Driving Test Advice – Vehicle Checks

All driving test candidates arerequired to answer two questions selected from those listed below, concerning the operation and maintenance of their vehicle.  The examiner will ask these questions at the beginning of the test once the eyesight check has been carried out.  One or both questions answered incorrectly will result in one driving fault being recorded.


Demonstrate by applying the parking brake that when it is fully applied it secures itself and is not at the end of the working travel.
Brakes should be tested as you set off; they should not feel spongy nor pull the vehicle to one side.

Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti lock braking system.


Check is carried out by using control (turn on ignition if necessary).


If the steering becomes heavy the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey two simple checks can be made: –

Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, while the engine is started should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate.

Alternatively turn the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.


Manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.
No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.


Set all relevant controls including; fan, temperature, air direction/ source and heated screen to clear windscreen and windows. Engine does not have to be started for this demonstration.


Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.
Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.
Explanation: Operate switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle. (As this is a “Tell Me” question, there is no need to physically check the lights).
Applying the indicators or hazard-warning switch and check functioning of all indicators. (may need to switch ignition on, prompt not to start engine).
Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors, etc, or ask someone to help. (may need to switch ignition on, prompt not to start engine).


Identify dipstick / oil level indicator, describe checking of oil level against the minimum/maximum markers.
Identify high/low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap and describe how to top up to correct level.
Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen (turn ignition on if necessary).