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Practical Driving Test Guide

About the Practical Driving Test

To pass the practical driving test, you have to demonstrate to a driving examiner, that you are ready to drive unaccompanied over a variety of road and traffic conditions.

You will need to show that you can apply the knowledge you gained while preparing for the driving theory test in real life driving situations.  This includes your response to road signs and markings and obeying the rules of the road - you must drive within the law.  These are the same skills you will have to use everyday of your driving life.

You will need to use the hazard perception skills that you practiced in the driving theory test and combine this with planning to deal with any situation that arises during the practical driving test.  You must also show your awareness of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users and act accordingly - this is an essential skill on today’s busy roads.

Throughout the driving test you will have to concentrate and remain alert.  You will also need to show a level of courtesy and consideration to other road users.  Make the driving examiner feel that you deserve your driving licence.

Your driving test will last about 40 minutes and you can be accompanied by your driving instructor.

Practical Driving Test Leeds

Eyesight Check

At the start of your Practical Driving Test you will firstly be asked to read a number plate.

The distance requirement for the old-style number plate is 20.5 metres and 20 metres for the new-style number plates that were introduced on 1 September, 2001; easily identifiable because they start with two letters i.e. AB51 ABC.

If you cannot read a number plate at the required distance, your driving test will not continue.  Check this before the day of your driving test.

Practical Driving Test Leeds: Show Me / Tell Me - Vehicle Safety Questions

To prepare for the show me, tell me part of the practical driving test, click here to visit our dedicated page, where you will find videos that demonstrate the vehicle safety checks and all the possible questions and answers.

Practical Driving Test Leeds: A Wide Variety of Road and Traffic Conditions

The driving part of your test will be carried out over one of many preselected routes. Each of these routes is designed to include as wide a range of road and traffic conditions as possible.  The routes are approximately of equal difficulty.

During the drive you’ll be asked to pull in and stop at the kerb on a number of occasions and pull away again in various road and traffic conditions.

Independent Driving

During your practical driving test, you will be asked to drive independently for about twenty minutes.

During this part of the practical driving test, you will be required to drive without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner.  However, most candidates will be required to follow directions from a satellite navigation system (sat nav).

The driving examiner will always provide, install and configure the sat nav, so you won’t need to set the route and therefore don’t need to worry about using a different make or model of sat nav to what you will practice using with your driving instructor.

It doesn’t matter if you go the wrong way, unless you commit a driving fault and if you’re not sure where you should be going, need a reminder or confirmation, you can ask the driving examiner - driving safely is what counts.

One in 5 practical driving tests will not involve the use of a sat nav and instead the candidate will be required to follow traffic signs.

During your driving lessons Leeds with Paul Robinson Driving School, your driving instructor will explain and demonstrate safe use of satellite navigation systems including: how to program them before starting a journey so you’re not distracted while driving, how to monitor and respond appropriately to instructions provided by a sat nav, without being distracted from the driving task, the benefits of using satellite navigation systems, such as all the information they can provide coupled with the importance of always acting on the basis of what is in front of you, and not just relying on the information provided by the sat nav, their limitations and how to prepare for system failure.

Practical Driving Test Manoeuvres & Controlled Emergency Stop

You will also need to perform 1 out of the 3 recognised reversing manoeuvres.  These are:

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

You may also be asked to perform a controlled emergency stop.

The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres are no longer tested during the practical driving test, however you should still be taught them by your driving instructor.

Assessment & Marking of Driving Faults during the Practical Driving Test

To pass the practical driving test you do not have to drive perfectly, as nobody drives perfectly all the time.  However, you must reach a level that is adequate to justify you taking your place on the road.

Driving Test Report

The driving examiner will identify when you have made a mistake.  They will then assess that error, rate its importance and if necessary note it on the marking sheet.

If you make a small mistake that does not compromise safety, it may be graded as not worthy of noting.

Driving Fault

A mistake that does not directly compromise safety, but is an aspect of judgment or control could be rated as a driving fault.

Serious Driving Fault

Any mistake that has the potential to affect safety or contravenes the law would be graded as a serious driving fault.

A mistake that did cause actual danger to another road user would be graded as a dangerous driving fault.

If you make 15 or less driving faults and no serious or dangerous faults, then you will pass the practical driving test. However, if you make 16 or more driving faults or even 1 serious or dangerous fault, then you will fail.

At the end of your practical driving test, the driving examiner will tell you if you’ve passed and give you feedback.

Applying for your Practical Driving Test Leeds

Do not apply for your practical driving test until your driving instructor advises you to.  Many people fail the driving test because they present themselves for the driving test before they’re ready - this is reflected in the statistics shown below.

How many driving lessons should you have before you take your Practical Driving Test?

Research has shown that on average, a successful driving test candidate has taken at least 45 hours of professional tuition, along with 22 hours of private practice.  Of course, everyone learns at different rates and this can be accelerated through good quality driving tuition from a fully qualified driving instructor and regular, two-hour driving lessons.

Are you Ready for your Practical Driving Test?

If you’re not getting it right consistently without the help of your driving instructor then you’re not ready to take your practical driving test.

The current national average practical driving test pass rate is around 47%, so it makes sense to prepare thoroughly, and then you should have no problem passing.

For the period of April through to September 2017, the total number of practical driving tests conducted was 872,016.

The total number of practical driving tests passed was 409,424.

462,592 candidates failed.

The national average practical driving test pass rate based on these dates is 47%


The national driving test centre pass rate based on statistics for 2017

Horsforth Practical Driving Test Centre

Room 013 Woodside House

261 Low Lane, Horsforth


LS18 5NY

Telephone Number: 0113 2 584 987


Practical Driving Test Leeds Horsforth Pass Rate for April to September 2017

Practical Driving Test Leeds

Practical Driving Test Leeds Pass Rate for April to September 2017 at Horsforth Practical Driving Test Centre

Between April and September 2017, 5701 practical driving tests were conducted at Horsforth Practical Driving Test Centre.

2578 candidates passed (45.2%).

3123 candidates failed.


Harehills Practical Driving Test Centre

Hillcrest House

386 Harehills Lane


West Yorkshire


Telephone Number: 0113 2 409 607


Practical Driving Test Leeds Harehills Pass Rate for April to September 2017

Practical Driving Test Leeds

Practical Driving Test Leeds Pass Rate for April to September 2017 at Harehills Practical Driving Test Centre

Between April and September 2017, 3946 practical driving tests were conducted at Leeds (Harehills) Practical Driving Test Centre.

1387 candidates passed (35.1%).

2559 candidates failed.


Practical Driving Test Leeds - Pass your Practical Driving Test in Leeds or Horsforth with Paul Robinson Driving School Leeds.


Paul Robinson Driving School

Call: 0113 418 2303


To discuss your requirements, check driving instructor availability and book driving lessons in Leeds…

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