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Driving test myths


Examiners have quotas.

No they don't, maybe some people are embarrassed that they failed so come up with this as an excuse.

Examiners enjoy failing people.

No they don't, they want you to pass and don't want to see you in the test centre again.

If you stall the car you will fail.

Not necessarily. You might depending on where the stall happened and how it affected others, but it's not an automatic fail.

If you cross your arms steering, you will fail.

No. This used to be the case, but providing you keep control of the car examiners cannot fail you for crossing your arms.

Before the test

Your instructor will collect your 1 - 1.5 hours before the start time. This allows us to go over anything you want to clarify, warm you up with some general driving and go through any or all the manoeuvres - it's entirely up to you. Some people prefer just to drive and then spend some time having a coffee (decaf ideally!) and relax.

We would also go through the Show Me Tell Me questions one last time and look under the bonnet to refresh you on where the various items are located.

We would aim to be at the test centre around 10 minutes before the start time.

At the test centre

Test centres resemble a typical waiting room - except there's usually less out of date magazines than you would find in a doctor or dentist surgery.

At the appropriate time, the examiners will come out of their office and call your name. They will ask to see your driving licence and for you to confirm residence and insurance declarations, sign on the iPad and then confirm the email address for the test reported to be emailed to (this can be changed but if your instructor has booked the test, it is beneficial leaving the email address as your instructor's one - they will then forward the test report onto you). They will then ask whether your name and address on the licence are still correct as this affects how they can deal with issuing the full driving licence once you have passed your test.

They will then ask whether you want your instructor to accompany you on the test. This is entirely up to you and some people feel more relaxed if they know there's a friendly face in the back of the car. Not many people want to take us along as they feel it can add more pressure, as it is someone else watching what they are doing. The examiner will then ask whether you want your instructor present for the debrief at the end of the test - this should always be a yes, as it's where we can find out about faults, if any, that have been made during the test.

The examiner will then ask you to lead the way to your car.

In the car park

The examiner will ask you to read a number plate to confirm your eyesight meets the minimum requirements. Once done, they will either ask you to open the bonnet so they can ask one of those Tell Me questions or ask you to take a seat in the car. They will then walk round the car taking a note of its registration and making sure there's no obvious faults such as flat tyres. They will also take a note off the certificate stuck to the windscreen. You will then be asked a Tell Me question (if you didn't have to go under the bonnet).

Before leaving the test centre

The examiner will offer to explain how the test will work - always agree to this as it's another bit of time to settle any nerves.

You could be asked to carry out a reverse bay park before leaving (this would be your manoeuvre), otherwise the examiner will ask you to drive on when you're ready. Remember to have the engine switched on and 1st gear selected - you'd be amazed the number of people who don't!

On the test

The examiner will give you directions in good time and may make some conversation when there's not a lot else going on. If they shut up quickly then they have seen something ahead that they will want you to concentrate on so use that as a hint.

Directions will be given in good time and you will be asked to pull up on the left in a safe place several times during the test. You will also be asked to pull up before a parallel park manoeuvre, an emergency stop or an angled start. Don't be surprised if you're asked to pull up on the left 5 or 6 times during the test.

You will be asked to carry out one manoeuvre - from reverse bay park, forward bay park, parallel park or pull up on the right and reverse. You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop, which would be in addition to the reversing manoeuvre.

You should expect to be on the road for around 35 minutes during the driving test, of which 20 minutes is the independent drive.

The independent drive following a satnav can be activated at any point during the route, and the examiner will ask you to pull up on the left before activating the satnav. 1 in 5 tests will be asked to follow road signs, and again the examiner will pull you up on the left before starting to follow road signs.

Returning to the test centre

The test does not finish until your engine is switched off. When you return to the car park, the examiner will advise you how they would like you to park. If you have not completed another manoeuvre, you will be asked to reverse into a space of your choosing. If you have completed another manoeuvre during the test, you will be asked to drive forwards into a space of your choosing. Do not allow the car to touch any kerbs or barriers when parking into the space.

Once the engine is off, the examiner will complete the process on the iPad and ask again whether you would like your instructor present for the debrief. Assuming you say yes, the examiner will wave your instructor across to the car. During the debrief, you will be told whether you have passed or failed the test.

If you have passed, the examiner will cover the driving faults that occurred, if any. If you have failed, they will only cover the serious or dangerous fault(s) that led to the fail being recorded. It is useful to have your instructor present as pass or fail you won't remember what the examiner is saying to you at this point!

The driving test report will be emailed shortly after the end of the test, usually it arrives by the time you're dropped off after the test. 

When you've passed

The examiner will complete the Pass Certificate and ask whether you would like your new licence sent to you automatically. This is easiest but there needs to be no name or address changes. Assuming name and address is correct, and you don't need the licence in the near future for ID purposes for example, letting the examiner organise the new licence is easiest but you do need to give them your provisional licence at that point.

The blue Pass Certificate becomes your driving licence until the new photocard is received - usually within a couple of weeks.

If you need to change your name or address on the driving licence, you will need a D1 form from the DVLA or post office. Complete the form as necessary and send it together with the Pass Certificate and provisional licence to the DVLA. Take copies of the form and Pass Certificate in case this is lost in the post (or with the DVLA - they don't have the best of reputations!).

Your instructor will take details of the test and drive you home / to school, college, work etc. Getting a photo for our Facebook page and website is always appreciated, but your instructor will ask rather than insist.

We always appreciate reviews as it helps others decide which driving school to go with, these can be left on Facebook or Google. Please consider leaving a review, but there's no pressure if you don't want to.

DVSA Test Cenre Cove Aberdeen

The big day has finally come around - the driving test. Think of it as another lesson where you're taking a new instructor out to show them what you have been doing recently.

Test Centres & Test Times

There are two test centres in Aberdeen - Aberdeen North in Bridge of Don and Aberdeen South in Cove. Ensure you have booked a test at the correct test centre, we don't want to be turning up at the wrong one on the day! If you have booked your own test, please send your instructor a copy of the booking confirmation email well in advance of the day.

Test time at Aberdeen South are:

08:20, 09:17, 10:24, 11:21, 12:48, 13:45, 14:42 and 15:39 (on Wednesdays)

Test times at Aberdeen North are:

08:40, 09:37, 10:44, 11:41, 13:08, 14:05 and 15:02. Except Wednesdays which are 08:30, 09:27, 10:34, 11:31, 13:55, 14:52 and 15:49.

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