Driving test FAQs

What position would you take up for a right turn on a one way street?

The extreme right hand lane unless traffic conditions dictate otherwise.

What is the legal parking distance from the kerb?

Not more than 45cm from the kerb (18 inches approx.)

What is the sequence of traffic lights?

Green, Amber, Red, Green.

What rule must you remember when you are being overtaken?

Do not increase speed and if necessary slow down.

What is meant by dead ground?

This is where the road dips and a car can be hidden.

What is a bus lane?

It is for exclusive use of buses, taxis and cyclists within the specified times.

What is the meaning of a single continuous white line in the centre of the road?

It divides the road and should not be crossed except in exceptional circumstances (e. g. road traffic

What should you not do after overtaking?

Do not cut in, slow down or stop.

What do two continuous white lines in the centre of the road mean?

Restricted vision on both sides: keep left, no overtaking, no parking, no U-turns.

Name the three main causes of skidding?

Sudden or harsh
(a) Acceleration.
(b) Braking.
(c) Cornering.

Typical Checks:

The applicant will be asked how a check would be performed on usually 3 of the following – A) Tyres, B) Lights, C) Reflectors, D) Indicators, E) Engine Oil, F) Coolant, G)Windscreen Washer Fluid, H) Steering, I) Brakes and J) Horn.

Access to some of the items above will require the applicant to open the bonnet and also close it securely.

 A)     TYRES:

Visual Inspection – Tyre Thread Depth 1.6mm legal limit. Check tyre for wear on inside and outside, check side of tyre for cuts or bulges – if you find any of these defects your tyre is unsafe.

Changing a Tyre:

Stop car in a safe place eg. lay-by or straight stretch of road.

1)      Turn on warning light and place warning triangle (if supplied with car) at a safe distance behind car.

2)      Take out tools supplied – wheel brace, jack, spare wheel, which you will find in boot or under rear of car.

3)      Take wheel brace and place on wheel nut/bolt  – turn wheel brace in an anti-clockwise direction – loosen all wheel nuts this way.

4)      Place jack under jacking point (groove near wheel) of car – turn jack handle clockwise to raise up car. Ensure good clearance between wheel and road.

5)      When wheel is off road enough – remove wheel nuts/ bolts

6)      Remove wheel

7)      Place spare wheel on car, screw on wheel nuts/bolts in a clockwise direction until hand tight

8)      Tighten wheel nuts/bolts with wheel brace

9)      Lower car down to road again by turning jack handle in an anti-clockwise direction

10)  When car is down on the road – tighten wheel nuts again.

NOTE: A ‘space saver’ or restricted spare wheel has a speed rating of 80km/hr and should be replaced as soon as possible.

B)     LIGHTS:

Check lights with the help of another person

Turn On:

1) Parking Lights

2) Dipped Head Lights

3) Full Beam

4) Rear Fog Light(s)

5) Brake Lights

6) Reverse Light(s)

Replacing Front Parking / Head Light Bulbs:

1)    Open Bonnet (bonnet catch under dash on left or right hand side)

Once bonnet pops up, lift bonnet with your left hand and release safety catchunderneath by lifting/pushing it with right hand index finger

2)      Once bonnet is open, take the cover off back of head lamp, locate bulb to be replaced

3)      Pull electrical connection off back of bulb, release spring holding bulb in place and take bulb out.

4)      Replace bulb

Replacing Rear Bulbs:

1)   Open boot.

2)   Take off cover from back of lamp.

3)   Unclip bulb’s housing.

4)   Replace bulb.

Note: Always replace bulbs when they are turned off


Most reflectors are built into rear lamps so if reflectors are broken replace the lamp

Checking Reflectors:

Shine light on to rear of the car to see if reflectors work


Check Indicators:

Turn on indicators, if indicator lense is clear; make sure that the bulb is amber in colour, if bulb looks white, change the bulb.

lf indicator lense is amber, bulb colour is ok.

Changing Indicator Bulbs:

Front Indicator:

1) Open bonnet

2) Locate rear of indicator lamp

3) Turn bulb housing anti-clockwise

4) Replace bulb.

Rear Indicator:

1) Open boot

2) Take off cover from back of lamp.

3) Unclip bulb housing

4) Locate bulb and replace bulb with the same colour.

Note: Always replace bulbs when they are turned of


Check Engine Oil:

Turn Off Engine

1) Open bonnet

2) Locate dipstick

3) Pull out dipstick and wipe clean

4) Replace dipstick

5) Pull out dipstick and take reading (on a dipstick is a minimum and maximum mark, it will take a litre of oil between these two marks).

6) Top up level if required.


Check Coolant:

1) Open bonnet

2) Locate radiator cap

3) Open easy by turning anti—clockwise

4) Check coolant level is up to top of radiator, if not top up.

5) Locate expansion tank

6) Clip off cap

7) Check max level

8) Top up if needed.

Note: Always check coolant when engine is cold


Check Washer Fluid:

1) Open bonnet

2) Locate washer bottle which has a cap with a water symbol on it.

3) Top up if needed. 


Check Power Steering Fluid:

1) Open bonnet

2) Locate power steering reservoir which has a steering wheel symbol on it. The reservoir has a maximum and minimum level. Open cap by turning anti-clockwise.

3) Top up if needed.


Check Brake Fluid:

1) Open bonnet

2) Locate brake fluid reservoir which is located at the back of engine bay on left or right hand side. Reservoir has a maximum and minimum level.

3) Check level, if need to top up turn cap anti—clockwise to open.

4) Top up if necessary.

J)     HORN

Horn keeps blowing:

1) Locate fuse box (can be at bottom of dash on left or right of car).

2) Look at cover and locate horn symbol. Once located look for fuse number, then pull out fuse for horn.

1. Observation at junctions – not looking enough, or making a bad decision based on your observations

Before you arrive at the end of the road, you need to already be planning what you’ll do next. If it is an open junction (a junction at which, as you approach the give way lines, your view is not obscured by objects such as high walls or hedges), try to see what is coming from BOTH directions. Make sure you look RIGHT, LEFT, and RIGHT again, before driving out! It can be tempting if it looks clear, to just look right then drive out. DO NOT do this. It is easy to miss something on your left, such as a parked van, or possibly another car cutting the corner turning into the junction as you emerge. If your instructor doesn’t let you do it on driving lessons, don’t do it on your driving test!

2. Reverse parking – not checking your blind spots/ failing to see approaching traffic

So many people go through blind spot checks robotically, just moving their head, because they think this is what examiners want to see. Well it isn’t. What they want to see is that you are fully aware of what is going on around you. This is especially true when you are about to cause the front of your car to swing out into the road as you drive towards the kerb. You must use your mirrors properly, and keep an eye on the areas you can’t see in your mirrors, watching for other road users who may be driving toward you. Watch out for cyclists too!

3. Use of mirrors – not gathering information from what you see in them often enough, or failing to act on what you have seen

An example of this would be driving past a parked bus. You move out around the bus without checking the right door mirror first. As you drive out, a motorcyclist passes you on your right side. This would usually lead to a serious fault, as you may have caused the motorcyclist to swerve.

Remember, whether on your test or as a qualified driver, you must not cause other road users to SLOW, SWERVE or STOP.

4. Reversing round a corner – ineffective observation or lack of control and accuracy

Many candidates fail to see traffic approaching from behind them, in the road they are turning into. Alternatively, they swing the car out causing an obstruction to traffic driving on the major road. Hitting the kerb is also quite common. Take the reversing exercises S-L-O-W-L-Y!

5. Incorrect use of signals – giving misleading signals, or forgetting to cancel them

An example of this would be leaving a left signal on after pulling over on the left, then driving off again with the left signal still ticking.

6. Moving away safely – inadequate observation

Most commonly, this is not looking into the road side (offside) blind spot before moving away.

7. Incorrect positioning on the road – bad lane discipline at roundabouts or being too far into the road going round a bend

A very common serious fault, especially on driving test routes with multiple roundabouts.

Be sure not to ‘cut across’ the roundabout, but follow the appropriate lane completely around the roundabout. Often this fault arises on approach to roundabouts where the left lane curves round to the left a little at the roundabout. The candidate is still looking right and does not steer the car with the curve, but remains straight, causing them to straddle the white lane division lines.

8. Lack of steering control – steering too early, or too late

This is most notable when going into sharp corners. Hitting the kerb is possible if this is not done correctly. Contrary to popular belief, crossing your arms on a driving test will not cause you to fail. However, most people tend to lose full control of the wheel when they cross their arms, which is why the fault is marked. It is good practice to use the pull-push steering technique that you have been shown in your driving lessons, which reduces the chances of losing steering control.

9. Incorrect position for turning right – at junctions or on one-way streets

Many learner drivers will drive in the left lane in a one-way street, forgetting that it is actually one-way! Remember you can use either lane in a one-way street!

10. Inappropriate speed – amazingly speeding on driving tests is still in the top ten faults

Whether on a driving test or when qualified, never break the speed limit or travel too fast into a hazard.

Remain at a speed that allows you to judge the situation effectively. This also applies to driving slowly all the time. One of the most prevalent myths about the driving test is that “if you drive slowly, you’ll pass.” Well, this is not true. Driving consistently well under the speed limit is just as dangerous as speeding.