Tips for your Driving Test

You should receive a letter from the Department of the Environment notifying you of your test date. You will receive the appointment notice four or five weeks in advance of your test.

The letter will indicate the time, date and venue for the test together with conditions, which must be met. It will also set out the arrangements for cancelling your appointment should this prove necessary. On the day of the test the examiner will appear, call out your name, ask you to sign your name and will check your provisional Licence to ensure that it:

  • Relates to you
  • Is current is for the correct category of vehicle
  • In the test the candidate will be called into the office and sat down
  • Then asked to sign a paper to say the vehicle is road worthy the tester then asked some questions on the rules of the road.
  • After this the candidate is escorted to the car
  • When the tester takes the candidate out to the car they usually ask the candidate to pop the bonnet
  • Under the bonnet the candidate will be asked to point out some of the items which need regular checks and maintenance.
  • The candidate may be asked to point out the reservoirs for brake fluid, steering fluid coolant where the location of the engine oil filler cap is and the location of the dipstick
  • Where you might change a light bulb from and fill windscreen wiper fluid, location of the horn and to test the horn. Then the candidate is asked to sit into the car
  • Once you’re in the car the tester will check your indicators and brake lights are working
  • Then when the tester sits in they will ask you some secondary controls
  • So you must be able to turn on lights, wipers, demist the back and front windows etc
  • And then the tester asked the candidate to drive.

The driving test is straight forward. For cars it will last about 40 minutes and will include:

  • Questions on the rules of the road and also read and identifying road signs
  • Identify various technical checks under bonnet (see technical checks)
  • Demonstrating hand signals
  • Reversing around a corner
  • A turnabout in the road
  • A hill start
  • Driving approximately five miles under a variety of road and traffic conditions

The driver tester will know that you may be nervous and will try to put you at ease. The tester is there to test your driving ability and, unlike your instructor, the driver tester will not offer you encouragement or advice.

You should not be put off by this formal approach, which is designed to ensure fairness to all applicants. You will be given clear instructions throughout the test.

Should you not understand a particular instruction, tell the tester. If you make a mistake, do not worry unduly. It may not be a serious as it appears and may not mean you have failed.

Sometimes a supervisory tester may accompany the tester – this is quite normal. Your driving test will be assessed on the following situations:

  • Moving off driving in traffic
  • Stopping
  • Reversing around a corner
  • Turning about to face in the opposite direction
  • Starting on a hill
  • Parking
  • Aspects of your driving test will include
  • Road positioning
  • Overtaking and passing
  • Anticipation and observation
  • Use of mirrors and signal
  • Progress
  • Speed
  • Compliance with traffic lights, road signs and markings
  • Use of vehicles controls accelerator, clutch, gears, brakes and steering

In the test candidates are allowed some minor mistakes. Mistakes are graded and there are three grades. GREEN or grade one is very minor and don’t affect the outcome of the test. BLUE or grade two affects the test and if you are doing the same mistake repeatedly you’re allowed three marks.

RED or grade three are very serious or dangerous and just one of these results in a fail.

Driving Test Report Sheet

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