The practical test is your opportunity to show a DVA examiner that you have complete control of the vehicle and can maintain effective observation while adhering to the rules of the road, making safe decisions with regard to other road users. Most instructors would take their pupil out for at least an hour before the test to alleviate any last minute doubts or concerns the pupil may have.
You will arrive at the test centre approximately 10 minutes before the commencement of the test. It is normal to park the car in a parking bay, designated for L Tests, ready to safely drive out when starting your test. The examiner will call you by name and introduce himself. He will check your licence, theory pass certificate and car details. You will be asked if you wish to have your instructor travel with you on the test. This would be best deciding before you go into the test centre, though, you are quite at liberty to change your mind at the last minute.
Once outside the examiner will ask you to read a car number plate from a distance of 20.5m. If you require glasses or contact lenses for this test then you should wear them for driving. If, for some reason, you failed to complete this task successfully the test would not continue and your fee would be forfeit.
You will now approach the car and you will be asked 2 safety questions. These are called "Show Me, Tell Me Questions" and your instructor will have shown you these and tested your knowledge beforehand.
You will now be asked to enter the car and a brief explanation of the test will be given. During the drive you will be given clear instruction where you are requested to drive. For approximately 10 minutes of the test you will be required to follow specific directions or signs e.g. follow the signs for the motorway or follow the signs for a particular destination (a nearby town). You may be shown a simple map, this is not a test of your memory or ability to navigate. Should you go the wrong way you will not fail as a consequence, provided of course you perform all aspects in a safe manner and do not present a danger to yourself or others.
You will also be required to complete one manoeuvre. Within approximately 40 minutes you will be back at the test centre hopefully having successfully completed your test.