"I had instructor Phil O'Keefe and couldn't have asked for any more. He was friendly, supportive and taught me everything I needed to know."

Frank Beavis, Dedham

The Practical Driving Test

You cannot apply for your practical driving test until you have passed your theory test. You will be asked to give your theory test certificate number when booking your practical test.

The driving test lasts approximately 40 minutes. The route usually involves a variety of town and country driving. It also includes dual carriageway roads so that you can demonstrate your skills of driving above 30 MPH. You will also be asked to demonstrate one of the four slow manoeuvres.

At the beginning of the test, when you meet the examiner, you will be expected to show him or her your signed provisional driving licence.

To start with you will be asked to read a vehicle number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres (67 feet).

You will then be asked one "show me, tell me" question before you start the test. Before the driving begins the examiner will ask you to get yourself comfortable in the car and will explain briefly what the test involves. After that he or she will ask you to start the engine and off you go!

1 in 5 tests will carry out a section of independent driving following road signs. 4 out of 5 tests will use a SAT NAV supplied by the examiner. The independent and Sat Nav sections last for approximately 20 minutes. During the test you will be asked to carry out one ‘show me’ exercise whilst driving for example "show me how you wash your front windscreen".

Driving tests are now marked on an electronic tablet. At the end of the test the examiner will tell you your result and this will also be e-mailed to you. You will fail if you make more than 15 minor driving faults, or any major faults.

If you have passed the test, the examiner will give you a pass certificate. If you have failed the test, the examiner will give you verbal feedback on your driving errors and these will also be e-mailed to you. Although you can rebook a new test straightaway you will have to wait ten clear working days before you can retake it.

The current price of a practical driving test is £62.00

The local test centres are Colchester and Clacton. The gov.uk website provides a list of the other test centres. You can book your driving test online or by calling 0300 200 1122.

Please note that when you pass your test in a manual car you can drive both manual and automatic cars. If you pass your test in an automatic car, you will be restricted to an automatic.

For the latest information on driving; provisional and full driving licences and where to take your test and booking your test online check out the Learning to Drive section of the gov.uk website.

:: If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us :: Telephone: 01206 728939 :: e-Mail: [email protected] ::