The Best Way To Learn To Drive

The Driving Test

  • Bring your Provisional Driving Licence, the appointment card from the Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency as well as your Theory Test Certificate
  • Show up about 20 minutes before the test to park your car to your liking in the centre’s car park.
  • Reversing into the parking bay will give you a much easier start than having to begin with a reverse out of the parking space.
  • Your examiner will ask you to sign a form to verify that you have adequate insurance for the test. He will check the motor tax disc and MOT disc (if appropriate), on the car windscreen. The examiner will then check that the tyres on your vehicle are road worthly.
  • He will then ask you two Show Me/Tell me questions. These are basic car maintenance questions and are vitally important for maintaining the car in a roadworthy condition.
  • There must be an L-Sign on the car front and rear – i.e. L in red with a white background.

The driving test is straightforward. For cars it will last about 40 minutes, driving for approximately ten miles under a variety of road and traffic conditions and will include:

  • Two Show Me/Tell Me questions
  • Eyesight check
  • One reversing manoeuvres (taken from Turn in the road; Reversing round a corner; Parallel Parking and Bay Parking)
  • An emergency stop
  • A hill start
  • Sometimes you will also be asked to move away from behind a parked car at the side of the road
  • There has been a new section introduced to the test called independent driving. This is simply following either a direction signpost or following verbal directions given by the examiner. It usually lasts around ten minutes or so within the test timeframe. One of the main worries that learners seem to have is that they won’t be able to remember the instructions if they are nervous during the test. This is completely understandable and as such, its ok to ask the examiner to repeat the instructions. Remember, the test is a way of checking your driving ability, not a way of testing your memory.

Useful information to help you:

  • The driving examiner will realise that you may be nervous and will try to put you at ease;
  • Unlike your driving instructor, the driving examiner will not offer you encouragement or advice. You should not be put off by this formal approach which is designed to ensure fairness to all applicants;
  • While you will be given clear directions throughout the test, should you not understand a particular direction, ask the examiner to repeat or clarify it;
  • If you make a mistake, do not worry unduly. It may not be as serious as it appears and may not mean you have failed;
  • A supervisory examiner may accompany the driving test examiner – this is quite normal.

The Driving Test

Aspects of your driving assessed will include:

  • Road positioning;
  • Overtaking and passing;
  • Anticipation and observation;
  • Use of mirrors and signals;
  • Progress;
  • Speed;
  • Compliance with traffic lights, road signs and markings;
  • Use of the vehicle controls (accelerator, clutch, gears, brakes and steering).
  • Use of secondary controls such as wipers, demisters, etc.

Your driving will be assessed in the following situations:

  • Moving off;
  • Driving in traffic;
  • Stopping;
  • Parking
  • Reversing round a corner;
  • Turning about to face in the opposite direction;
  • Starting on a hill;

Driving Test Fees

  • Daytime: £45.50
  • Saturday and Evening: £62.50
  • Extended Tests: £91.00
Current Northern Ireland driving test fees are available from the official Driver and Vehicle Agency website on