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  • Jay Stepney

The Practical Driving Test

Updated: Jan 13




Driving Test UK

Taking a driving test is an important step to get a driver's licence. For the annual period of April 2018 through to March 2019, the total amount of practical driving tests conducted in UK was 1,664,219 and the amount of practical driving tests passed is 761,972 which makes the pass rate 45.8%.


Between 2018 and 2019, the practical test first time pass rate in the East of England was 46.3%. Breaking it down to our local test centres:

- Colchester 39.8%

- Clacton-on-Sea 49.1%.


During the driving test, your ability is tested at a varied assortment of junctions, roundabouts, crossroads and mini-roundabouts. All of this elements will be evaluated by the testing examiner. Out of the possible four manoeuvres, one will be requested along with a possibility of the emergency stop.


The examiner will ask you one ‘tell me’ question where you have to explain how you’d carry out a safety task at the start of your test, before you start driving. Also you will be asked one ‘show me’ question where you will have to show how you’d carry out a safety task while you’re driving. Please check out our next blog post for more on this:


Usually the practical test takes around 30-40 minutes. The independent driving part can be for almost half of the test normally around 15-20 minutes. During the independent drive you have the possibility of having to follow either road signs or using the sat-nav to a designated location. Rural roads are more likely to feature during the practical test. These roads generally represent a hazard to all drivers because of high speeds and difficult bends.


Booking a Driving Test

Driving tests cannot be booked through the test centres directly. You can book a driving test either by phone or online.


TELEPHONE: In order to book a driving test by telephone you need to call the automated Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) telephone number on 0300 200 1122. This is an automated service and you can complete registration by choosing the relevant options. You can also contact a DVSA representative by following the options provided if you require assistance. The telephone booking option is available between the hours of 8am and 12pm.


ONLINE: You can book a driving test online by visiting the DVSA online booking service. Booking a driving test online can be completed via computer, tablet or mobile device.

Typically the waiting time to face a driving test is around one to eight weeks. The waiting time for a driving test depends on the time of year you are booking and your choice of test centre. Certain times are busier than others and test centres located in areas of high density of people have longer driving test waiting times. To reduce this time, you can either choose a test centre with a short waiting time or take a cancellation slot from a previous booking made by another individual.

You can cancel your driving test and claim a full refund providing you allow at least three clear working days’ notice. In case you fail your driving test, you have to wait a minimum of 10 clear working days before you can sit another test. You can only book one driving test at a time.

According to DVSA during 2018-2019; top 10 driving test failure reasons were 1) Junctions (observation), 2) Mirrors (change direction), 3) Control (steering), 4) Junctions (turning right), 5) Move off (safely), 6) Response to signals (traffic lights), 7) Move off (control), 8) Positioning (normal driving), 9) Response to signals (road markings) and 10) Reverse park (control).

Make sure you are efficient enough not to fail on the options stated above before you book a driving test. It will help you pass the driving test in one attempt.


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