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Practical Driving Test in Derby

Thinking of booking or about to take your practical driving test at the Derby driving test centre?

The local driving test centre is located off Belmore way in Alvaston, Derby, Derbyshire, DE21 7AY. It is located off a complex ring road system with what could be considered challenging for even an experienced driver, let alone a learner driver. It’s crucial that when taking your driving test in Derby, that you understand this, and have gone over the tricky areas (there are several) as this is where many candidates will fail their practical driving test. Many driving schools in Derby fail to provide their learner drivers with the relevant local knowledge for taking a driving test and arrive at the driving test centre under prepared. That’s the main reason why the average 1st time pass rate in our local test centre is less than 50%.

If you find that you are still uncomfortable or are making numerous errors during your driving lessons, then it’s likely that this will also happen on your test and this is what produces the nerves and in most cases a test fail.

My advice would be to self assess yourself and be honest with your performance during lessons, listen to the advice of your driving instructor who has considerable experience in judging when you will be test ready. If all students took the advice of their driving instructor before attending the practical driving test, I estimate the driving test pass rate would probably soar to around 80% – 90%.

The day of your practical driving test will be one of the most exciting days of your life. It’s the day you will be assessed on all the hard work and preparation both you and your driving instructor have put in.

Yes, there will be some nerves but far too many learner drivers use this as an excuse for lack of preparation. During your driving lessons, you should be receiving regular feedback on your progress and you will know when you are ready for your practical driving test. When you can regularly drive during your driving lesson without making more than a couple of errors, there is no reason why you couldn’t replicate this on your practical driving test.



Your driving test costs £62 and will last around forty minutes. It will include a variety of different road and traffic conditions. No motorways will be included as it is currently illegal for a provisional licence holder to use one. The test will start with an eyesight check whereby you will be expected to read a number plate from a distance of 20.5 meters. You will then be asked  two questions before starting to drive, these are known as ‘show me, tell me’ questions questions.

*Please note – the driving test will not go ahead if you fail to produce your provisional licence upon meeting your supervising examiner of if the eyesight check is failed.

It is advisable that you also take your  theory pass certificate in case the examiner asks you to produce it. It is also your choice as to whether you would like an observer to sit in the back of the car during the test (often your driving instructor) but you can take a relative or friend. They can’t take any part whatsoever in the test. The benefits are being able to provide accurate feedback once the test has finished. Many driving schools shy away from this as their instructors take the easy option of sitting in the waiting room for forty minutes whilst still getting paid. You can’t take a foreign language interpreter with you. You have to take the test in English or Welsh.

When the examiner asks you if you’d like to bring your instructor along… say “YES”

What happens during the test?

There are 5 parts to the driving test:

  • an eyesight check
  • ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions
  • general driving ability
  • reversing your vehicle
  • independent driving

The test is the same for both manual and automatic cars.

General Driving Test Information

The examiner will give you directions that you should follow. Driving test routes aren’t published, so you can’t check them before your test. You’ll be asked to pull over and pull away during your test, including: normal stops at the side of the road, pulling out from behind a parked vehicle and a hill start. You might also be asked to carry out an emergency stop.

Your examiner will ask you to do one of the following exercises: reverse around a corner, turn in the road and a reverse park – either into a parking bay or parallel park at the side of the road. Bay parking is always carried out at the test centre.

You’ll also have to drive for about 10 minutes by following either: traffic signs and a series of verbal directions, or a combination of both. Your examiner may show you a simple diagram to help you understand where you’re going when following verbal directions. If you can’t see a traffic sign (eg because it’s covered by trees), the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next one. You can ask the examiner to confirm the directions if you forget them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember every direction. Your driving test result won’t be affected if you go off the route, unless you make a fault while doing it. The examiner will help you get back on the route if you take a wrong turning.

Don’t worry if you make a mistake as It might not affect your result if it’s not serious.The examiner will only stop your test if they think your driving is a danger to other road users.

Driving test faults

There are 3 types of faults you can make:

  • a dangerous fault – this involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property
  • a serious fault – something potentially dangerous
  • a driving fault – this isn’t potentially dangerous, but if you keep making the same fault, it could become a serious fault

Pass mark

You’ll pass your driving test if you make:

  • no more than 15 driving faults (sometimes called ‘minors’)
  • no serious or dangerous faults (sometimes called ‘majors’)

If you pass your test

The examiner will:

  • tell you what faults you made, if any
  • give you a pass certificate
  • ask you if you want your full licence to be sent to you automatically – give the examiner your provisional licence if you want to do this

You can start driving straight away when you’ve passed your test. You don’t need to wait for your full licence to arrive.

Pass your Practical driving test in Derby with Go2 Driving School

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