How the car driving test is marked

Explanation of DL 25 2020 version

List of topics being marked

DrivingSerious Dangerous Faults

Manoeuvres Show me tell me Controlled stop Use of controls Moving off Use of Mirrors
Junctions Signal Judgment Positioning Progress Response
Below is a copy of the sheet that an examiner will use should their iPad stop working. I will first explain how the examiners will start the test. Then I will explain how an examiner will mark the sheet.
  1. The Examiner meets you in the test centre. You are normally shown an iPad displaying your name and will be asked to tick 2 boxes. The first says you declare that the car you have provided is taxed and insured for the driving test. Secondly that you have been living in the UK for at least 185 days in the last year.
  2. The Examiner will ask you if the address is correct and if the email address, he shows you are correct. You will need to sign the iPad to confirm this information using the same signature that appears on your driving license.
  3. Now the Examiner will take you out of the test centre and ask you to read a number plate this is the Eyesight test.
  4. They will then take you to your car and ask you the tell me a question. Before they get into the car, they will make a quick visual check to see the car seems in order.
  5. They will now ask if you want them to explain what is going to happen on the test. Once they are ready the test will begin.
  6. They can start the independent drive at the test centre, ask you to do a reverse park exercise in the car park or drive out of the car park following their directions.
At the end of the test, the examiner will tell you whether you have passed or failed. Whatever happens, they will give a debrief of how it went.
If you have passed they will ask to keep your provisional license and send you your new license. In return, they will give you a blue form which will act as you driving license until you get your new card.

Picture of DL 25 2020 version

Below is a list of the different topics the examiner can use while marking your driving test. Please use the buttons on the top of the page if you want to go to a particular topic for more information.

You will only be asked to do one of the theses



DL 25 2020 Picture of ManoeuversDuring the driving test, the examiner will ask you to do one manoeuvre it could be one of these

  1. Reverse Right

The examiner will ask you to park on the right. You will be expected to park in a safe convenient place on the right. Then they will ask you to reverse back about 2 car lengths then move off when it is safe.

They will be looking to see you move over and park in a safe position. Then complete a full all-round observation before you move back and be looking back while moving. It does not matter if you pull back and stop over a driveway. When driving away you will need to make an all-round observation and then a blind spot check over your left-hand shoulder

2. Reverse Park into a Parking Bay

The Examiner will ask you to Reverse park into the parking bay at your Driving Test Centre. You could be asked to do a reverse bay park at the start of your test or the end. In the end, the examiner will tell you what he wants before you reach the test centre. The examiner will ask you to reverse into a parking bay but should not identify a particular bay they have been told to give you a choice.

The examiner will be expecting to see that you make a full 6 point check ( that is shoulder check, mirror check on the same side, look forward check your rearview mirror check the mirror on the other side of the car and lastly a shoulder check before moving) before you start to reverse and make at least one more all-round check before you finish your manoeuvre.

An examiner will allow you to shuffle the car if your position is not correct (however if after 3 or more shuffles the examiner might decide you do not know what you are doing)

3. Forward park into a Parking Bay

The examiner will take you into a public car park and ask you to drive forward into a safe parking bay. You will be able to drive to the left or right into a parking bay but not drive straight into a bay.

The examiner will be expecting you to make an effective all-round observation (six-point check) before you start the manoeuvre and once you have parked they will expect you to again make effective all-round observation before reversing out of the parking bay. Remember to check while you are reversing and before you move forward to go out of the parking bay.

Remember you will still be allowed to shuffle if you make a mistake

4. Parallel parking

The examiner will be expected to pull you up in a safe and convenient place as identify which car you will be expected to do your parallel park on.

The examiner will expect you to park alongside the designated car leaving about a door’s width from the car. Before moving to make sure you make an effective all-round check. When you come back to the point where need to turn to make sure you make another all-round check as this is a very dangerous part of the exercise. As you get close to the kerb make sure you do another effective all-round check especially behind you to make sure it is still safe to continue the manoeuvre

Remember you will still be allowed to shuffle if you make a mistake


DL25 Show me tell meShow me tell me questions

The examiner will ask you one tell me a question before you leave the test centre and one show me a question while you are driving on the test

Here is a useful link


Controlled StopControlled stop

The examiner will ask you to pull over and park on the left in a safe a convenient place. Then they will explain that they want you to do an emergency stop or a controlled stop. They will then go on and show you what the stop sign will be.

They will ask you to drive forward and stop when they give you the sign. Please note the examiner will make an all-round check to make sure that it is safe to stop you. You should not do an emergency stop until the examiner gives you the sign. Make sure you do your blind spot checks before you start the car and after you have stopped your car, put on the handbrake and put the car into neutral.

The examiner will then ask you to move off and he will tell you he will not give you the stop sign again


Use of ConControlstrols,

  1. Accelerator

The examiner will be watching how you use your accelerator not too much or too little for any given situation

2. Clutch

The examiner will be watching to see how well you use your clutch. That will include when you stop and not stall your car. Remember not to coast the car around corners the examiner will expect you to drive in gear around a corner and not freewheel around a corner

3.  Gears

Take care when using your gears make sure you are in the correct gear for the speed and situation you are in while you are driving. Also coasting in neutral or with the clutch pedal down for too long

4. Footbrake

The examiner does not want to be thrown forward on the seatbelts because you are frequently braking too hard.

5. Steering

The examiner will be watching you, to see you are not crossing your hands when turning into or out of a corner. Also, they will be watching to see that you are stopping safely. He will be watching to see that you turn in plenty of time for each situation you encounter while driving. You will be allowed to cross your hand when doing a reverse exercise

6. Precautions

This is when you start your car, the examiner does not want to feel the car jump forward or backwards when you start the car.

7. Auxiliary controls

The examiner will mark you if you do not know how to use any of your auxiliary controls that could include when he asks you to do a show me a question?


Use of MirrorsPicture of DL25 Use of Mirrors

  1. Mirrors before signalling

The examiner will be looking to check you use your mirrors before you signal.  Remember this is not just a corner but also before signalling to come off a normal roundabout.

2. Before changing direction

Here the examiner will be checking you check your mirrors before overtaking a stationary object in the road or overtaking another road user.

3. Before changing speed

Lastly, the examiner will be looking to make sure that you check your mirrors before increasing or decreasing your speed.


Moving OffDL25 2020 picture of Moving Off

There are two things the examiner is looking for when you move off.

  1. Safely

Making the necessary safety checks and signalling as necessary before you move off

2. Control

When you move off to make sure you don’t stall or rush the manoeuvre make sure you move off safely and under control


JunctionsDL 25 Junctionc

  1. Approach speed

Approaching a junction at a proper speed not to fast or slow, for whatever reason

2. Observation

Not taking effective observation before emerging

3. Turning Right

Late or incorrect positioning before turning right, including failing to move forward into the correct position to turn right at traffic lights.

4. Turning Left

Positioning to close or too far away from the kerb before turning left

5. Cutting corners

Cutting right-hand corners by going across the path of oncoming traffic.


SignalsDl 25 Signals

  1. Necessary

When signals are not given

  1. Correctly

Incorrect or misleading signals. Failure to cancel direction indicators

  1. Timed

Properly timed signals incorrectly timed to either mislead or too late to be of any value


JudgmentDL 25 Judgment

  1. Overtaking

Attempting to overtake unsafely or cutting in after overtaking

2. Meeting

Failure to show proper judgment when meeting approaching traffic

3.Crossing traffic

Turning right across of oncoming traffic


PositioningDL 25 Positioning

  1. Normal driving

Incorrect positioning during normal driving, including cutting across the normal road position when going ahead at a roundabout without lane markings

2.Lane discipline

Failure to maintain proper lane discipline at junctions, roundabouts with lane markings, one-way systems etc

3. Pedestrian crossing

Failure to give precedence to pedestrians on a pedestrian crossing, noncompliance with lights at a pedestrian controlled crossing

4. Position / normal stop

Normal stops not in a safe position

5. Awareness planning

Failure to judge what other road users are going to do and act accordingly

6. Clearance

Not allowing adequate clearance when passing parked vehicles and other obstructions

7. Following distance

Keeping a proper and safe distance from the vehicle in front, leaving a reasonable gap from the vehicle in front when stopping in lines of traffic

8. Use of speed

Driving to fast for road, traffic and weather conditions


ProgressDL 25 Progress

  1. Appropriate speed

Driving too slow for the road and traffic conditions

2. Undue hesitation

Being over-cautious by stopping or waiting when it is safe and normal to proceed


Response to signs / signalsDL 25 Response to Signs and Signals

Failure to comply with or late reaction to

  1. Traffic signs

Inappropriate response to traffic signs

2. Road markings

Double white lines, box junctions, lane direction arrows

3. Traffic lights

(not pedestrian controlled crossing that is working 24 hours a day) including failure to move off on green when correct and safe to do.

4. Traffic controllers

Signals are given by a police officer, traffic warden, school crossing warden or other persons directing traffic

5. Other road users

Failure to take appropriate action on signals given by other road users. The DVSA has produced a leaflet consisting of a tick box of subjects called the Drivers-Record that a student could grade themselves with.


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, demonstrating 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 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 and an accumulation of 16 or more driving faults – the written report only needs to cover the more 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.

If the test was not accompanied but the ADI or any other person attends for the end of test feedback the debrief box should be marked

Debrief – If any observer (other than another DSA examiner) who has accompanied the test remains present for the end of test feedback then the debrief box should be marked. (If the observer does not remain for the feedback, the box should be left unmarked).


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