Helping you prepare for your Driving Test

Promotion School of Motoring’s dedicated Northampton driving instructors are committed to helping our students pass their driving test with ease. We have put together some advice, tips and videos to help you prepare for your driving test day.

To book your driving test you must have first passed your theory test.

The benchmark standard for passing your test is 15 minor faults – and NO major ones. A minor fault could be failing to check your mirrors at the right time, or crossing your hands over whilst steering. A major fault could be just slightly cutting a corner whilst turning into a junction.

What happens during the test

There are 5 parts to the driving test:

1. An eyesight check
2. ‘Show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions
3. General driving ability
4. Reversing your vehicle
5. Independent driving

1. Eyesight check

You must be able to read a number plate from a distance of 20 metres.

2. ‘Show me’, ‘tell me’ Questions

You’ll be asked 2 ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions. The ‘tell me’ question will be asked before you start driving at the start of your test and the ‘show me’ question while you’re driving.

‘Tell me’ questions

Below is a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency Video clip outlining the possible questions. Although you will only actually be asked one of these questions, it’s good to capture them all for your general knowledge.

BRAKES: Tell me how you’d 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.

TYRE PRESSURE: Tell me where you’d 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.

HEAD RESTRAINT: 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. Note: Some restraints might not be adjustable.

TYRES: Tell me how you’d 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 three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre, and around the entire outer circumference of the tyre.

HEADLIGHTS: Tell me how you’d check that the headlights and tail lights are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

You can only put them on when the head and tail lights are on. I would pull the indicator towards me, and you would know they were on because there would be a blue light on the dashboard.

ANTI-LOCK BRAKING: Tell me how you’d 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.

INDICATORS: Tell me how you’d check the direction indicators are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), and then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).

BRAKE LIGHTS: Tell me how you’d check the brake lights are working on this car.

Explain you’d operate the brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows or doors, or ask someone to help.

STEERING: Tell me how you’d check 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, 2 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.

REAR FOG LIGHTS: Tell me how you’d switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you’d use it/them. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.

OPERATE HEADLIGHTS : Tell me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you’d know the main beam is on.

Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.

OIL: Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient oil.

Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum and maximum markers.

COOLANT: Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient engine coolant.

Identify high and low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.

BRAKE FLUID: Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.

Identify reservoir, check level against high and low markings.

Show me questions

You will be asked one ‘show me’ question while you are driving. The below video outlines the possible questions.

When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how….

  • You wash and clean the rear windscreen?
  • You wash and clean the front windscreen?
  • You’d switch on your dipped headlights?
  • You’d set the rear demister?
  • You’d operate the horn?
  • You’d demist the front windscreen?
  • You’d open and close the side window?

3. General driving ability

You’ll drive in various road and traffic conditions where the examiner will instruct you, similar to the way in which your driving instructor would have been doing to prepare you for the test.

4. Reversing your vehicle

The examiner will ask you to complete one of the following exercises:

  • Parallel park at the side of the road
  • Park in a parking bay
  • Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for approximately 2 car lengths, and then rejoin the traffic

5. Independent driving

You’ll drive for approximately 20 minutes by following either:

  • Directions from a sat nav
  • Traffic signs

If you’re interested in Driving Lessons in Northampton, Kettering or Wellingborough, then please call us today on 07846 318998 or fill-in the call back request form.