Driving Tests

prepare yourself to pass first time

Congratulations, you have reached the time to take your driving test! At this stage you will have completed and passed the DSA Theory Test and Hazard Perception Test.

You will have completed your training to a standard that you and your Alpha Driving School instructor both agree means that you are ready for your practical driving test. This will have included at least three Mock Driving Tests to help with that decision.

On the day of the test you need to have with you both parts of your driving licence, (the plastic ID card and the paper part that it came attached to when you first got your licence.) You will also need your theory test pass certificate and your letter of confirmation for the test, sent to you by the DSA.

preparing for your driving test

Your Alpha Driving School instructor will pick you up 2 hours before your allocated test time. The first hour is used to help calm your nerves, let you practise any of the four manoeuvres that you are particularly worried about and talk through any questions that may be worrying you on the day of your driving test.

Approximately 15 minutes before your driving test, you will park up near to the driving test centre to revise and go through the nineteen Vehicle Safety Check questions (‘Show Me, Tell Me’ questions). These Vehicle Check questions will have been covered by your Alpha Driving School instructor during you normal driving lessons, but this is a chance to check your memory.

You will then drive to the test centre arriving approximately 5 minutes before your driving test, giving you time to reverse park into one of the test centre bays. You and your instructor will then both leave the car and go into the waiting room and wait for the driving test examiner to come out and call your name. The examiner will come over and ask for both parts of your licence, and at the same time hand you the Driving Test Report.

They will ask you to read the declaration in the top corner and if you agree to sign in the box. They will then ask you to confirm that the address on your licence is still the one you want, (if it needs to be changed, your Alpha Driving School instructor will have got you to fill in the bottom part of your paper licence with your new address, prior to the start of the test). Once this is done they will ask you to show them out to your car.

Your instructor can accompany you in the back of the car on the driving test, a point you will have both discussed on the run up to the test. If you want your instructor to come with you, you need to inform the examiner at this time.

the practical driving test

When walking out of the test centre, the examiner will test your eye sight. They will ask you to read a number plate at the required distance. They will then ask you two of the Vehicle Check questions, (1 Show & 1 Tell question). Once completed, the examiner will ask you to get into the car, but not start the engine. They will then make a visual check of the test car before getting in themselves.

The examiner will note down your Alpha Driving School instructors’ ADI number on the test sheet along with the vehicle registration number, and then give you a description of the test and the type of instructions they will be giving you during the test. You will then be asked to start the engine and exit the test centre. Please listen very carefully to the examiners instructions, and if in any doubt as to what they want you to do, please ask them to repeat their instructions. You will be taken on a pre-set test route (changes to that route may occur if there are problems, such as an accident or road works).

During the test you will be asked to pull over and stop in a number of different locations. This is done to check on your planning, stopping and pulling away and may also involve pulling away on a hill, in busy traffic. You will be asked to carry out two of the four manoeuvres you have learnt to do (turn in the road, reverse round the corner, reverse park on the road or reverse park into a bay). You may also be asked to perform a controlled stop (emergency stop).

If you are asked to do the reverse park into a bay, you will normally do this in the Driving Test Centre parking bays, at the start or the end of the test.

The test route will take you through various traffic situations, returning to the test centre at the end of the test. The examiner will tell you when the test is completed and ask you to switch off the engine and relax whilst they complete the paperwork. You will then be told if you have passed or failed. Your Alpha Driving School instructor will have seen your return, and will be waiting outside for you.

your practical driving test result

If you have passed, they will then complete further paperwork for you to sign and normally, unless you use your licence as identification, will take away your old licence as your new one will be automatically sent to you. The examiner will also tell you about the Pass Plus scheme.

If you have failed your driving test, they will ask if you would like to be told what went wrong. It is advisable to be made aware of what went wrong and they should also ask if you would like your instructor to listen to the debrief. This again is advisable as it will give you both a chance to hear what the examiners comments are and know what needs to be worked on. Regardless of pass or fail, your Alpha Driving School instructor will always drive you back to where you want to be dropped off. It gives a chance for you to relax and let the driving test result sink in.

how to book your practical driving test

There are a number of ways to book your practical driving test, by phone, online or by sending off an application form. You will need your driving licence number, theory test pass certificate number, your driving instructors’ ADI number and a valid debit or credit card for payment of the current test fee of £62.00 on weekdays, or £75 for evenings or weekends.

• Phone - call the DSA Booking Line on 0300 200 1122 and follow the prompting instructions
• Online - by visiting the DSA Booking Centre
• Post - complete the Application Form and return it to the DSA

If you need to amend or change your practical driving test, you can do so by visiting www.direct.gov.uk/changepracticaltest