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How the car driving test is marked

Car Driving Test – how it is marked

Information from the Government website as to how the driving test is marked


1 (a) Eyesight: –

At the start of the test, the examiner asked you to read a vehicle registration number.

If you do not meet the eyesight standard then your test will not go ahead.

If you need glasses or contact lenses to make sure you can read the number you must wear them whenever you drive or ride.


1(b) Highway Code / Safety – (Highway Code for Categories F/G/H only. Safety – PCVs of the eyesight test safety questions only).

Highway Code: If you took a test for a tractor or specialist vehicle and not a car driving test. At the end of the test you would have been asked questions on the Highway Code and to identify some road signs.

If you took an LGV or PCV test you were asked some safety questions. We asked you about some of the following. location and operation of the safety components of your vehicle like fire extinguishers, fuel cut-off switch and emergency exits.


3, Reverse/left reverse with a trailer: – cars are no longer asked to reverse to the left on a Car driving test

Left ReverseControl: incorrect use of controls and/or inaccuracy during the car driving test.

Observation: lack of effective all-round observation.

4, Reverse to the Right Reverse park on right

Control: incorrect use of controls and/or inaccuracy during the car driving test.

Observation: lack of effective all-round observation.

5, Reverse ParkReverse Park (road/car park): –

Control: incorrect use of controls and/or inaccuracy during the car driving test.

Observation: lack of effective all-round observation.

Reverse Bay Park

Parallel Parking 

6, Turn in the Road

( This section of the car driving test is no longer used)Turn in the Road

Control: incorrect use of controls and/or inaccuracy during the car driving test.

Observation: lack of effective all round observation

You needed to show the examiner during the car driving test that you can safely turn the vehicle around to face in the opposite direction. How you did this was left to you, but you must not have used driveways or mounted the pavement.

7. Vehicle checksVehicle checks

It is important that the vehicle is in good working order and you can operate vehicle controls for the car driving test. The examiner asked you some ‘show me / tell me’ type safety questions.

You needed to show a basic knowledge of the checks you should make on a regular basis. Depending on the test you took, you may have needed to safely demonstrate you can operate your vehicle’s secondary controls whilst on the move.

8. Forward park / Taxi manoeuvre

Control: incorrect use of controls and/or inaccuracy.

Observation: lack of effective all-round observation.Drive forward Bay Park Taxi Manouver

You needed to show the examiner during the car driving test that you can safely turn the vehicle around to face in the opposite direction. How you did this was left to you, but you must not have used driveways or mounted the pavement.

You were tested on your ability to select a safe place to carry out the manoeuvre whilst taking effective observation and acting correctly on what you saw.

9. Taxi wheelchair

You needed to show your ability to use wheelchair ramps competently. You needed to put the imaginary wheelchair user and his or her wheelchair into your vehicle. Then ensure the wheelchair and its user was securely installed ready for a journey. You were then asked to reverse this whole process.

Taxi maneuver - coupling and uncoupling

10. Uncoupling and recoupling (vehicle and trailer combinations)

You needed to show that you can uncouple and re-couple your trailer. Using the correct procedure for your vehicle and trailer types.

You were asked to uncouple the combination then drive forward and reverse alongside the trailer. To re-couple, you should have aligned and reconnected the towing vehicle and trailer. This should have been done accurately.

You should then have checked they were secured and safe to go out on the road.

11. PrecautionsPrecautions before moving

These checks are simple but important during the car driving test Before you started the engine, you needed to make sure that your seat was adjusted correctly to allow you to reach all your driving controls with ease.

This is because an incorrect seat position can affect your ability to make observations and keep proper control of the vehicle.

12. ControlUse of Controls DL25

Throughout the test, you needed to show you can use all the controls smoothly and at the correct time. This means less wear and tear on your vehicle and a smoother ride for your passengers.

13. Move offMoving off

You needed to show that you can move away on the level, on a slope and at an angle safely, under full control, taking an effective observation. Move off only when it is safe to do so.

14. Use of mirrors – rear observationUse of Mirrors and rear Observations

You should have used the mirrors safely and effectively acting correctly upon what you saw. Where mirrors are not enough, for example, to cover ‘blind spots’, then you must make an effective rear observation. You must always check this carefully before signalling, changing direction or changing speed.

During the car driving test you will need to demonstrate you can use the Mirror – Signal – Manoeuvre (MSM) routine effectively.

15. Signals

You should only use the signals shown in the Highway Code. On the test,` you should have signalled clearly to let others know what you intend to do. This is particularly important if it would help other road users or pedestrians.

You should have always signalled in good time and ensured that the signal had been switched off after the manoeuvre had been completed. You should not beckon to pedestrians to cross the road.

16. ClearanceClearance of Objects

You should have given parked vehicles and other obstructions enough space to pass safely. During the car driving test, You needed to watch out for changing situations such as pedestrians walking out from between parked cars, doors opening and vehicles trying to move off.

You should have been prepared to slow down or stop if needed.

17. Response to signs and signalsResponce to signs and signals

You needed to show that you can react correctly to all traffic signs, road markings, traffic lights and pedestrian crossings.

You should have obeyed signals given by police officers, traffic wardens, Highways Agency officers and school crossing patrols.

The Examiner will want to see you watch out for signals given by other road users and carry on only when you are happy it is safe.

18. Use of speedUse of Speed

You should have made safe and reasonable progress along the road.

during the driving test, you needed to keep in mind the road, traffic and weather conditions, road signs and speed limits. You needed to show confidence based on sound judgement.

Remember, during the car driving test at all times you should have been able to stop within the distance you can see to be clear.

19. Following distanceFollowing distance

You should have always kept a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front. The Examiner needs to see you are able to stop safely, well within the distance you can see to be clear.

You should leave extra distance in wet or slippery conditions.

Leave enough space when you are stopped in traffic queues.

20. Maintain progressAppropriate Distance hesitation

On the test, you needed to show that you can drive at a realistic speed appropriate to the road and traffic conditions.

You needed to approach all hazards at a safe, controlled speed, without being over cautious or slowing or stopping other road users. You should always be ready to move away from junctions as soon as it is safe and correct to do so.

Driving too slowly can frustrate other drivers which creates danger for yourself and others.

21. Junctions including roundaboutsJunctions

The examiner would have looked for correct use of the Mirror – Signal – Manoeuvre (MSM) procedure.

The examiner was also looking for correct positioning and approach speed at junctions and roundabouts. This is because these skills are essential for dealing with these hazards safely. Turning right across busy roads/dual carriageways is particularly dangerous.

To drive safely and during the car driving test, you must be confident that you can judge the speed and distance of oncoming traffic safely. You also need to look out for other road users emerging and turning at junctions and be ready to alter your course or stop.

Be extra watchful in poor light or bad weather conditions for the more vulnerable road user, such as cyclists and motorcyclists.

Side Road

T Junctions



22. JudgementJudgment

Your examiner will have assessed your judgment skills throughout the test.

You will have needed to show sound judgment when overtaking, meeting or crossing the path of other road users. You should have only done this when it was safe and legal.

The examiner wants to see you have made your intentions clear and been sure that you understood the intentions of other road users.


23. PositioningPosition

You should have positioned your car in a safe position; normally this would be keeping well to the left of the road.

You needed to keep clear of parked vehicles and be positioned correctly for the direction that you intend to take. You needed to look for and be guided by road signs and markings.

Other road users may judge your intentions by where you are positioned to be aware of where you are at all times.

24. Pedestrian crossings

You should have been able to identify the different types of pedestrian crossing and take the correct action.

When driving you will need to monitor your speed and time your approach to crossings so that you can stop safely if you need to do so.

You should have paid particular attention where crossings were partly hidden by queuing or parked vehicles. You should also show consideration for elderly or infirm pedestrians who are trying to cross the road.

25. Position and normal stops

Position Normal stops

The Examiner needs to be shown you have chosen a safe, legal and convenient place to stop, close to the edge of the road, where you will not block the road and create a hazard.

You should know how and where to stop without causing inconvenience or danger to other road users. During the car driving test

26. Awareness and planning

You must be aware of other road users at all times. Your examiner is looking to see that you plan ahead to judge what other road users are going to do. This will allow you to predict how their actions will affect you and react in good time.

You needed to anticipate road and traffic conditions and act in good time. Rather than reacting to them at the last moment.

The examiner needs to see you should have taken particular care. To consider the actions of the more vulnerable groups of road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, other motorcyclists and horse riders.

27. Ancillary controlsPlanning and awareness Auxiliary Controls Eco Driving

You needed to show that you can operate all of your vehicle’s controls safely and effectively.

The examiner was looking to see that whilst on the move you kept proper control of your vehicle whilst using secondary controls. DL25 These include demisters, heating controls, indicators and windscreen wipers.

Eco-safe Driving

You should drive in an ‘eco-friendly manner’, considering your impact on the environment.

Plan well ahead and choose appropriate gears, avoid heavy braking and over-revving of the engine, particularly when stopped or moving off.

If you have to stop for a long period such as at roadworks or railway crossings, consider stopping the engine to reduce pollution and save fuel.

The examiner will assess this on your test; however, this assessment will not affect the overall result of the test. If there are areas that need improvement you will receive appropriate feedback at the end of the test.

29. Health declaration

Health DeclarationYou must sign the dl25 to declare any change to your health status since you last applied for a licence.

It is a criminal offence for you (or anyone else) to make a false statement in order for you to obtain a driving licence and can lead to prosecution.


30. Residencecar driving test is Explained

You will be asked to sign the form dl25 to confirm your residency. Meaning the place where you normally live and have personal or occupational ties.

However, if you have moved to the UK from another European Country or European Economic Area (EC/EEA), you should not take a driving test or obtain a first full licence unless you have lived here for 185 days in the last 12 months and are still living here at the time of your licence application. You may be asked to provide evidence of this.



should be marked

DEFINITION OF FAULTS on a driving test

How driving faults are defined on the driving test:

A driving fault is one, which in itself is not potentially dangerous. However, a candidate who habitually commits a driving fault in one aspect of driving throughout the test. Demonstrates an inability to deal with certain situations. Cannot be regarded as competent to pass the test, as that fault alone must be seen as potentially dangerous.

 A serious fault is one, which is potentially dangerous.

A dangerous fault is one involving actual danger to the examiner, candidate, the general public or property. (Note: If the fault has been assessed as dangerous then this should be marked. As a Fail regardless of any action taken by the examiner.

Faults should be marked with an oblique stroke in the appropriate box.

Note: How you fail the driving test. This is a result of either one serious fault or one dangerous fault. Or an accumulation of 16 or more driving faults – the report only needs to cover the serious or dangerous fault. Fails as a result of an accumulation of 16 or more driving faults only need to be written up in full.

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