Practical Driving Test

Once you have passed your Theory Test and gained sufficient experience driving, then you will be ready to take your Practical Driving Test.

Format of the Practical Driving Test

Your Driving Test will last 40 minutes and comprise the following:

  • An Eyesight Test – You will be asked to read a number plate at a distance of 20 metres.

  • A “Tell-me Question” – This will be one of the 14 “Tell-me Questions” from here: Tell-me Questions

  • A 20-minute independent drive, where you will follow either a sat-nav or road signs. The independent drive will comprise a mixture of main roads, country roads and town roads.

  • One of the following manouvres:

    • Reverse bay park

    • Forward bay park

    • Parallel park

    • Pull up on the right

  • You will be asked to pull up on the left at least three times:

    • On the flat

    • On a hill

    • Behind a parked car to show that you can move off at an angle

  • A “Show-me Question” – This will be one of the 7 “Show-me Questions” from here: Show-me Questions

  • Possibly an Emergency Stop

You will be told the result of the test at the end.

Choosing a Test Centre

The nearest test centres are Trowbridge, Chippenham, Yeovil and Salisbury. See the map below for the locations of each one.

In choosing your test centre, you should consider a number of factors:

  1. Distance from home – Some practice will be required in the vicinity of the test centre. If your test is in Trowbridge, then practice can be attained by a few 2-hour lessons. However, if your test is in Chippenham, Yeovil or Salisbury, then depending on where you live, you may require a few 3-hour lessons to give adequate time to get to the training area and back.

  2. Pass Rates – Average pass rates between April and September 2019 at each test centre were as follows:

    1. Trowbridge – 51%

    2. Chippenham – 47%

    3. Yeovil – 60%

    4. Salisbury – 56%

  3. Difficulty of test area – There is not necessarily a close correlation between pass rate and difficulty. Many factors influence the pass rate, difficulty of test area being one of them. In my opinion, the order of difficulty is as follows starting with the least difficult:

    1. Trowbridge – Follow the link for tips on lane discipline on Trowbridge Roundabouts

    2. Yeovil

    3. Chippenham – Follow the link for tips on lane discipline on Chippenham Bridge Roundabout

    4. Salisbury – Follow the link for tips on lane discipline on the Salisbury Roundabouts

  4. Waiting list – There is generally a waiting list to book your test, which varies from time to time. At the time of writing Trowbridge has a 2-month waiting list, whereas tests can be booked in Chippenham, Salisbury or Yeovil within a week or two.

Booking your Practical Driving Test

Your driving instructor will tell you when you are ready to take your Practical Driving Test. The test can be booked by following this link: Book your Practical Driving Test