Birmingham Driving School

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Birmingham Driving School

Practical Driving Test

The Practical Driving Test lasts approximately 40 minutes

At the start of the driving test you will be asked to read a car number plate from a distance of 20 metres

(20.5 metres for old style pre 2001 number plates)

You will then be asked a vehicle safety question, commonly known as a “Tell Me” question about basic car maintenance

Click Here for Details of the

‘Tell Me’ and ‘Show Me’ Questions

The driving test includes various exercises, and may include some of the following:-

Hill Start

Angle Start (moving off from behind a parked car)

Driving forwards into a parking bay in a car park and reversing out

Pulling up on the Right Side of the road, reversing 2 car lengths, and then driving on

Reverse Parking (on the road)

Reverse Parking (in a car park)

Emergency Stop

The test also includes driving on a variety of roads in various traffic conditions which may include:-

Speed Limits from 20 mph to 70 mph

Dual Carriageways

Country Lanes

Shopping Areas

You could meet any traffic situation apart from motorways

Candidates are also asked to drive independently for about 20 minutes.

The Independent Driving section can be conducted either by asking the candidate to follow road signs heading towards a particular destination, or by asking the candidate to follow directions from a Sat Nav.

Whilst it is desirable for the candidate to follow the requested route, there may be circumstances when a turn is missed, this will not necessarily result in a failed test, the driving test is primarily about safety, not about being able to follow directions perfectly. There may also be occasions when it is not safe to follow the route due to another road user.

One of the purposes of the independent driving section is to take away the ‘prompt’ that every time the examiner gives a direction you automatically check the mirrors and apply a signal.

Driving Independently the candidate needs to recognise that there is a junction for themselves, and decide what they are going to do in order to prepare for it.

The driving test is marked by the Examiner recording any faults that are made, and categorising how serious they are:-

Dangerous Faults

(actual danger)

1 fault


Serious Faults

(potential danger)

1 fault


Driving Faults

(any other errors)

16 or more faults

15 or fewer faults



Preparing for the Practical Driving Test

Department for Transport (DfT) research indicates that successful driving test candidates have had an average of 45 hours of professional driving tuition and 22 hours of practice with family or friends.

Everybody is different and how many lessons you will need will depend on:-

Your previous experience

How recent that experience is

The rate at which you learn

The length and frequency of your lessons

Any practice you get apart from lessons

(quantity and quality of practice)

Your driving lessons can be; 1 hour; 1½ hours; 2 hours; 2½ hours or 3 hours

We recommend 1½, 2, 2½ or 3 hours as it is possible to achieve a lot more than in 1 hour driving lessons

Your driving lesson frequency can vary depending on how fast or slow you want your course to progress

We usually recommend 2 or 3 driving lessons per week to avoid ‘feeling out of practice’ and spending the first part of your lesson trying to get back to the standard you reached at the end of your previous driving lesson

If you prefer, you can however have a 1 hour driving lesson once a week

If you need to pass your driving test quickly we will firstly assess your driving and then plan a Semi Intensive Driving Course or an Intensive Driving Course

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