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Practical driving test questions

On the practical test your driving licence will be checked, your eyesight tested and you will be asked two of the following questions about the car.

 

Show me / explain how you would check that 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 two 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.

Show me how you would check the parking brake for excessive wear, make sure you keep safe control of the vehicle.
Apply footbrake firmly. Demonstrate by applying parking brake (handbrake) so that when it is fully applied it secures itself, and is not at the end of the working travel.

Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only).
Check is carried out by using control (turn on ignition if necessary).

Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working.
Applying the indicators or hazard warning switch and check functioning of all indicators.
If a bulb is blown they will flash at twice the speed.

Tell me how you would check that the headlights & tail-lights are working.
Operate switch (turn on ignition if necessary), walk round vehicle.

Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil.
Identify dipstick / oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum/maximum markers.

Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level.
Identify high/low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.

Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.
Identify reservoir, check level against high/low markings.

Identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is, and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level.
Identify reservoir and explain how to check level.

Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car.
Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors, etc, or ask someone to help.

Tell me how you would 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.

Tell me where you would 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.

Tell me how you would 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 ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.

Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them.
Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Only use fog lights when visibility is seriously reduced, to 100m or less. You must not use fog lights in any other circumstances because they can dazzle and distract drivers.

Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.
The ABS warning light will illuminate.

Show me how you would switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car.
Switch on headlights (turn on ignition if necessary) and operate main beam switch. Point out main beam warning light (blue).

Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so that it provides best protection in the event of a crash.
Adjust the head restraint so that the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eyes or the top of the ears and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. N.B. Some restraints might not be adjustable.

Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers.
Operate the control (turn on the ignition if necessary).

Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens.
Set relevant controls including fan, temperature, air direction, heated screen.

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