Preparing for Your Driving Test

You should:

* study carefully the Rules of the Road booklet;
* seek the assistance of a good driving instructor;
* practise driving as much as possible on all types of road and in all types of traffic situations, including driving at night;
* build up your driving experience and confidence before applying for your test.

Special Circumstances

You should notify the Driver Testing Section in advance if you:

* have a severe hearing problem;
* are restricted in your movements or have any disability which could affect your driving;
* drive an adapted vehicle.

This will eliminate delay on the day of your test.

If you cannot speak English or are deaf, you are permitted to have an interpreter with you. This person must not be your driving instructor, and may not accompany you on the practical

Day of the Test

You should be present in the test centre before the appointed time of your test. If you are late, the test cannot be conducted and the fee will be forfeited.

The driver tester will check your provisional licence to establish that it:

* relates to you;
* is current;
* is for the correct category of vehicle.

You will be asked to read and sign a statement confirming that:

* the vehicle insurance cover is in place and is adequate.
* your vehicle is in roadworthy condition - further information in relation to vehicle roadworthiness will be provided with your appointment letter.

The Test

The driving test is straightforward. For cars it will last about 40 minutes and will include:

* questions on the Rules of the Road (including identifying road signs); demonstrating hand signals;
* reversing round a corner;
* a turnabout in the road;
* a hill start;
* driving approximately five miles under a variety of road and traffic conditions.

Your driving will be assessed in the following situations:

* moving off;
* driving in traffic;
* stopping;
* reversing round a corner;
* turning about to face in the opposite direction;
* starting on a hill;
* parking.

Aspects of your driving assessed will include:

* road positioning;
* overtaking and passing;
* anticipation and observation;
* use of mirrors and signals;
* progress;
* speed;
* compliance with traffic lights, road signs and markings;
* use of the vehicle controls (accelerator, clutch, gears, brakes and steering).
* use of secondary controls such as wipers, demisters, etc.

Recent enhancements to the test mean that you should ensure that:

* you know how to operate the secondary controls, such as windscreen wipers and washers, demisters, rear window heater, lights and air-conditioning where fitted. You must also know how to adjust the seat, seat-belt and mirrors and ensure the doors are closed;

Useful information to help you:

* the driver tester will realise that you may be nervous and will try to put you at ease;
* unlike your instructor, the driver tester will not offer you encouragement or advice. You should not be put off by this formal approach which is designed to ensure fairness to all applicants;
* while you will be given clear directions throughout the test, should you not understand a particular direction, ask the tester to repeat or clarify it;
* if you make a mistake, do not worry unduly. It may not be as serious as it appears and may not mean you have failed;
* a supervisory tester may accompany the tester - this is quite normal.

Common Faults Contributing to Test Failure

The following are the most common faults which give rise to candidates failing the driving test:

* inadequate observation moving off, at junctions, at roundabouts and when changing lanes;
* failure to anticipate the actions of other drivers;
* incorrect road position on the straight, on bends, turning left, turning right, at roundabouts, and when overtaking.
* inadequate progress at junctions, roundabouts, on the straight, and when overtaking;
* incorrect or inadequate use of mirrors and signals;
* non-compliance with traffic controls, e.g. road signs and markings and traffic lights;
* incorrect inadequate or inappropriate use of vehicle controls, including gears, clutch; accelerator, steering, handbrake, footbrake, and secondary controls;
* excessive speed for the road or traffic conditions;
* failure to yield the right of way to others;
* lack of competence in the reverse and turnabout manoeuvres.

Your Test Result

If you pass:

You will receive a certificate of competency to drive. This enables you to apply to your local Motor Taxation Office for a full driving licence. The certificate is valid for two years. You should take out a full licence within that period or you will be obliged to pass the driving test again in order to obtain a full licence.

Remember, passing the driving test is not the end of the learning process; so continue to drive carefully and build up your experience in different traffic, weather, lighting and road conditions.

If you fail:

You will receive a detailed report on the faults which occurred during the test. Pay particular attention to these when preparing for your next test without, of course, neglecting other aspects of your driving.

A person aggrieved by a decision of a driving test may appeal to the appropriate District Court under Section 33 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961. The District Court may either refuse the appeal or if satisfied that the test was not properly conducted, direct that the applicant be given a further test without payment of another fee.



Download the Rules Of The Road