So by now, you’re done with your driving lessons and all set to finally drive on your own and get your full driver’s licence. However, you do need to take and pass the theory and practical tests first! The question is, how to book your driving test? It’s simple and easy but with many learner drivers failing their tests, it’s important to know the dos and don’ts or the new updates about the rules of the tests first.
How To Book Your Driving Test | Theory & Practical
Succeeding the UK driving tests is not guaranteed. In fact, according to statistics only 46.8% of men and 50.7% of women who took the theory test passed. Meanwhile, 50% of male and 40% of female who took the practical driving test passed.
Read on to get better chances in passing before you finally book your driving test.
Theory Test vs Practical Test
If you don’t know yet, you do have to book your theory and practical tests separately. Which goes first, you asked. In almost all cases, you do have to pass your theory test before you’re qualified to take the practical test. There are a few exemptions but we’ll get to that later.
Basically, the UK driving theory test is taken through a computer at an official DVSA test centre where you have to answer two sets of questionnaires. Meanwhile, the UK driving practical test is taken on the road and can either be taken using a manual or automatic transmission cars, motorcycles, lorries, buses, and coaches.
Now that you know the basic difference between the two types of driving tests, let’s get on the booking part.
How To Book Your Driving Test (Theory)
Below are all the vital information you need when you book your driving test. But before you do so, know first if you are exempted to take the test or not.
Are You Exempted In Taking the Driving Theory Test?
It was previously mentioned that there are exemptions to taking the driving theory test, here they are:
- If you want to upgrade your licence from an automatic car licence to a manual car licence.
- To upgrade from a category A1 (small motorcycle) to category A2 (medium motorcycle), granting that you bear a licence for at least 2 years.
- If you want to upgrade from category C1 (medium vehicles) to category C (large vehicles) with the exemption of; getting your C1 entitlement from passing a car driving test.
- If you want to upgrade your licence from category D1 (minibus) to category D (bus).
- All types of licences to tow a trailer.
A Safe Road User Award will entitle you to take a shorter version of the theory test.
People with special needs like reading difficulty, disability or health condition are entitled to get assistance.
Step 1: Know Your Category
- Lorries, Buses, and Coaches, including the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) part 1a and 1b (theory) and part 2 (case studies)
Step 2: Check & Prepare The Requirements
- A provisional driving licence issued in the UK.
- You must be 17 years old and above. However, you can take the test from your 16th birthday if you have applied for the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
- A valid email address for booking or if you don’t have, you have to do it through phone
- A credit or debit card for payment
Step 3: Check The Price
Cars and Motorcycles – £23
Abridged Theory Test – £18
Lorry and Bus:
- (multiple-choice questions) – £26
- (hazard perception) – £11
- (case studies) – £23
Step 4: Take Practice Tests!
The driving theory test is based on three books. Take all the time you need to study:
After you’re done with your reading taking a practice test is strongly recommended.
The multiple-choice questions practice test is divided into categories depending on the type of vehicle:
Meanwhile, there are 3 available clips for free that you can practise with for the hazard perception test.
Step 5: Book Your Driving Test
When you have completed all of the requirements it is highly advisable to book directly to the official booking site to avoid additional charges. But before you book your test check the nearest driving test centre in your area first.
Now, if you don’t have an email address or if you need assistance with your booking you may contact the only agency sponsored by the Department of Transport, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
Meanwhile, if you live in Ireland there is a different service who can cater to your needs.
Driving test changes are possible or if you’ve lost your booking confirmation, you can check your appointment details as well. If by any chance you want to cancel after you book your driving test you are free to do so, but please give at least 3 workings days to get your full refund.
What To Expect When Taking The Driving Test Theory
- The test is divided into multiple-choice questions and hazard perception (a video test about identifying hazards on the road)
- 57 minutes is given to complete the multiple-choice questions.
- There will be 14 video clips that you need to watch for the hazard perception part.
- You must bring your UK photocard driving licence on the date of your test.
- If you have a licence from Northern Ireland, bring the photocard and paper counterpart licence.
- You cannot bring your personal items inside the test room, there’s a locker room provided in the centre.
- Cheating on your driving test is illegal. A staff will do a thorough check to see if you there’s anything that can be used for cheating. The test will not push through unless you allow them to check on you.
Important Note: You can’t take the test if you fail to comply with the requirements. Worse, you won’t be able to get a refund.
Test Results & Pass Mark
After you take the test, you’ll get the test result in the test at the centre.
Multiple Choice – there are 50 items for this part and the passing mark is 43.
Hazard Perception – Out of the 75 items you need to make 44 correct answers to pass.
Important Note: You must pass both parts for you to pass the driving theory test.
- If you pass, you will be given a pass certificate number which you will need when you take your practical test.
Important Note: Your pass certificate is only valid for two years. You must pass your practical driving test during that time period. Failure to do so will forfeit the pass certificate and you will have to pass the theory test again.
- You will receive a letter stating that you fail after taking the test. The letter will identify the areas of the test you did not pass.
- You need to take both parts of the test again even if you fail only in one part.
- You will have to wait for 3 working days before you can take the theory test again.
Driving Test Cancellations
This is a term that you will most probably encounter when trying to book a driving test. While the process is easy, booking your preferred date may not be as easy. The test cancellation finder of Find Me A Driving Test does a great job at helping learner drivers book for their preferred driving test schedule.
How To Book Your Driving Test (Practical)
Once you pass your driving theory test you are now qualified to take the practical test. Below are the things you need to make a successful booking:
Step 1: Know Your Category
- lorries, buses and coaches
- approved driving instructor (ADI) part 2 and 3 tests
Step 2: Check & Prepare The Requirements Before You Book Your Driving Test
- A UK-issued driving licence number
- Pass certificate from your theory test
- Credit or Debit card for payment
- A vehicle – most use their instructor’s vehicle but you have to option to use your own if it meets the requirements.
- Your driving instructor’s personal reference number
Important Note: You are qualified to take the driving test only if you live in England, Wales or Scotland for the duration of at least 185 days for 1 year before the day of your test.
Step 3: Know The Cost
and bank holidays
|Extended driving test for disqualified drivers
|Car and Trailer
Lorry, minibus, bus, and coach
|Driver CPC part 3: driving ability
|Driver CPC part 4: practical demonstration
Motorcycle and moped
|Module 1 motorcycle test (off-road)
|Module 2 motorcycle test (on-road)
|Extended test for disqualified riders (on-road)
|Tractor and other specialist vehicles
Appointments set from 4:30 pm onwards are considered evening tests.Evening, weekend, and bank holiday driving tests are not available all the time. Availability will be shown when you book your appointment. Important Note:
Test costs in Northern Ireland are different.
Step 5: Book Your Driving Test
While there is no such practical driving test practice, there are valuable tips you can learn to get a better chance of passing. Once you’ve prepared all of the requirements you can now book an appointment. Just like the theory test, you can book your practical driving test directly from the official site. Additionally, you can get assistance in booking your preferred schedule through Find Me a Driving Test.
There is a different service that caters to Northern Ireland.
Driving Test Cancellations, Changes, and Checking
- After you book your driving test, you have the option to cancel it. However, you need to allow 3 clear working days’ notice to get a full refund.
- You can also make changes or revisions to your booking but take note that you also have to give 3 clear working days’ notice to change your booking date or else you’ll have to pay full cost again.
- If in case you’ve lost your driving test details, you don’t have to worry because you can check it here.
What To Expect During Your Driving Test
- You might not know this but you can take a someone with you during your practical driving test as long as you follow the guidelines.
- The practical test is divided into 5 parts, an eyesight check, ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions, general driving ability, reversing your vehicle, and independent driving.
- The practical test is the same for both manual and automatic transmission vehicles.
- The driving test will take around 40 minutes to finish but if you’re taking the extended driving test, you’ll have to drive for 70 minutes.
- You will not proceed to the other parts of the test if you fail the first part, which is the eyesight check.
- You will not be given a fault for a wrong turn, instead, the examiner will help you get back on the route.
- Simple mistakes might not affect your result and the examiner will allow you to carry on with the test.
- The only time the examiners will stop your practical driving test is when they think your driving is a threat to pedestrians, other drivers, or even properties.
Driving Test Faults, Pass Mark, and Test Results
The outcome of your practical driving test may rely heavily based on the faults you commit. Please bear in mind these 3 types of faults you need to avoid:
- A dangerous fault – this is an act you commit that may result in any actual danger to you, your examiner, the public or even properties.
- A serious fault – a fault that is something potentially dangerous
- A driving fault – a minor fault that if repeated may cause a serious fault.
In order to pass the driving test you need to know these passing marks:
- Should have no more than 15 driving faults
- Should not commit any serious or dangerous faults.
What Happens When You Pass?
- The examiner will inform you if you pass the test.
- He will mention the faults you committed if any.
- Your pass certificate will be handed out to you.
- You will be asked if you want to receive your full licence automatically, then you’ll have to surrender your provisional licence.
- If you opted not to get your licence automatically, you can apply for a full driving licence within 2 years of passing the test.
You don’t need to wait for your full driving licence to arrive, once you pass, you can drive right away.
If your driving licence hasn’t arrived within 3 weeks after application, you need to contact DVLA for assistance.
What Happens When You Fail?
- Just like passing the test, the examiner will also inform you if you fail.
- You will also be informed of your faults.
- You need to book another test and pay the full price again. Take note that rebooking your test should be at least 10 working days from the date of your failed driving test.
Driving Test Appeal
You can appeal the result if you think the examiner did not follow the regulations. You have 6 months to appeal to your local magistrate’s court if you live in England and Wales. Now, if you live in Scotland, you only have 21 days to appeal to your local sheriff’s court.
Important Note: Appealing your test will not reverse the result, instead you’re only might be able to take a free retest once the appeal is successful.
Good luck passing your driving test and help others book their tests as well by sharing!
Now that you have everything you need to book your driving test, check out these driving laws that people usually forget about.