What To Expect From Your Driving Test

I passed my test…finally!

After just over 35ish hours and 1 failed driving test attempt, I passed with 1 minor! I thought that I’d create a little guide on what to expect from your driving test when you take it.

Booking your test

Before you can even take your test you need to book it. After you’ve passed your theory test (you can’t book a driving test without passing your theory) you’re free to book your driving test whenever your instructor feels like you’re ready. I ended up booking mine for about 2 months in advance because I knew I’d be ready and the waiting list was actually quite long (in my area anyway) so there’s never any spaces for a couple months anyway. You can do it through the gov.uk website and you’ll need your credit/debit card, provisional licence number and any reference number your instructor has given you- this stops them double booking you with someone else your instructor is teaching. It costs £62 to book it and it is refundable if you cancel with 3 working days notice, you can also change the date with the same notice if you feel you aren’t ready or if there’s been a cancellation and you want to take it earlier.

I know it seems pretty obvious but make sure you book your test for a time/day you know you can do. For example, if you need to book time off work then do it in advance so you know you’ve definitely got the day off for it!

Before your test

Usually, you’ll have an hour lesson with your instructor before your test. With this hour beforehand you just need to relax. On my first test, the nerves got the better of me and on the hour lesson, I just kept messing up. We went over manoeuvres and just drove around some roundabouts to prepare, it was just like a lesson but a lesson where you aren’t learning anything because you should be at the stage where you can independently drive.

About 15 minutes before the test we just pulled up on the road around from the test centre and my instructor basically talked me through what was going to happen. He gave me a really good pep talk and it did genuinely give me so much more confidence, more so second time around. We then drove and parked up outside the test centre, make sure you’re parked up perfectly whether it’s in bay space or just on the road outside the centre.

All test centres are different but with mine, you and your instructor will just go into the waiting room and wait for the examiners to call your name. There are usually about 5 other people taking their test at the same time as you, all in the same boat. Once the examiner calls your name you go over to him or her where they’ve got an iPad with all the details electronically, they even score the test on that too. They check your provisional, ask if all details are still the same and then you tick some boxes and sign. Once they give you back your provisional licence you’re ready to go. *I’m not too sure if every single test centre use iPads like they did with mine, otherwise it will all be paper-based*

First time round I had a super miserable driving examiner and I felt so on edge but the second time around the examiner was really chatty and friendly! Obviously, you don’t get to pick your examiner but I definitely feel as though the friendlier they are at the start the more comfortable you’ll feel.

During your test

So the test is around 45 minutes but that’s from when the examiner comes to get you to when you pull up back outside the test centre, so really you’re only driving for about 30 minutes. Before you get in your car you’re asked to read a number plate of a car usually parked on the other side of the road to check your eyesight. This is where the examiner will talk you through the test as you’re walking to your car, my examiner on my first test never actually did this.

You’ll get comfortable in the car whilst the examiner does some safety checks on the car. My ‘show me tell me’ question was done as we were walking down to the car so make sure you know all of these and have revised them, there’s only about 5 or 6 to learn and they are available on the internet to look over.

In terms of the test, you’ll drive around either following the examiner’s instructions, following signs or following a satnav. Of course, you’ll be driving on all sorts of different roads like narrow lanes, dual carriageways, roundabouts but this is just to see if you can drive on your own on different road types. In terms of manoeuvres you’ll only have to do one of the following; bay-park, pull up on the right, parallel park or an emergency/controlled stop. On my first test, I had a parallel park which I aced and then it was a really simple pull up on the right on my second test!

After the test

Once you’ve pulled back up at the test centre your driving instructor will come and join you back in the car and you’ll be told if you’ve passed or failed. If you’ve passed they’ll process it all there and then in the car and you’ll get your certificate. You can send off your provisional licence yourself but it’s just easier to let the examiner do it, I got my full licence about a week later!  After that, your instructor will drive you home and you’ll never have to see them again! I made a joke to my instructor before my test I hope I’d never have to see him again, in the nicest way possible, and he said he gets that all the time haha!

I couldn’t not include a photo of me posing in my car!

As soon as you’ve passed you’re free to drive! If you’ve already got a car make sure you let your current insurance know that you’ve passed and once you have insurance on a full licence you can drive wherever you like! I drove to work the next day and it was such bliss. If you haven’t yet got a car then you can go car shopping, how exciting!

I might do a ‘6 months into being a new driver’ type blog post later in the year if that’s something you’d be interested in! But if you’ve got your driving test coming up then good luck 🙂

Don’t forget to check out my latest post; Planning A Party!


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16 thoughts on “What To Expect From Your Driving Test

  1. Congratulations on passing the test. I remember my test – it seemed a lot shorter than 45 minutes! Keeping a record of your first six months as a new driver would be interesting. Driving is something that a lot of us take for granted and to see a new driver’s perspective on the road might, in fact, help shed a light on some of the issues and problems that other drivers can miss. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on passing. 10 years since I passed, would have liked to have been able to read something like this before I had it.


  3. My friends used to tell me learning to drive was the first step to freedom. Since driving is something many of us do without thinking, it would be interesting to reflect on what is now possible as you move forward. Enjoy your freedom!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats!!! I’ll be saving this for when I take my driver’s test but can I just say that it’s super cool how you guys drive on the right hand side. It’s so weird to me because I’m so used to left. What if you were right handed? Would it make a difference in moving the lever?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations on passing your driving test! Oh man, I remember when I took mine almost 10 years ago! Wasn’t fun at all! It is interesting to learn how other countries provision the driving test. 45 minutes is pretty long but it is necessary. Hope you’ll enjoy the roads now that you are licensed 🙂

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on passing your test! Especially with just one minor! I only found out recently that you’re not supposed to look at the sat nav during your independent drive and it blew my mind. x



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