FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

At MPH Driving Academy we know there are lots of questions that need answering about the test itself, both theory and practical, the reasons why people fail as well as top tips to make sure this doesn’t happen to you. We’ve put all of these together within our FAQs page and we hope that this helps to answer them plus some you’d not thought of previously.

Driving Test Information

In order to gain your full driving licence you will have to complete the Driving Test. This is a two step process, with both a practical and theoretical element.

Both parts of your provisional licence (the photo card, and paper document) will need to be presented to take the Theory and Practical tests.

> Stage 1 - The Theory Test <

The Theory test is computer based and is set into two parts:

  1. Multiple choice questions
  2. Hazard perception

Both tests must be passed at the same sitting in order to obtain a pass.

The first part of the test consists of 50 multiple choice questions taken from a question bank of about 1000. You are given about an hour to complete the test and the pass mark is 43 out of 50.

The second part is the hazard perception and this test follows the first test after a 3 minute interval.

This test involves candidates responding to 15 moving hazards presented during 14 one-minute video clips (one clip contains 2 moving hazards).

Candidates are required to score at least 44 points out of 75 possible in order to pass.

> Stage 2 - The Practical Test <

The practical driving test lasts for about 40 minutes and takes place on pre-selected routes designed for testing various different aspects of your driving skills.

The test starts with the examiner checking your eyesight (reading a registration plate from a distance of 20 metres with glasses if worn), and is followed by two vehicle safety questions.  You’ll be asked one ‘Show Me’ and one ‘Tell Me’ question where you’ll have to show / explain to the examiner how you’d carry out specific vehicle checks.

For help with these questions you might find it helpful to look at the DVSA’s youtube videos.

There are three:

  1. under the bonnet
  2. outside the car
  3. inside the car

After that it will be on with the drive.  During the test the examiner will give you directions, you’ll drive in various road and traffic conditions, and should drive in the way your instructor has trained you.

The test will include:

  • 1 manoeuvre that involves reverse gear (reversing round a corner, turning in the road, reverse park – either into a bay or at the side of the road)
  • an element of independent driving – designed to assess your ability to drive safely while making decisions independently and possibly an emergency stop.

When you return to the driving test centre at the end of your test, the examiner will then give you the result.  You’ll be told whether or not you have passed, and be given an explanation as to how you did on your drive.

To book either test be sure to go to the official government booking sytem which can be found by clicking on this link:  Book your theory or practical driving test.

There are many other sites that will offer to book your test for you but they will often charge you a fee for doing this and there really is no benefit to you.  If you’re unsure please ask, but you should only be paying £31 for a theory driving test and £62 for a practical driving test.  If you’re being charged more, you may well be on the wrong site.

Once you’ve passed your test you might like to consider Pass Plus. A training course specifically aimed at new drivers. Pass Plus will build upon your existing skills and knowledge, it will teach you how to anticipate, plan for and deal with all kinds of hazards, and can help you to become more confident on the roads.

Pass Plus is made up of six practical modules which include:

  • Driving in town
  • Driving in all weathers
  • Driving on rural roads
  • Driving at night
  • Driving on dual carriageways
  • Driving on motorways

Why People Fail

With a pass rate of approximately 43%, lots of people unfortunately fail their driving test.  A lot of the time this is down to insufficient preparation, but also sometimes down to some quite straight forward and perhaps easily avoidable mistakes on the day.

Here are some of the main reasons why people fail their practical driving test – pay attention to these and improve your chances of success!!

> Reasons People Fail <
  • Use of Mirrors – Not checking the mirrors enough, and / or not acting upon the information gained from the mirror check.
  • Moving Away Safely – Ineffective observation during the move off routine.
  • Observation at Junction – Ineffective observation, and / or poor judgement of the available information.
  • Incorrect Use of Signals – Not cancelling correctly or giving signals at incorrect times that are likely to mislead others.
  • Lack of Steering Control – Either steering too early and clipping kerbs or too late and being on the wrong side of the road.
  • Incorrect Positioning on the Road – In particular positioning on roundabouts or bends.
  • Inappropriate Speed – Travelling too slowly or being hesitant leading to frustrations from other road users.
  • Incorrect Positioning to Turn Right – In particular at junctions and in one way streets.
  • Reversing Around a Corner – Ineffective observation or a lack of accuracy.
  • Reverse Parking – Ineffective observation or a lack of accuracy.

Show Me – Tell Me

During your practical driving test you’ll be asked two questions about vehicle safety, often referred to as ‘Show Me, Tell Me’ questions.  These questions are designed to ensure that new drivers have a basic understanding of the car and its controls and also some of the basic maintenance checks you can carry out yourself.

As from the 4th December 2017 the questions, and the way that these questions are asked will be updated.

At the start of your test you will be asked a ‘Tell me’ question, and whilst on the move during your drive you will be asked the ‘Show me’ question.  All these questions, and where relevant, the answers too, can be found below.  Failure to answer these questions correctly can lead to a minor fault on your test report – so well worth the revision to avoid an unnecessary driver fault.

> Vehicle Safety Questions <

‘Tell me’ questions

  1. Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey. Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.
  1. Tell me where you’d find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked. Manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.
  1. Tell me how you 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 of the head restraint 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. Note: Some restraints might not be adjustable.
  1. Tell me how you’d check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road. No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre, and around the entire outer circumference of the tyre.
  1. Tell me how you’d check that the headlights and tail lights are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle. Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).
  1. Tell me how you’d know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system. Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.
  1. Tell me how you’d check the direction indicators are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle. Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), and then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).
  1. Tell me how you’d check the brake lights are working on this car. Explain you’d operate the brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows or doors, or ask someone to help.
  1. Tell me how you’d check the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey. If the steering becomes heavy, the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey, 2 simple checks can be made. Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.
  1. Tell me how you’d switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you’d use it/them. You don’t need to exit the vehicle. Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.
  1. Tell me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you’d know the main beam is on. Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.
  1. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient oil. Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum and maximum markers.
  1. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient engine coolant. Identify high and low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.
  1. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid. Identify reservoir, check level against high and low markings.

‘Show me’ questions

  1. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the rear windscreen?
  2. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen?
  3. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights?
  4. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d set the rear demister?
  5. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate the horn?
  6. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d demist the front windscreen?
  7. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d open and close the side window?

Top Tips

All driving instructors and driving schools will be slightly different.  How do you make the most of your driving lessons and know you’ll have the best chance of passing your practical driving test?

Here are our top tips to help you progress and ensure you are ready to pass your test 1st time:

> Top-Tips from MPH Driving Academy <
  1. Be Consistent – try to take a weekly driving lesson and make it every week.  Those that are consistent learn and progress much quicker than those that are not.
  2. Be Prepared – it’s your lesson, be ready for it and make the most of it.  Pay attention, ask questions and help your learning move along quicker.  Think about what you did in your last driving lesson – what worked and perhaps what didn’t and think about what you’ll try to do better next time.
  3. Recap – all instructors should go through a re-cap with you at the start of the lesson.  This will go over previous lessons to ensure you have retained past information and learnt.  Does this happen on your lesson?  Use this re-cap to ask any questions that may have arisen from your previous driving lesson, in order to help you progress on the next.
  4. Lesson Objective – your instructor should then set an objective for the current lesson.  This is so important as with a clear objective you will have something to aim towards and a target for that lesson’s learning.
  5. Structure – all lessons should be structured to help encourage and develop learning and to meet the objective.
  6. Summary – your lesson should finish with a summary.  This will go through what has been done and what areas were good and perhaps what areas still need work.  What you discuss at the end is often what you take away and remember.  Make it important.  Don’t go away from the lessons with questions still needing to be answered.  If you didn’t understand anything, however small, ask for clarity so you can leave on a positive note.
  7. Self Evaluate – most people fail their driving tests because they are still inconsistent with their driving and simply not ready!  Be honest with yourself.  If you are making mistakes in lessons, it’s likely you’ll make mistakes on your test.
  8. Listen to your Instructor – most instructors are highly trained and experienced in assessing your ability and will know when you are ready, it’s worth listening to them!!  No driving instructor should try and keep you longer than is necessary, but most will know better than you if and when you are ready.

Are you making the most of your driving lessons and giving yourself the best opportunity to pass your practical driving test?

If not, then a change might be necessary.  Is it you that needs to change?  Be honest with yourself, are you making the most of your driving lessons?

Do you need to change your driving instructor / driving school?  It’s a big decision, but it’s your decision and if you want to pass 1st time you need to ensure you’re getting the best possible tuition and the best possible driving lessons.

Terms and Conditions

All driving schools, and / or driving instructors should have terms and conditions of business. These terms and conditions are for the benefit of both the instructor / school but also you the pupil.

They set out the agreement between the two parties on the commencement of driving lessons and outline such things as to what to do if needing to cancel a driving lesson.  You will be required to read these terms and to agree to them before starting your driving lessons.

> Trainer / Instructor <
  • The Instructor will provide his/her services for the sole purpose of giving the client driving (including theory) tuition at the rate agreed. The time and place of pick up for each session will be agreed in advance.
  • Instructors are self employed working under an agreement to use the name MPH Driving Academy – any contract of employment is between the pupil and the instructor.
  • The instructor will display their licence whilst giving instruction, and make any other relevant documents available upon request.
  • The instructor shall provide a vehicle for lessons that is fully insured, taxed and tested, in full working order and clean and tidy.
  • The Instructor is bound by a professional code of conduct and will be courteous, polite, tidy and punctual at all times.
  • The instructor must give the required notice of cancellation of lessons.
> Client / Pupil <
  • The client agrees that he/she is duly licensed to drive the tuition vehicle and must produce his/her driving licence for examination by the Instructor when requested, and / or allow for checks to be made online since the ceasing of paper (counterpart) licences.
  • The client must be medically fit to drive and not under the influence of drink or drugs.
  • The client must be able to read a number plate at the current required distance, with glasses if normally worn.
  • The client will pay the lesson fees in advance or at the start of the driving lesson.
  • If upon arrival for an appointment the Instructor deems that the client is unfit to undertake that lesson through misuse of drink or drugs, then the Instructor has the right to cancel the appointment and the Pupil will be liable for payment of the fee.
  • The client must give the required notice of cancellation of lessons.
> Guarantor <
  • If the client is under the age of 18, the agreement must be signed by a Parent / Guardian who will be responsible for all obligations under these terms and conditions.
> Price and Payment <
  • The price for driving lessons will be agreed in advance.
  • All lessons will be paid for in advance or at the start of the lesson.
  • Any discounts for advance payment will be amended to full price if the pupil cancels their training before completing the full amount of pre paid lessons.
  • Any increase in the price of lessons will be by notification at least ten working days in advance.  Any prepaid lessons will not increase in price until the full amount of the prepayment has been used.
> Training Cancellation <
  • Either party may cancel the training session, provided they give 24 hours notice. No charge will be made for this cancellation.
  • If the client cancels without the due notice they will be liable for the lesson fee in respect of such lessons.
  • If the Instructor cancels without the due notice they will be liable for the lesson fee in respect of such lessons.
  • If agreement can be reached between the two parties, the lesson may be rearranged at no charge.
  • The Instructor will not be liable for the cost of the lesson if the cancellation is due to mechanical breakdown.
  • The Instructor may at their discretion cancel the lesson if in their opinion the weather conditions are unsafe.
> The Driving Test <
  • Driving tests should only be booked with the agreement of both pupil and Instructor.
  • The Instructor will endeavour to provide the vehicle for the driving test, but not be liable in the event of breakdown.
  • The Instructor has the right to withhold the use of the vehicle if in the opinion of the Instructor the pupil is not at the required standard for the test.
  • The Instructor will not be held liable for any driving test cancelled by the DVLA.
We’ll work with you to help you achieve your goals.