The United Kingdom driving test is a test of competence that UK residents take in order to obtain a full Great Britain or Northern Ireland (car) driving licence or to add additional full entitlements to an existing one.Tests vary depending on the class of vehicle to be driven. In Great Britain it is administered by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and in Northern Ireland by the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA).
The minimum age at which one can take a UK driving test is currently 16 for mopeds and 17 for cars (16 for those on the higher/enhanced rate of the mobility component of DLA or PIP). There is no upper age limit. In addition to a driving licence, a CBT certificate may be required before a moped or motorcycle is ridden.
Around 1.6 million people sit the practical car test per year, with a pass rate of around 43%. The theory test has a pass rate of around 51.6%. [ needs update ]
To become a category B (car) licence holder, candidates pay a minimum of £85, split into £23 for the theory test and £62 for the practical driving test.This is not the total cost of learning to drive but rather the amount payable in test fees for a person who passes both tests on their first attempt. In practise it can cost considerably more, when it is considered that most candidates do not pass both tests on the first occasion. This is also not counting fees paid for private driving instruction.
UK driving licences were introduced by the Motor Car Act 1903 but no test was required. The intention was purely to identify vehicles and their drivers.The Road Traffic Act 1930 introduced age restrictions and a test for disabled drivers; this was the first formal driving test in the UK. These licences were only valid for one year from the date of issue. Legislation for compulsory testing was introduced for all new drivers with the Road Traffic Act 1934. The test was initially voluntary to avoid a rush of candidates until 1 June 1935 when all people who had started to drive on or after 1 April 1934 needed to have passed the test.
Testing was suspended during World War II,and was suspended again during the Suez Crisis in 1956 to allow examiners help to administer petrol rations.
The driving theory test was introduced in July 1996 as a written examination, which was updated to computerised format in 2000.The hazard perception segment of the theory test was introduced in November 2002. In January 2015, new CGI clips replaced the real-life video clips in the Hazard Perception Test.
Drivers wishing to gain a category B (car) licence need to pass two separate tests. First, the theory test must be passed. The candidate then has two years to pass their practical test before their theory test certificate expires and they have to take the theory again. Upon passing the practical test, drivers are given a pass certificate (acting as a temporary licence) and immediately become category B licence holders.
The theory test is made up of two parts, both of which differ according to the type of vehicle licence the candidate is pursuing:
Both parts must be passed in order to obtain a theory test pass certificate. This enables the candidate to book a practical driving test.Candidates have two years from the date that they passed the first part of their theory test to take their practical test, or they will have to pass both parts of the theory test once again before they can book a practical test.
This part of the theory test is performed on a computer system. The test has 50 multiple choice questions and the candidate must answer at least 43 of them correctly to pass.All questions are randomly selected from a bank of just under one thousand on a selection of topics.
The test lasts for 57 minutes although candidates with certain special needs can apply for more time.All 50 questions must be answered. The test allows 15 minutes practice time at the start of the exam to get used to answering the questions and how to use the system. To answer a question the candidate simply touches their choice of answer from the listed answers on the computer screen. If a mistake is made the candidate can deselect a choice and reselect a different option. The candidate is allowed to go back to a question at any time and can also flag questions they are unsure of in order to find and return to it quickly and easily later. To pass the test, 43 of the 50 questions (86%) must be answered correctly.
For lorry and bus drivers, 100 questions are asked over a 115-minute period, and 85 out of 100 must be answered correctly to pass.
Prior to 3 September 2007, the car and motorcycle multiple-choice tests comprised 35 questions, with a pass mark of 30 within a 40-minute time limit.
Candidates watch fourteen one-minute clips (nineteen clips for lorry and bus candidates) filmed from the perspective of a car driver or motorcyclist and have to indicate, usually by clicking a mouse button or touching the screen, when they observe a developing hazard.
Unless one is converting a foreign licence, it is necessary to have passed both components of the theory test before sitting this exam.Passing the practical test then entitles one to hold a full UK driving licence.
The test candidate must produce their provisional licence for the examiner before the test starts.
The practical car test can be taken in either a manual or an automatic car; if the test is passed in an automatic car, then the full licence granted will be restricted to automatic cars only.
The practical motorcycle test is split into two separate modules: the off-road module and the on-road module. To get a full motorcycle licence, the candidate needs to pass both modules. The target waiting time for a practical driving test is six weeks. However, in practice the waiting time can be considerably longer.
The practical car test is taken on the road, with a professionally trained DVSA examiner directing the candidate around a pre-determined route. The examiner marks the candidate for driving faults, serious faults, and dangerous faults. A candidate will fail the test if he or she accumulates any serious or dangerous faults, or more than fifteen driving faults. If a candidate accumulates several driving faults in the same category, the examiner may consider the fault habitual and mark a serious fault in that category. The test usually lasts 38 to 40 minutes in a standard test, or approximately 70 minutes when the candidate is taking an extended test after having had their licence revoked.
Before getting to the car, the examiner will ask the candidate to read a car's number plate at a distance. The distance required is 20.5 metres for an old-style plate (A123 ABC) and 20 metres for a new style plate (AB51 ABC).If the candidate needs corrective lenses to do this, then they must be worn during the test. If the candidate fails to read the first number plate correctly, then the examiner asks the candidate to read a second number plate. If the candidate cannot correctly read the second number plate, then the examiner must use a tape measure to measure the correct distance between the candidate and a third number plate. If the candidate cannot read the third number plate, then the candidate is deemed to have failed and the test will not continue. The DVLA will be informed and the candidate's provisional licence will be revoked.
The candidate will have to reapply for a provisional driving licence and attend a test centre to have an eyesight check before they are allowed to rebook a test. If successful, the DVSA standard eyesight test must still be completed at the candidate's next practical driving test.
The "Show me tell me" changed on 4 December 2017. The examiner will ask you one:‘tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test and before you start driving. The new element is where you show how you would carry out a safety task while you’re driving. These are phrased in the form "Show me..." and "Tell me..."; as such. The show me questions that may be asked while the vehicle is moving are:-
The "tell me" questions only require the candidate to explain how an action would be performed. They do not have to perform the action in question but will not be marked down if they have to physically demonstrate it in order to adequately explain their knowledge. There are two types of "tell me" question but the candidate will only be asked one "tell me" question in total; either one from category one or one from category two. The first type of question is asked while the candidate is seated inside the vehicle and there are 11 questions of this nature. The second type begins with "Open the bonnet and...". These questions require the candidate to exit the vehicle and open the engine compartment of the vehicle (the candidate should know how to operate the bonnet release on the vehicle they are driving). There are only three "open the bonnet" questions. Some examples of "tell me" questions are:-
The questions of the second type of "tell me" questions (ie. "open the bonnet") are:-
If the candidate answers one or both of the "show me" and "tell me" questions incorrectly, one driving fault is recorded.As the candidate is permitted a maximum of fifteen driving faults during the practical test, this means that they would not automatically fail the test based off their answers to these questions alone unless the examiner believed that the fault was serious.
The controlled stop, more commonly referred to as the "emergency stop", is an exercise which determines the ability of the candidate to stop the vehicle promptly yet under control during a simulated emergency. The simulation is performed by the examiner raising his or her hand and saying, "STOP!". A controlled stop exercise will be carried out on every extended test and one third of normal tests. This might be an emergency stop, or the candidate might be asked to make a controlled stop in a specific location.During dangerous weather conditions, such as rain and snow, this test can be left out for safety reasons.
The driving test changed on 4 December 2017. The manoeuvres have now changed and you will not be asked to do a turn in the road or a reverse to the left. If you are taking driving lessons your instructor should still teach you these reversing exercises so you are able to carry them out if necessary. You may be asked to:-
Generally, the candidate must demonstrate an ability to drive in various road and traffic conditionsand react appropriately in actual risk situations. The conditions typically encountered on test include driving in urban areas as well as higher speed limit roads where possible; this includes dual carriageways but not motorways as motorways in Britain can only be used by full licence holders, and learner drivers in a dual control vehicle with a licensed instructor in the passenger seat. The object of the test is to ensure that the candidate is well grounded in the basic principles of safe driving, and is sufficiently practised in them to be able to show, at the time of the test, that they are a competent and considerate driver and are not a source of danger to themselves or to other road users. The drive will include two or three normal stops at (and moving away from) the side of the road on level roads as well as on gradients, in addition to a demonstration of moving away from behind a stationary vehicle. The regulations state that the on-road driving time must be no less than 30 minutes. If at any point during the test, the examiner has to intervene with any controls, this will usually but not always result in failure and could be marked on the test report as a serious or dangerous fault.
This part of the test was changed in December 2017.The independent portion of the practical test is now longer; having been increased from around 10 minutes to approximately 20 minutes. The candidate may be asked to follow a Satellite Navigation (satnav) device rather than follow signs.
This section is included on practical driving tests for the following vehicles or licences:
During the independent driving section, candidates have to follow:
Candidates are permitted to deviate from the given route if they get lost and they will not receive any faults for this providing they are driving safely. For example, if a candidate is instructed by the satnav to proceed straight ahead at a junction but they find themselves in a 'left turn only' lane. The correct course of action would be to stay in the lane and turn left using normal and safe procedure (eg. mirrors, signal, manoeuvre). Once through the junction safely, the candidate can attempt to return to their route. A fault may be given if the candidate was to proceed straight ahead in the left turn lane as this can be dangerous to other road users. When a candidate deviates from the route the examiner may direct them back towards their destination until the candidate is able to resume independent driving. If a satnav is being used this may automatically recalculate a new route to get them back on course.
If there are poor or obscured traffic signs, the examiner may give the candidate directions until they can see the next traffic sign. Candidates do not need to have a detailed knowledge of the area. If the satnav gives incorrect directions the examiner will assist the candidate with verbal direction. The satnav device (if used) is brought by the examiner and they will set it up for the candidate. The DVSA currently issues the TomTom Start 52 to its driving examiners. Some driving instructors will use this exact model during lessons in order to familiarise students with the layout of the device.
If the candidate has special needs, the examiner will be able to make reasonable adjustments. For the independent driving section, this could be asking the candidate which method they prefer - following signs, or a series of directions (a maximum of three)
A driving test is a procedure designed to test a person's ability to drive a motor vehicle. It exists in various forms worldwide, and is often a requirement to obtain a driver's license. A driving test generally consists of one or two parts: the practical test, called a road test, used to assess a person's driving ability under normal operating conditions, and/or a written or oral test to confirm a person's knowledge of driving and relevant rules and laws.
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) was an executive agency of the UK Department for Transport (DfT).
The MOT test is an annual test of vehicle safety, roadworthiness aspects and exhaust emissions required in the United Kingdom for most vehicles over three years old used on any way defined as a road in the Road Traffic Act 1988; it does not apply only to highways but includes other places available for public use, which are not highways. In Northern Ireland the equivalent requirement applies after four years. The requirement does not apply to vehicles used only on various small islands with no convenient connection "to a road in any part of Great Britain"; no similar exemption is listed at the beginning of 2014 for Northern Ireland, which has a single inhabited island, Rathlin.
IAM RoadSmart formerly called the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is a charity based in the United Kingdom and serving nine countries, whose objective is to improve car driving and motorcycle riding standards, and so enhance road safety, by using the British police's system of car and motorcycle control commonly known as "the System". The System was devised in 1937 by racing driver Mark Everard Pepys, 6th Earl of Cottenham, to reduce accidents in police pursuits.
Graduated driver licensing systems (GDLS) are designed to provide new drivers of motor vehicles with driving experience and skills gradually over time in low-risk environments. There are typically three steps or stages through which new drivers pass. They begin by acquiring a learner's permit, progress to a restricted, probationary or provisional license, followed by receipt of a full driver's license. Graduated drivers' licensing generally restricts nighttime, expressway, and unsupervised driving during initial stages, but lifts these restrictions with time and further testing of the individual, eventually concluding with the individual attaining a full driver's license.
A driver's permit, learner's permit, learner's license or provisional license, is a restricted license that is given to a person who is learning to drive, but has not yet satisfied the prerequisite to obtain a driver's license. Having a driver's permit for a certain length of time is usually one of the requirements for applying for a full driver's license. To get a learner's permit, one must typically pass a written permit test, take a basic competency test in the vehicle, or both.
Pass Plus Scheme commonly referred to as Pass Plus is a scheme run in the United Kingdom aimed at new drivers who have recently passed the standard driving test, which helps to give drivers the confidence to drive on their own and to increase experience on the road.
The New Zealand Road Code is the official road safety manual for New Zealand published by NZ Transport Agency. It is a guide to safe driving practices and traffic law in New Zealand, and is also the basis for theory and practical driving tests.
Approved Driving Instructor is a UK term for a trainer of car driving who has been tested and registered by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). UK law requires driving instructors to be qualified before they can charge for their services.
In the United Kingdom, driving examiners are civil servants employed by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) in Great Britain and by the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland for the purpose of conducting the practical element of driving tests.
In India, a driving licence is an official document that authorises its holder to operate various types of motor vehicles on highways and some other roads to which the public have access. In various Indian states, they are administered by the Regional Transport Authorities/Offices (RTA/RTO). A driving licence is required in India by any person driving a vehicle on any highway or other road defined in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
In the Netherlands, a licence to drive a car can be obtained from the age of 17. However, the drivers must be supervised by an adult, who's at least 27 years old, until reaching the age of 18. If two serious offenses are committed within five years of a licence being issued to a new driver, the holder will have their licence revoked and must pass the test again to get their licence back.
Norwegian driving licences adhere to a standard set in the European Economic Area.
Swedish driving licences adhere to a standard set in the European Economic Area. 18 years is the minimum age to obtain a licence for cars.
In Romania the driving licence is a governmental right given to those who request a licence for any of the categories they desire. It is required for every type of motorized vehicle. The minimum age to obtain a driving licence is 18 years. Regardless of age, in the first year after obtaining the licence the driver is called a beginner and has to display on the windscreen and the back window of the car the distinctive sign.
The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence is a qualification for professional bus, coach and lorry drivers. It has been introduced across Europe with the aim of improving road safety and maintaining high standards of driving.
The UK practical motorcycle tests consist of a practical test of two modules. To first ride on the road, a candidate must complete Compulsory Basic Training, however, there is no test.
A driver's license is an official document, often plastic and the size of a credit card, permitting a specific individual to operate one or more types of motorized vehicles, such as a motorcycle, car, truck, or bus on a public road.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is an executive agency of the UK Department for Transport (DfT).
In the Republic of Lebanon, a driving licence is the official document which authorises its holder to operate various types of motor vehicles on highways and some other roads to which the public have access and are issued by each individual canton.