an emergency stop).

You should arrive at the test centre in good time, ideally 10 minutes before your test is due to start, with a suitable vehicle which is appropriately insured and licensed and displaying L-plates correctly. Don’t forget to check out our driving test centres page for more information on your local test centre.

Make sure that you have the correct documents with you, as without these you will not be able to take your test and will lose your test fee. The documents you must bring with you are:

Photo card driving licence. Your theory test pass certificate (unless you are exempt).

How To Pass Driving Test Tip:

It is always a good idea to double check your appointment details to make sure that you don’t arrive for your test at the wrong test centre, time or even day! It really does happen, so make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

After parking, you will need to wait in the test centre waiting room. The examiner will come out at the allotted time (as per your appointment letter/email) and will ask to see your documents and for you to sign the declaration confirming that the vehicle you will be using is insured for the purposes of the test and that you have been resident in the UK for at least 185 days in the last 12 months.

To book you practical driving test, we would strongly suggest using the official (Driving & Vehicle Standards Agency) online service. Make sure you have your driving licence, theory test certificate and means of payment with you before starting the online booking. To book online click here to go to the DVSA online booking page.

The UK practical car driving test will change from Monday 4th December 2017. The changes will include following directions from a sat nav and testing different manoeuvres.

Please note the driving test works differently in Northern Ireland.

The changes are designed to make sure new drivers have the skills they’ll need to help them through a lifetime of safe driving.

There are 4 changes to the driving test.

  1. The independent driving element of the test will increase from 10 to 20 minutes. Currently (September 2017) during the independent driving section of the test the learner will be given a series of instructions to follow, rather than turn by turn instructions from the examiner.
  2. During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a TomTom Start 52 5 inch Sat Nav with UK Lifetime MapsThe examiner provides the sat nav and sets it up with the route to be used. You will still be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of the directions if you’re not sure. As with the rest of the test, you will not be penalised if you go the wrong way unless you make a driving fault while doing it. One in 5 driving tests won’t use the sat nav. Instead, you will be asked to follow traffic signs.
  3. The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested, however, your instructor will still be asked to teach them to you. 

    You’ll be asked to do one of 3 possible reversing manoeuvres:

    Parallel park at the side of the road (as current test Sept 2017).

    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). This changes from the current (Sept 2017) reversing in only.

    Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and then moving away safely to rejoin traffic.

  4. The examiner will ask you 2 vehicle safety questions during your driving test – these are known as the show me tell me questions or formally vehicle safety check questions.

You’ll be asked the:

  • ‘tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving
  • ‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving – for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers

There will be no change to the pass mark of no more than 15 driving faults and no serious or dangerous faults.

The overall time of the driving test will remain the same at around 40 minutes.

The driving test cost will also stay the same.

As you can see one of the major changes is the use of a sat nav for a large section of the driving test.

If you are intending to practise with family or friends prior to your test we would suggest using the same sat nav as the driving examiners will use. You can get yours here: TomTom Start 52 5 inch Sat Nav with UK Lifetime Maps

Bad weather and practical driving test.

The DVSA have recently (December 2016) issued the following advice regarding practical driving tests when there is bad weather.

Bad weather and driving tests.

We only cancel driving tests because of bad weather when we absolutely have to.

Your safety is our main priority. We won’t carry out a driving test when adverse weather presents a safety risk to those involved. These conditions include:

  • snow and ice
  • fog
  • flooding

Staying in touch

If you think your test may be cancelled due to severe weather conditions you should phone the local test centre as soon as possible.

We have listed most of the driving test centre bad weather phone numbers on our driving test centre pages.

You can also get in touch by:

contacting @DVSAhelpme on Twitter
sending a private message to the DVSA customer support team on Facebook

New 2017 driving test centre pass rates. Click here to find the local driving test centre to you with the highest pass rate 2017.

How to pass your UK driving test.

The more you can do to prepare yourself now for your practical driving test the greater the chance of you passing your driving test the first time.

Clearly, your aim must be to pass your UK practical driving test the first time! So why do you need to do anything more than just take driving lessons and when your instructor says you are ready you simply turn up at the test centre, take and pass your driving test 1st time!

Well, you could try this (please don’t!) but first, consider the following:

The current national pass rate (2014-2015) is approximately 50% which means that only half the people taking the UK practical driving test pass. This is an incredibly low figure when you consider that a DVSA approved driving instructor (ADI) will only let a pupil take the practical driving test if they believe the learner can drive to the test standard. So why are half the learners failing the driving test and what can you do to make sure you are not in the 50% that fail their driving test? Check out your local pass rates on our test centre pages.

”Alice passed first time using the Driving Test Secret Revision Cards.” The Secret revision cards really helped. I wasn’t anywhere near as nervous as I thought I would be. I will recommend them to all my friends.

Driving test nerves, lack of planning and not being able to drive to your normal driving standard on the driving test are the main reasons for failing the practical test. These problems can manifest themselves in a variety of ways and situations such as Poor clutch control (stalling). Leaving things too late, such as not planning that traffic lights may change or braking late for a junction. Struggling to make decisions as you would normally do possibly when dealing with parked vehicles and oncoming traffic or emerging onto a roundabout.

So what can you do to help yourself?

How can you deal with the above problems so that you can drive to your best and pass your driving test? The good news is if you really want to pass there are ways you can improve your driving and pass 1st time.

First, you will need to be prepared to put in a little bit of preparation time and effort before your test, as without good preparation for your test your chances of passing the first time are not great. Don’t just take our word for it take a look at the DVSA’s own driving test centre statistic’s (see our test centres page). However, with just a very small amount of extra preparation before the test the difference in the numbers of pupils passing is huge!

So what extra preparation will help me pass my driving test?

There are a number of excellent proven methods that really work such as visualisation, quick recall and talking through your worries (to help with nerves). These are the 3 main ones we have found that make the biggest difference to learners passing their test.


Use of this technique really helps to re-enforce known skills, rules and routines that are essential for safe driving. Usually using carefully selected keywords and phrases to help the user think through a skill or situation, such as approaching and dealing safely with a junction. By regularly using this technique either one to one with a professional or with professionally prepared learning materials such as the “Secret” the user can greatly improve their driving and in particular their ability to drive well under test conditions.

Quick recall.

This is a really simple but very effective method normally using professionally prepared “Secret” revision cards to enable the user to quickly remember key pieces of information and routines. This may be a well-known method, but surprisingly little used for the driving test. This is a real mistake as it has been proven to work extremely well for the driving test.

Talking through your worries.

A few weeks prior to the test

I always ask my pupils if there is anything about their drive they are worried about. Not only will this give us time to work on these worries, but also to try and dispel some of the areas the pupil doesn’t actually need to worry about. Let me give you an example:

When asked about any worries to do with their driving prior to the test one of my pupils said that they still couldn’t do their manoeuvres. Now knowing their driving I knew they could do each of the manoeuvres however I needed to convince the pupil of this.

So I asked the learner a series of questions.

First I asked them if they could do the parking and left reverse manoeuvres and they said yes, but they couldn’t do the turn in the road. So we had already reduced the areas of worry by 75%.

Next, I asked could they control the speed of the car and still do quick steering, plus carry out an effective observation. They answered yes.

Finally, I asked can you judge the distance to the kerbs. They answered no! So we had identified the actual worry. So we discussed this element of the manoeuvre and agreed that although they didn’t always get this spot on they normally stopped a bit far from the kerb resulting in them sometimes needing to take two extra turns to complete the manoeuvre. The good news is this was only likely to result in one driving fault.

Worried? Not anymore.

After discussing and talking through my pupil’s worries they were no longer anywhere near as worried about their test and the good news the pupil went on to pass their test first time.

So try it yourself analyse exactly what you are “really” worried about, it really does help.

If you would like to know more about our site security, purchasing from us or whether our products really work why not visit our FAQs page for all your answers.

DVSA ADI created The Driving Test “Secret”. New 2017-2018 UK edition.

Updated for the new practical driving test 4th December 2017. Helping you pass your driving test 1st time.

The “Secret” uses all of the above, proven techniques to guide you through your driving test preparation.

“It was really simple to download the “Secret” to my phone which meant I could use the Driving Test “Secret” wherever I was”.
5 / 5 stars

William, who passed their driving test 1st time.

Catherine. Passed 1st time using the Secret. “Thank you so much for recommending The Driving Test Secret it was great preparation for the test and really helped to beat my nerves”.

One of the driving schools who now recommends the “Secret” to all their pupils have seen a 25% rise in their pupils passing their practical driving test first time since recommending the “Secret”. Not only has the number passing first time dramatically increased but their pupils are also needing fewer lessons!

The cost of learning to drive with lessons and tests can be very expensive so why not save yourself ££££s by using the DVSA ADI created Driving Test “Secret”?

So if you want to pass 1st time and save money then look no further you have just found the “Secret”.

”Amy. Who passed their practical driving test 1st time using the Secret.” I just used the “Secret” for a few minutes every day and it really worked.

Click Here To Find Out More

Do you want to be one of the 53% of learners who failed their driving test last year (national figures 2015-16) or one of the 47% of learners who passed their driving test? 

If you really want to pass your Driving Test 1st time? Click here to find out how the DVSA ADI devised The Driving Test “Secret” 2017-2018 edition will help you pass your practical driving test.

First created in 2009 The Driving Test “Secret” has helped thousands of learners across the UK achieve their goal of passing their UK practical driving test the First time.

The driving test secret revision cardsThe DVSA ADI created The Driving Test “Secret” Revision Cards 2017-18 edition. 

The Driving Test “Secret” revision cards have been successfully helping learner drivers pass their UK DVSA Practical Driving test since 2009. But don’t just take our word for it. Want to know what other learner drivers have been saying about the driving test secret and the secret revision cards?

“These revision cards really helped. I wasn’t anywhere near as nervous as I thought I would be. I will recommend them to all my friends”. Alice. Passed 1st time!

“As an experienced DVSA Approved Driving Instructor, I now recommend these revision cards to all of my pupils. Why, well because from my experiences over the last few years I know how well they work, with more of my pupils passing since recommending them, it’s as simple as that”

Driving Instructor recommended product.
Written by: DVSA Approved Driving Instructor
Date Published: 01/07/2013
5 / 5 stars
Click Here To Find Out More.

We all want to pass our driving test the first time, so do as Alice did and use a proven method so that you too can pass your practical driving test the first time.

Click here to find out more about how the DVSA ADI devised Driving Test Secret Revision Cards can help you pass your Driving Test 1st time.

Driving Test Tip:

Don’t just look in your mirrors, think why you are looking in the mirror and how what you see may affect your actions. For instance looking in your mirrors but still signalling too early or late and in doing so causing a problem to following drivers is almost as bad as not looking at all!

The Private Driving Practice HandbookThe Private Driving Practice Handbook 2017-18 edition.

Private driving practice.

This can be an extremely good way of helping you to prepare for and pass your UK practical driving test. That is as long as this practice is done correctly! If the driving practice is not well structured and planned it can easily have a negative effect. Reducing your chances of passing your driving test and potentially being very dangerous!

Driving instructors (DVSA ADI).

Driving instructors undergo a considerable amount of training and exams/tests before they are ready to instruct. With many instructors, including the author of this handbook continuing to improve their teaching techniques over many years of tuition. It is therefore highly unlikely that anyone, however, good a driver they are will have all the skills and experience needed to assist the learner. Especially in a series of well-structured lessons providing safe private driving practice.

Unfortunately, over the 21 years of being a DVSA ADI, I have heard some real horror stories.  Where learners practising with family or friends when not properly prepared, having accidents (including cars written off) and injuries. However, by far the most common problem is that if the practice is not done correctly it seriously reduces the learner’s ability to be able to pass their driving test. Failing the test ends up costing you all the money and more than you were hoping to save! Not a good idea.

Improve your driving practice.

However, with the help and advice from this handbook, this private driving practice can be greatly improved. The result is really useful additional practice and the learner being better prepared to pass their driving test 1st time. Remember passing 1st time will save you a lot of money too!

Click Here To Find Out More

Click Here to find out more about how The Private Driving Practice Handbook can help pass your driving test.

sign and road markingsSign & Road Markings Revision Cards (Free).

You may have learnt what the various signs and road markings mean for the theory test, but do you know how to interpret them correctly when actually driving.

Exclusive to Your Online Driving Test Expert, these signs and road markings revision cards cover many of the most widely encountered signs and markings. Regular use of these revision cards will help the learner, not only to recognise the signs and markings but also how the signs and road markings may affect the way you need to drive.

Regular use of these revision cards will help anyone learning to drive pass their driving test 1st time!

Click Here To Find Out More

Click Here to get your FREE copy of The Sign & Road Markings Revision Cards.

Designed by Driving & Vehicle Standards Agency Approved Driving Instructor (DVSA ADI) the professionals in teaching you to drive in the UK.


How To Pass Driving Test Tip:

Think about what you eat and drink prior to your test. A sudden sugar rush may make you feel good at the time. However, this is normally followed by an equally sudden drop resulting in reduced energy levels and concentration. Not a good idea just before your driving test!

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