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Useful Information

Before your test

Learner and new drivers

Virtually everything you will need to know if you are thinking of learning to drive.

www.gov.uk/browse/driving/learning-to-drive

Applying for a provisional driving licence

Before you can learn to drive a car, moped or motorcycle you must apply for a provisional driving licence. If you already hold a valid full driving licence and want to learn to drive larger vehicles, minibuses or buses you will need to apply for provisional entitlement for these vehicles. You can apply for your provisional licence three months before your 17th birthday.

www.gov.uk/apply-first-provisional-driving-licence

Driving Eyesight Requirements

Before you start to learn to drive, make sure you are aware of the eyesight requirements. If you need glasses or corrective lenses to meet the requirements, it’s a legal requirement that you wear them every time you drive.

The distance requirement for the eyesight test using old style number plates is 20.5 metres or 20 metres if the new-style number plate is used. New-style number plates are easily identifiable starting with two letters eg AB 51 ABC.

The photocard driving licence explained

www.gov.uk/browse/driving/driving-licences

end faq

For your theory test

What does the UK Theory Test Involve and how will the new changes affect you?

The theory test is made up of a multiple choice part and a hazard perception part. You need to pass both parts to pass it. Once you have passed the theory test you can then apply to take your practical driving test.

hwww.gov.uk/driving-theory-test/how-the-theory-test-works

The following links will explain more about your theory test.

How to pass the theory test: official DSA guide

Changes to the theory test: the facts

From 23 January 2012 the theory test will be made up of multiple-choice questions which are no longer published in learning materials. The reason behind the move is to stop candidates from simply memorising theory test questions and answers and learning by rote.

Revision materials still available

September 2012 - Latest official theory test help for learners.

New editions of the official DSA theory test books now include more help than ever for learner drivers and motorcyclists preparing for their test.

The DSA's official publishing partner, The Stationery Office (TSO), has been working with educational specialists and subject matter experts to enhance the best-selling theory test books and develop them into valuable learning tools for car and motorcycle test candidates.

The books still include hundreds of official theory test revision questions which cover the same topics as the actual test. However, the real value comes from the brand new background information which has been added to the start of each section. The bite-size information caters for different learning styles.

Each section includes loads of photos and diagrams to illustrate key points, definitions to describe tricky words and top tips to highlight important information.

There are also tips on how to study, aimed at giving learners all the support they need to prepare for their test.

A great deal of thought has also gone into linking the theory back to practical-on-road experience with a summary of what learners need to do, know and understand to meet the National Driving or Riding Standard.

This reinforces the theory and highlights the practical applications of what has been learnt, helping develop safer, and more competent road users.

No changes to the format of the test

No changes are being made to the format of the theory test. It will still be made up of a multiple-choice part and a hazard perception part. The time allowed and the pass marks will stay the same.

Find out more

You can find details about the new official learning materials at www.tsoshop.co.uk/dsa

What does the Hazard Perception element of UK Theory Test Involve?

The hazard perception test consists of 14 one minute video clips featuring every day road scenes of someone driving from 'behind the wheel'. There will be a countdown at the start of each clip before it actually starts. Use this time to look at the road scene being shown to identify what type of roads the vehicle is travelling on. This should give you clues as to what type of hazard to expect. You have a 5 second 'window' in which to score points, so the aim is to 'click' the computer mouse when you see that the driver of the vehicle containing the camera will have to either slow down, stop or take avoiding action. If your reactions are too quick it is possible to 'click' too soon, so the advice is to count one and 'click' again. Beware too many, or a pattern of 'clicks' could invalidate that particular video clip! You can find more information by following the link below.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTxo7qsjtFU

Booking your UK Theory Test

The quickest and easiest way to book your car, motorcycle or instructor theory driving test is to use the online booking service at

www.gov.uk/book-a-driving-theory-test

Directgov has published a new video showing how to book your theory test online which you can watch by following the link below.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=es8tJFwrOS4

Alternatively you can call 0300 200 1122 and follow the instructions in order to book by phone.

WARNING: if you use a search engine to find the booking website and do not go directly through to the gov.uk website to book your test you may end up paying more than you should do for your test. The Theory test is currently £31 and the Practical test is £62 on a weekday or £75 for evenings or weekends.

Lost your Theory Test Certificate?

If you have lost your Theory Test Certificate you can now find the number by following the link below.

www.gov.uk/find-lost-theory-test-pass-certificate-number

end faq

For your practical test

Booking your UK Practical Driving Test

The quickest and easiest way to book your practical driving test is to use the online booking service. You can use the online booking service between 6.00 am and midnight, Monday to Sunday. Alternatively you can either call 0300 200 1122 and follow the instructions in order to book by phone or you can download a practical driving test application form by following this link to the Driving Standards Agency website.

www.gov.uk/book-practical-driving-test

WARNING: if you use a search engine to find the booking website and do not go directly through to the gov.uk website to book your test you may end up paying more than you should do for your test. The Theory test is currently £31 and the Practical test is £62 on a weekday or £75 for evenings or weekends.

What does the UK Practical Driving Test Involve?

Your driving test will start with an eyesight check and some vehicle safety questions. You will then start your practical driving test which will include some specific manoeuvres.

The driving part of your test will last about 40 minutes. Throughout the test your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving, including when you are carrying out the set exercises.

www.gov.uk/practical-driving-test-for-cars/overview

The official step-by-step explanation of the driving test has been updated so you know what the whole test will look like from 4 October. You can follow this link to see what to expect:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hweCy5vJ1yk

DSA Show and Tell Driving Questions’

Find out about the 'show me, tell me' questions that you'll be asked at the start of your DSA practical driving test by following the link below.

www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9F2FCAD446D81197

These are Show and Tell questions that you may be asked...

Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working.
Applying the indicators or hazard warning switch and check functioning of all indicators. (may need to switch ignition on, prompt not to start engine)

Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.

Identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level.
Identify reservoir and explain how to check level.

Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car. (I can assist you, if you need to switch the ignition on, please don't)
Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors, etc, or ask someone to help. (may need to switch ignition on, prompt not to start engine)

Show me / explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey.
If the steering becomes heavy the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey two simple checks can be made. Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.

Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.
Manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.

Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear, make sure you keep safe control of the vehicle.
Apply footbrake firmly. Demonstrate by applying parking brake (handbrake) so that when it is fully applied it secures itself, and is not at the end of the working travel.

Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil.
Identify dipstick / oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum/maximum markers.

Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level.
Identify high/low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.

Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.
The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. NB Some restraints may not be adjustable.

Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.
Identify reservoir, check level against high/low markings.

Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.
No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.

Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only).
Check is carried out by using control (turn on ignition if necessary).

Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers.
Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen (turn ignition on if necessary.

Tell me how you would check that the headlights & tail lights are working. (No need to exit vehicle)
Explanation: Operate switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle. (As this is a "Tell Me" question, there is no need to physically check the lights.)

Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens.
Set all relevant controls including; fan, temperature, air direction / source and heated screen to clear windscreen and windows. Engine does not have to be started for this demonstration.

Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them. (No need to exit vehicle)
Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.

Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti lock braking system
Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti lock braking system.

Show me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car.
Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.

Changes to the UK Practical Driving Test from 4th October 2010 – Independent Driving

From 4 October 2010, learner drivers will be tested on independent driving as part of the practical driving test. During their test, candidates will have to drive for about 10 minutes, either following a series of directions, following traffic signs, or a combination of both. To help candidates understand where they’re going, the examiner may show them a diagram. It doesn't matter if candidates don't remember every direction, or if they go the wrong way - that can happen to the most experienced drivers.

The DSA has published a short video on its YouTube channel explaining more about independent driving.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXd6npRMyFI

Independent Driving and Dyslexia

The following link will lead to the Driving Standards Agency website where they have an article containing questions and answers describing the potential issues and the solutions being implemented due to the introduction of independent driving into the practical test from 4th October 2010.

www.dft.gov.uk/dsa/News.asp?id=SXCCD9-A7836AA1

end faq

Example of Test Routes for Oxford, Cowley Centre

Example #1

Name/Road Number Direction
Driving Test Centre Left
James Wolfe Road End of Road right
Hollow Way Roundabout right 2nd exit
Horspath Driftway End of Road right
Eastern Bypass Road to Littlemore Roundabout Roundabout right 3rd exit
Oxford Road Left
Ashhurst Way 2nd left
Asquith Road (Carry out Turn in Road Manoeuvre) End of Road left
Ashhurst Way 2nd right
Dashwood Road Left
Spencer Crescent End of Road left
Dashwood Road End of Road right
Spencer Crescent Left
Ashhurst Way End of Road left
Rose Hill and onto Henley Ave and Iffley Road Left at 2nd Traffic Lights

Start of 10 Minute Independent Drive – Following Signs/Markings for Ring Road London then Oxford Business Park

Donnington Bridge Road and onto Weirs Lane End of Road left at Traffic Lights
Abingdon Road to Kennington Roundabout Roundabout left 1st exit
Southern bypass Road (A423) to Heyford Hill Roundabout Roundabout left filter lane
Eastern by pass Road (A4142) to Littlemore Roundabout Roundabout ahead 2nd exit
Eastern by pass Road (A4142) to Cowley Junction Roundabout Roundabout left 1st exit
End of Independent Drive
Garsington Road Roundabout ahead
Garsington Road Right at Traffic Lights
Hollow Way 8th Right, after 2nd Traffic Lights
James Wolfe Road Right
Driving Test Centre

Example #2

Name/Road Number Direction
Driving Test Centre Left
James Wolfe Road End of Road Right
Hollow Way Roundabout right 2nd exit
Horspath Driftway End of Road Left at Traffic Lights
Eastern By-Pass Rd 1st Left, immediately after Traffic Lights
Beaumont Road / Quarry Hollow End of Road Left then Immediate Right
Margaret Road 1st Left
York Road 1st Left
Weyland Road (Carry out Turn in Road Manoeuvre) End of Road Left
York Road 1st Right
Rock Edge End of Road Left
Windmill Rd Traffic Lights Right
Old Road Traffic Lights Ahead
Warneford Lane Roundabout Right 2nd exit
Morrell Ave 5th Left
Cross St End of Road Left
Rectory Road End of Road Left
Cowley Road 8th Right
Magdelen Road 1st Left
Ridgefield Road Crossroads Right
Howard Street Left
Cricket Road / Rymers Lane 5th Left
Littlehay Road End of Road Right
Oxford Road 2nd Traffic Lights Ahead into Right Lane
Garsington Road 1st Roundabout ahead, 2nd Roundabout Left
Eastern By-Pass Road 1st Left
Horspath Driftway Roundabout Left 1st Exit
Hollow Way 3rd Left
James Wolfe Road 3rd Entrance on Right, back into Driving Test Centre

Example #3

Driving Test Centre Left
James Wolfe Road End of Road Right
Hollow Way Roundabout 1st Left
The Slade 6th Left at Traffic Lights
Old Road 3rd Right
Bickerton Road/All Saints Road Left
Latimer Road End of Road Left
London Road 2nd Right at Traffic Lights
Headley Way 1st Left
Woodlands/Franklin Road (Carry out Turn in Road Manoeuvre) End of Road Left
Headley Way 2nd Left
Staunton Road/Jack Straw’s Lane End of Road Right
Marston Rd 2nd Left
Old Marston Road 2nd Left
Rippington Drive 2nd Right
Lewell Avenue End of Road Left
Mortimer Drive/Fairfax Avenue/Rippington Drive 3rd Left
Lewell Avenue End of Road Right
Mortimer Drive End of Road Left
Use un-named Service Road End of Road Left
Oxford Road End of Road Right
Cherwell Drive Roundabout Left 1st Exit
Marsh Lane End of Road Left onto Dual Carriageway
Northern By-Pass Road/North Way, A40 Roundabout Ahead 3rd Exit
Eastern By-Pass Road, A4142 2nd Right at 2nd Traffic Lights
Horspath Driftway Roundabout Left 1st Exit
Hollow Way 3rd Left
James Wolfe Rd 3rd Entrance on Right in to Driving Test Centre

Example #4

Driving Test Centre Left
James Wolfe Road End of Road Left
Hollow Way End of Road Right at Traffic Lights
Oxford Road Traffic Lights Ahead then 4th Left
Littlehay Road Crossroads Ahead
Cornwallis Road 1st Left
Outram Road (Carry out Turn in Road Manoeuvre) End of Road Left
Cornwallis Road 1st Left
Florence Park Road End of Road Left
Church Cowley Road 3rd Right at Traffic Lights
Crowell Road/Littlemore Road/Cowley Road Roundabout Right 2nd Exit, Roundabout Left 1st Exit
Cowley Road Roundabout Left 1st Exit
Sandford Road/Henley Road Roundabout 2nd Exit
Henley Road End of Road Left
A4074 Sandford Link Road Roundabout Right 2nd Exit
Eastern By-Pass Road, A4142 Roundabout Left 1st Exit
Oxford Road Immediate Right
Newman Road Roundabout 1st Exit
Cowley Road/Littlemore Road 2nd Right
Bartholomew Road Roundabout Left 1st Exit
Barns Road Roundabout Right 2nd Exit
Between Towns Road End of Road Right at Traffic Lights
Oxford Road Left at Traffic Lights
Hollow Way 7th Right
James Wolfe Rd 3rd Entrance on Right in to Driving Test Centre

end faq

After your practical test

The extended practical driving test

As a disqualified driver or rider, a court can order that you return to being a learner driver and take an extended practical driving test. The test is longer and more demanding and is aimed at checking your ability to drive.

www.gov.uk/reapply-licence-revoked

After you pass your UK Practical Driving Test (The New Drivers Act)

Under the New Drivers Act your driving licence will be revoked if you build up six or more penalty points within two years of passing your first driving test. You’ll need to reapply for your driving licence as a learner driver and resit your driving test.

The following link will give you more information on this subject:

www.gov.uk/penalty-points-endorsements/new-drivers

New rules for towing trailers with a car or small vehicle from January 2013

New driving licence rules will come into force on 19 January 2013, for drivers of cars and small vehicles (category B and BE) to tow trailers. The new rules will apply if you pass your test after that date. Find out how these changes could affect you.

Existing car or small vehicle drivers

If you already have a licence to drive cars or small vehicles (category B and BE), you'll keep your entitlement to tow trailers. Your entitlement to tow trailers will stay as it was when you passed your driving test. To tow heavier trailers after 19 January 2013, you'll need to follow the rules for new drivers, below.

New drivers from 19 January 2013

If you pass your test to drive cars or small vehicles up to 3,500 kilograms (kg) (category B) from 19 January 2013, you’ll be able to tow:
  • light trailers weighing no more than 750 kg
  • trailers weighing more than 750 kg, where the combined weight of the towing vehicle (car or small vehicle) and the trailer is not more than 3,500 kg

Category BE
If your trailer weighs over 750 kg and the combined trailer and towing vehicle weight is more than 3,500 kg, you’ll need to pass a further test. The trailer you tow must not be heavier than 3,500 kg. This test will be shown on your driving licence as category BE.

Category C1E
To tow a trailer weighing more than 3,500 kg with a car or small vehicle (category B), you’ll need to pass a test for category C1E.

For more information please use the link below:

www.gov.uk/towing-with-car

Changes to driving licence rules in Great Britain from January 2013

Driving licence rules will be changing from 19 January 2013. There will be many new rules for motorcycles, cars towing trailers, buses and lorries. Find out more about these changes and how they could affect you as an existing or new driver by following the link below.

You can also find a great deal more information about driving licences using the following link, including; Your health and driving, Need a new or updated licence, Endorsements and disqualifications, What you can drive and your obligations, Driving in GB on a foreign licence, Caravans, trailers and commercial vehicles, Driving in other countries on a GB licence, etc.

www.gov.uk/browse/driving/driving-licences

end faq

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Information

Driving on licences from all other countries, and students on a foreign licence

European Community/European Economic Area (EC/EEA) countries

All drivers must comply with British minimum age requirements. These are 17 years for cars and motorcycles, 18 years for medium sized vehicles and 21 years for large lorries and buses.

Driving on licences from all other countries, and students on a foreign licence

If you are a visitor, resident or student in Great Britain (GB) and still have a driving licence issued in the country you have come from, there are certain conditions that affect how long you can drive, and what you can drive in Great Britain.

www.gov.uk/driving-in-great-britain-on-non-gb-licence

Renewing your driving licence at 70 plus

Your driving licence entitlement will expire when you reach the age of 70 and if you want to continue to drive, the entitlement will need to be renewed by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Your renewed licence will normally be valid for three years.

www.gov.uk/renew-your-driving-licence-if-you-are-70-or-over

Apply online to change the address on your driving licence

You must tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) immediately of any changes to your name, address or both. You can update your driving licence online or send it to DVLA for amendment. A new licence will be issued free of charge unless your photograph’s due for renewal.

www.gov.uk/change-address-driving-licence

The Highway Code

Follow this link to reach the adapted online version from the Department for Transport's current printed version of the Highway Code.

www.gov.uk/browse/driving/highway-code

Know your traffic signs

The Department for Transport’s ‘Know your traffic signs’ booklet is now available on Directgov. You can go to an individual section for images and information on traffic signs, signals and road markings. Or, you can download the booklet in full, free of charge. Follow this link for more information: www.gov.uk/traffic-signs

Basic Steps to Minimise the Fear of Driving Alone

Even though statistics suggest that around 75% of UK motorists have been subjected to road rage at some time the actual risk of physical attack remains extremely low. However, this doesn’t mean that lone drivers aren’t nervous of driving when alone and they can suffer from a lack of confidence, concentration and increased levels of stress all of which potentially affect their driving and can endanger others around them.
Acknowledging the fear is a help in itself and can help to reduce the chances of it becoming a reality.

Lone driver’s fears can usually be grouped into a few categories:

  • Vehicle Breakdowns
  • Car Parks and parking
  • Being followed (probably the biggest fears that lone drivers have)

The following actions can be taken in each of these areas in order to minimise the risk and, therefore, the fear:

Avoid or minimise breakdowns

  • Always carry a fully charged mobile phone, or have an in-car charger. (Remember the rules on using phones whilst driving)
  • Join a breakdown organisation – it really isn’t that expensive and certainly gives you some ‘peace of mind’
  • Have your car serviced regularly and carry out routine checks yourself on fuel, oil, coolant, windscreen washer, brake fluid levels, etc. (Breakdown companies attend over 50,000 call outs due to drivers running out of fuel)

Safe Parking

  • Choose well lit areas at night.
  • In multi-story car parks try to park on the ground floor, or near a lift if you can’t. Keep away from pillars, corners and areas where someone could hide.
  • In open car parks try to park as close to the pedestrian exit as possible and keep away from shrubs, bushes and again anywhere else where someone could hide.
  • Reverse into the parking space means that you can drive forwards more easily if you feel in danger. (It really is easier than driving forwards into a parking space as well!!!). Practice makes perfect or we could teach you, in your car, in just one hour how to perfect it.
  • If returning to your car at night try to get someone to accompany you or if this is not possible, have your keys ready and check through the windows to see that no-one is hiding in the car before entering.
  • If someone does approach, and you’re not sure of their intentions, lock the doors, start the engine and if necessary sound the horn.

Being Followed

  • Try to keep calm. We know that this is easier said than done sometimes, but they are very unlikely to ‘run you off the road’ so you do have time to assess the situation.
  • Find out if you really are being followed or if it is just a co-incidence. If you know the area you could drive in a circle around a housing estate or if on unfamiliar roads you could simply drive round a roundabout twice or leave a motorway and re-join at the same junction.
  • If you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station or somewhere where there will be lots of people. You don’t need to get out of the car, you can attract attention by flashing your lights or sounding your horn if necessary.
  • Do not drive faster to try and get away. You risk having an accident and becoming even more vulnerable.
  • Under safe conditions practice reading number plates backwards so that if you have to call the police you can give them important information about the vehicle. (Remember the rules on using phones whilst driving) If you are calling the police try to do so after stopping at a busy place rather than using your hands-free kit – it’s safer.
  • Other drivers may gesture you to stop because there is a problem with your car – if this happens try to drive to a busy area and stop there. If the person approaches lock the doors and keep your windows closed. If they tell you what the problem is, and you have a phone, simply tell them that you will call for assistance. If you don’t have a phone, ask them to call the police for you.
  • When help arrives always check their identification cards before exiting the vehicle.
  • If you are forced to stop by another vehicle stay in the car and lock the doors. You are safer in the car so don’t try and run away. You can draw attention to yourself by flashing your lights and sounding your horn. Keep your engine running. If the person approaches drive your car away from them slowly and stop again. Repeat this if necessary as it lures them away from their vehicle and could give you enough time to get away. Use your phone, or pretend, if it’s not working. Remember, if you do try to get away to do it in a controlled manner – don’t risk crashing.

end faq

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Links

Government Public Services website

direct_govClick Here to go direct to the ‘Motoring’ section to access information on all your motoring needs including Learners and new drivers and riders; Driver licensing; Buying and selling a vehicle; Do it online; Owning a vehicle; Provisional Driving Licence applications; Theory and Practical test bookings; etc.

PASS PLUS

pass_plus

Pass Plus is a road safety initiative aimed at improving the skills of novice drivers. New drivers are more likely to have a crash in their first two years of driving than at any other time in their driving career. This is where Pass Plus comes in. After pupils pass their test they can pay for structured tuition from a registered Pass Plus instructor. Pupils reaching the required standard should be entitled to a substantial discount on their motor insurance premium from companies supporting the scheme.

 

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

dvlaView driver information about medical conditions; driving licences; learning to drive; entitlement to drive; endorsements and disqualifications; driving abroad; what to do when you have changed your name or address; registering, taxing your car or applying for a refund; number plates and registration marks (including personalised registration numbers); importing and exporting vehicles; fighting vehicle crime and consumer advice on buying a used vehicle.

Department for Transport

Department For TransportGovernment strategy on road safety is making roads safer for everyone. Its key targets are to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents by 40 per cent by 2010 (compared with the average for 1994-98) and to reduce the number of children killed or seriously injured by 50 per cent by 2010. Click here to visit DFT