How to book your practical driving test

How to book your practical driving test
If you are currently learning to drive, then you might be looking to get your full UK driving licence soon. This guide looks at what you’ll need to book your practical test.

Learner drivers will need to pass both a practical and theory test to legally be allowed to drive in the UK. 

During lessons, an instructor will give information on what’s included in the practical part of the test, and teach you the correct manoeuvres you’ll need to be a safe driver.

What is a practical driving test?

A practical driving test is carried out by an official Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) employee, where they take the learner driver out on the roads and test their ability to stick the rules of the road – and carry out specific manoeuvres.

The test takes between 40 and 70 minutes, and will see if the learner is able to drive, park, and navigate various situations on the road in a safe and legal manner.

Drivers must check speed limits and what road signs tell them – as well as following the instructions from the examiner.

Using signals, braking correctly, and checking mirrors and blind spots will also be assessed.

An examiner will ask the learner to carry out several of these manoeuvres:

  • Parallel parking
  • Three-point turn
  • Reverse parking
  • Bay parking
  • Emergency stop
  • Turning at a junction or roundabout
  • Lane changing
  • Hill start

These are all essential for drivers of all ages and abilities to carry out in a safe and legal way.

The test will take place in a local town with various road layouts and active traffic with different road users.

Book your practical driving test

If you are a learner who wants to book your driving test, then you will need to visit the official Government website.

Before you do this, you’ll need to apply for a provisional driving licence, and have this number ready to hand when going through the booking process.

You’ll also need your debit or credit card details as well as your driving instructors official reference number and details.

How much is a practical driving test?

A practical driving test for people driving a car will cost £62 on a weekday and £75 on a weekend, evening, or bank holiday.

Evening tests are classed as those take place from 4.30pm onwards.

A driving test can be booked up to 24 weeks in advance and you'll be able to choose from a number of specific appointments. 

How long is a practical driving test?

In the UK, the practical driving test last between 40 and 70 minutes. This can vary depending on where you are driving, levels of traffic and what manoeuvres you are asked to do by the examiner.

Learners who take the test will need to drive on public roads and do as instructed. Do not rush your decisions when behind the wheel, but react accordingly to what is in front of you.

Some tests can last longer, but your examiner will inform you ahead of time.

After passing, some drivers may feel like they need to gain a ‘Pass Plus’. This will add another six hours to the total test time you will have behind the wheel.

How to change your practical driving test date?

According to the DVSA, you must inform the examiners three working days before the test date if you wish to change your date.

If you do not, then you will need to rebook and pay the full price again.

Visit the Government website to rebook.

Monday to Saturday count as ‘working days’ and you can change your appointment up to six times. If you need to make more changes after that, you have to cancel your test and rebook it.

Can I get a refund if I cancel my practical driving test?

Yes, you can get a refund if you cancel or move your practical driving test.

Drivers can get a refund for illness or injury, bereavement, taking school exams, or had your licence stolen.

You will need to email the DVSA with the subject title ‘Unavoidable short notice cancellation’, and attach proof of the reason you’ve had to change your test date.

In the email, you will also need to provide your driving licence number, theory test certificate number and the driving test reference details.

How to pass a practical driving test

After passing your theory test, you will then need to book and pass your practical exam before you can legally drive in the UK.

These tips can help you pass your practical driving test first time.

Remember, you’ll need to pass your theory as well as your practical driving test to get a licence in the UK.

To prepare for the theory test, an app like Driving Theory Test UK is a great place to start, with all necessary learning materials, hazard perception clips and Highway Code info included. You can download it here:

MyRAC-google-play-store MyRAC-app-store

If you have any questions about the practical driving test, leave them in the comments below.

RAC Breakdown Cover from £7 a month*

RAC Breakdown Cover from £7 a month*

*£7 a month for new, single vehicle Basic cover. Comparison based on closest equivalent cover as at 12/04/24.

RAC Breakdown Cover from £7 a month*