FAQ

he Shows me, Tells Me Q&A's

At the start of your practical driving test, the examiner will ask you two “Show me Tell Me” questions. The questions concern general maintenance and safety checks on your car.

One or both questions answered incorrectly will result in one driving fault being recorded on your test.

Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey?

You can test the brakes as you set off, the brakes should not feel spongy or slack and the car should not pull to one side.

Identify the windscreen washer reservoir and tell me how you would check the washer level?

Identify reservoir and tell them you would open the cap and look inside and top up if needed.

Show me how you would check the indicators are working?

Operate the hazard warning switch and walk around the car checking they are working.

Show me how you would check the brake lights are working?

Turn on ignition do not start the engine. Press the brake pedal and ask the examiner to check lights are working or make use of the reflective surface, windows, garage doors, etc.

Show me and explain how you would check the power steering in working?

When the engine is off the steering is heavy and hard to turn, but when the engine is running the steering should become lighter and easier to turn.

Identify the engine water coolant and tell me how you would check that it’s at the correct level?

Identify the water coolant and that you would check against the min/max markings.

Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended Tyre pressures for this and when Tyre pressure should be checked?

Use the car owner’s handbook, and pressure should be checked when tyres are cold.

Show me how you would check that the handbrake for excessive wear?

Apply footbrake firmly. Demonstrate by applying handbrake that it locks itself in place and it not at the end of its working travel.

Tell me how you would 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 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.

Show me where the brake fluid reservoir is and how you would check the level?

Identify reservoir and check against min/max markings.

Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road?

There should be at least 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the tyre & the entire outer circumference. And no cuts or bulges on the side walls.

Show me how to check that the horn is working?

Press the horn.

Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers?

Turn ignition on do not start car operate control to wash and wipe windscreen.

Tell me how you would check that the headlights and taillights are working. (no need to exit the car)?

Turn on the lights and then tell him you would walk round the car checking that the lights are working.

Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear both front and rear windows?

Set all relevant controls including; Fan, temperature, air direction/source and heated screen to clear windows. The engine does not have to be started.

Show me how you would switch on the rear fog lights and explain when you would use them?

Turn on ignition do not start the car. Turn on dipped headlights and fog light switch. Point out fog warning light is on. And you would use fog lights when visibility is less than 100 meters.

Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system?

Tell him a warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.

Show me how you switch your headlights from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on?

Turn ignition on does not start the car. Operate switch and point out that the main beam warning light is on.

Show me where and how you would check the car’s engine oil?

Identify the oil dip-stick and explain that you would take it out, wipe it with a clean cloth then put it back in then take it out again and check against the high and low markings.

The Practical Driving Test Section

What happens during the test?

There are 5 parts to the driving test:

  • an eyesight check
  • ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions
  • general driving ability
  • reversing your vehicle
  • independent driving

The test is the same for both manual and automatic cars

How long the test lasts?

You’ll drive for around 40 minutes.

You’ll drive for around 70 minutes if you’re taking a test because you’ve been banned from driving.

Eyesight check

You’ll have to read a number plate from a distance of:

  • 20 meters for vehicles with a new-style number plate
  • 5 meters for vehicles with an old-style number plate

New-style number plates start with 2 letters followed by 2 numbers, such as AB51 ABC.

You’ll fail your driving test if you fail the eyesight check. The test will end.

Show me, tell me’ questions

‘Show me, tell me’ questions

You’ll be asked 2 vehicle safety questions known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.

You’ll be asked the:

  • ‘tell me’ question at the start of your test, before you start driving
  • ‘show me’ question while you’re driving

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Your general driving ability

You’ll drive in various road and traffic conditions, but not on motorways.

The examiner will give you directions that you should follow. Driving test routes are not published, so you cannot check them before your test.

Independent driving

You’ll have to drive for about 20 minutes by following either:

  • directions from a sat nav
  • traffic signs

The examiner will tell you which you have to follow.

They’ll set the sat nav up for you. You cannot use your own sat nav.

Pulling over at the side of the road

You’ll be asked to pull over and pull away during your test, including:

  • normal stops at the side of the road
  • pulling out from behind a parked vehicle
  • a hill start

You might also be asked to carry out an emergency stop.

Reversing your vehicle

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

  • parallel park at the side of the road
  • park in a parking bay – either by driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do)
  • pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for around 2 car lengths, and re-join the traffic

Independent driving

You’ll have to drive for about 20 minutes by following either:

  • directions from a sat nav
  • traffic signs

The examiner will tell you which you have to follow.

They’ll set the sat nav up for you. You cannot use your own sat nav.

If you cannot see traffic signs

If you cannot see a traffic sign (for example, because it’s covered by trees), the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next one.

Going off the route

The examiner will not give you a fault for taking a wrong turning.

They’ll help you get back on the route if you do.

If you make mistakes during your test

You can carry on if you make a mistake. It might not affect your test result if it’s not serious.

The examiner will only stop your test if they think your driving is a danger to other road users.