Advanced skills

The driving report explained

5 min read • Posted Feb 5, 2019
driving-test-report-explained

Throughout your driving test, your driving examiner will be marking any faults you make whilst on the road on a piece of paper. Faults will be separated into levels of severity: minor faults, serious faults and dangerous faults.

You can receive up to 15 minors in your driving test, but picking up a serious or dangerous fault will result in an immediate fail. Likewise, getting three minors in the same category will also result in a fail.

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When you’ve finished your driving test

So you’ve finished your driving test and you’re waiting to hear the result. Many learner drivers will already have an idea of whether they’ve passed or failed at this point, but the driving examiner will tell you your result after you’ve parked up and have secured the vehicle.

Whether you’ve passed or failed, they’ll then take you through the DL25 driving test report. This will detail any minor faults you made as well as any serious or dangerous faults which resulted in you failing the driving test.

If you failed, the driving examiner will give you constructive feedback on what you did wrong and how to improve for your next driving test. You might not feel like listening at this point, but it’s important that you take their advice on board to make sure you pass next time.

Sections on the driving test report

Take a look at the DL25 driving test report.

At the top of the driving test report, there will be a space for the driving examiner to fill in your name, the date, the time and the details that they need to identify you and the type of test you’re taking.

This will then be followed by the marking criteria, split into sections, with areas for the driving examiner to mark down any faults. There are 28 marking sections on your driving test report:

1(a). Eyesight test

You will do your eyesight test before you leave the test centre for your driving test. You will need to read a vehicle registration plate from 20 metres (or 20.5 metres on a car made before 1st September 2001). You can do this with glasses or contact lenses if required. Top

1(b). Highway code / safety

This section applies to specialist vehicle tests which do not require the candidate to sit a theory test. It does not apply to those taking a car practical driving test. Top

2. Controlled stop

Around 1 in 3 learner drivers will be asked to perform a controlled stop (emergency stop) on their driving test. The driving examiner will be marking you on promptness and control of the vehicle on this manoeuvre. Top

3. Reverse / Left and 4. Reverse / Right

If you have to complete the reverse around a corner manoeuvre, the driving examiner will be marking you on your control of the vehicle and on your observations. Top

5. Reverse Park

This section applies to the parallel park and the bay park manoeuvres. You will be marked on your control of the vehicle and on your observations.

Our guide, how to park, will help you with the parking manoeuvres. Top

6. Turn in the road

The turn in the road manoeuvre will be marked on your control and observations throughout. Top

7. Vehicle checks

This section applies to the show me tell me section of the driving test. Check our guide to the DSA show tell me questions for more information. Top

8. Taxi manoeuvre

This applies to those taking a taxi driving test, and refers to the ability to turn the vehicle around, making all round observations. Top

9. Taxi wheelchair

Again, this applies to those taking a taxi driving test, and requires the candidate to be able to erect a wheelchair ramp and to be able to get a wheelchair and an imaginary occupant into the vehicle safely. Top

10. Vehicle and trailer combinations.

This will not apply to those sitting a standard car driving test. It calls for the candidate to be able to uncouple and recouple their towing vehicle. Top

11. Precautions

This section applies to making the correct checks and making sure that you’re comfortably seated before starting the engine. Take a look at our guide to performing the cockpit drill for more information. Top

12. Control

This section is very broad in what it covers. It applies to safe and controlled use of the accelerator, clutch, gears, footbrake, parking brake and steering. The driving examiner will be looking for you to make effective use of your accelerator, clutch and footbrake in order to provide a safe, fuel efficient and smooth drive for both you and your passengers. You will need to maintain control of the vehicle throughout your driving test. Top

13. Move off

Moving off safely will be something you’re tested on multiple times during the driving test. You will need to show the driving examiner that you can move off safely on level ground, on a gradient and at an angle. You will be tested on safety and control, and must make sure you make the necessary observations each time. Top

14. Use of mirrors

You must demonstrate safe and effective use of all of your mirrors throughout your driving test. The driving examiner will be looking for you to check your mirrors each time you signal, change direction or change your speed. Top

15. Signals

You must signal clearly to let others know what you intend to do whilst out on the road. You must signal when necessary, correctly and at the right time.

Our guide to using your indicators correctly will help you with this. Top

16. Clearance to obstructions

When passing stationary vehicles and obstructions, you must leave plenty of room. Be prepared for car doors to open, a child to run out or for a vehicle pulling out without warning. Top

17. Response to signs / signals

You need to demonstrate that you know how to react to traffic signs and road markings. The driving examiner will be assessing your ability to react safely to traffic signs, road markings, traffic lights, traffic controllers and other road users. Top

18. Use of speed

You should drive at a safe, reasonable speed bearing in mind the kind of road that you’re on, the weather conditions and the road signs. Of course, you should make sure you don’t break the speed limit, but you should also ensure you keep up with the flow of traffic. Top

19. Following distance

Ensure you keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles. Remember you’ll need to double your stopping distance in wet weather. Ensure you also leave a suitable distance between other vehicles when stopped in traffic. Top

20. Progress

When on your driving test, you should make sure you maintain an appropriate speed for the road and weather conditions. Ensure you drive at a safe speed without being over-cautious. Top

21. Junctions

You must be able to approach junctions (including roundabouts) at an appropriate speed. You must also be able to make safe observations and be able to position yourself correctly to turn left and right. You must also ensure you don’t cut any corners when turning.

Our guide to junctions and how to turn left and right will help you prepare for this section. Top

22. Judgement

Showing you’re able to make safe judgements when driving is essential. Make sure you show appropriate judgements when overtaking, meeting other road users and crossing the path of other vehicles. Top

23. Positioning

Getting your on-road position right is important, when both driving normally and when approaching junctions and roundabouts. Top

24. Pedestrian crossings

In your driving test, you will need to be able to show the driving examiner that you recognise the different types of pedestrian crossings and how to approach each safely. You must know when to give way and make sure that you wait for pedestrians to cross. Top

25. Position / Normal stops

When the driving examiner asks you to pull over, you must find a safe, legal and convenient place to do so. Ensure you’re not obstructing any roads or creating a hazard. Top

26. Awareness / Planning

You need to be aware of other road users around you and to be able to plan for what’s ahead on the road. You will learn how to predict the actions of other road users and should be able to demonstrate this to the driving examiner. Take particular care when approaching vulnerable road users like cyclists and motorcyclists. Top

27. Ancillary controls

You should understand the role of controls and switches, especially those relating to road safety. These include indicators, lights, windscreen wipers, demisters and heaters. You should be able to control these without taking your eyes of the road. Top

28. Eco Safe Driving

You should be able to recognise the principles of Eco Safe Driving. This is currently only applicable on certain categories of the driving test. Top

Your result

Underneath the marking criteria, there will be a tick box displaying whether you’ve passed or failed your driving test.

Understanding your minors

It’s likely that you will pick up a few minors during your driving test. The driving examiner will put a small mark in the box next to the area which you received the minor fault for. If you failed your driving test, you will be able to use your driving test report as a reference point for the things you need to work on for your next driving test.

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