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Part 2

Part 2 - The Practical Test of driving Ability


The Part 2 consists of an eyesight test and a test of your ability to drive to a very high standard to prove you have a thorough understanding of good safe driving techniques, and that you can also demonstrate them.

The test lasts for about an hour. You must pass the eyesight test and driving ability test at the same attempt.
The Eyesight Test
You must be able to read in good daylight, with the aid of glasses or contact lenses if worn, a motor vehicle registration mark containing letters and figures:
  • 79 mm in height and 50 mm wide at a distance of 26.5 metres
  • 79 mm in height and 57 mm wide at a distance of 27.5 metres
If you do not pass the eyesight test, you will not be allowed to take the driving technique element. The test will be marked as a fail and will count towards your three attempts.

The Test of Driving Technique
This test is far more difficult than the learner test. It is of an advanced nature and a very high standard of competence is required. You must show that you have a thorough knowledge of the principles of good driving and road safety and that you can apply them in practice.
At the start of the test you will be asked questions on basic vehicle safety, based on a Show me/Tell me format.
In particular, you must satisfy the examiner on all of the following subjects:
  • expert handling of the controls
  • use of correct road procedure
  • anticipation of the actions of other road users and the taking of appropriate action
  • sound judgement of distance, speed and timing
  • consideration for the convenience and safety of other road users
  • driving in an environmentally friendly manner
You will be asked to drive independently for approximately 10 minutes by following:
  • traffic signs to a destination, or
  • a series of verbal directions, or
  • a combination of both
You will be asked to carry out several exercises which will involve taking direct observation. You must not rely on mirrors during these exercises:
  • move away straight ahead or at an angle
  • overtake, meet or cross the path of other vehicles and take an appropriate course without undue hesitancy
  • turn left-hand and right-hand corners correctly without undue hesitancy
  • stop the vehicle as in an emergency
  • drive in reverse gear and whilst doing so enter a limited opening to the right and to the left with reasonable accuracy and effective all-round observation
  • reverse park the vehicle into the space behind a parked car, within the space of about two car lengths and close to and parallel with the kerb with reasonable accuracy and effective all-round observation
  • reverse park into a parking bay, with reasonable accuracy and effective all-round observation
  • turn the vehicle to face in the opposite direction by the use of forward and reverse gears with reasonable accuracy and effective all-round observation
The routes used for the test will cover varying road and traffic conditions and, where possible, include motorways or dual carriageways. The routes will cover both urban and rural conditions.


Assessment and marking

Any faults are recorded on the examiner's test report form DL25. If your action or reaction to a situation is incorrect it will be assessed and marked accordingly.
You are allowed a maximum of six driving faults throughout the test. Seven or more will result in a failure. One or more serious or dangerous faults will also result in a fail.


Your result

At the end of the test, the examiner will offer a debrief on all driving faults (The DSA encourages candidates to have their trainer on test or to listen to the end of the test debrief.) A copy of the test report with explanatory notes will be given and a letter confirming the result will follow.

The Number of Attempts

You are allowed a maximum of three attempts for this part. If you fail all three then you have to wait for two years from the date you passed your Part 1 test. Then you have to start from Part 1 again.

Once you have passed Part 2, it's on to Part 3 - The Test of Teaching Ability

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