The on-road part of the test will last approximately one hour, and will include a wide variety of roads and traffic conditions. You will be expected to demonstrate that you can move off smoothly and safely both uphill and downhill, and move off normally from the side of the road and at an angle.
There will be a period of 10-12 mins of independent driving where the examiner can either ask you to follow signs to a given destination (e.g. follow signs for the hospital etc.) or ask you to follow a set of simple instructions (e.g. turn left at the end of the road, then at the next roundabout turn right - the third exit, and then take the next road on the left) or show you a diagram to follow. You won’t fail your test if you don’t follow the instructions properly but you could end up putting yourself into a difficult situation to get yourself out of if you don’t follow them properly.
The On-Road Driving Section
You will have to demonstrate that you can safely: -
- Meet other vehicles.
- Cross the path of other vehicles.
- Keep a safe distance.
- Negotiate various types of roundabout.
- Exercise correct lane discipline.
- Display courtesy and consideration to other road users, especially: -
- Horse riders
- Apply correct procedure at: -
- Pedestrian crossings
- Level crossings
- Traffic signals
- Road Junctions
- Show the examiner: -
- Correct use of signals.
- Effective use of the mirrors.
- Alertness and anticipation.
- Correct use of speed.
- Observation of speed limits
- Care in the use of the controls to reduce mechanical wear and tear.
The Reversing Exercise
This will normally take place at the start of the test. You should be able to reverse your vehicle and trailer in a restricted space. The examiner will show you a diagram of the manoeuvring area (see below) and explain what is required.
Test Requirement When Reversing
- Reversing under control and in a reasonable time.
- Using good observation.
- Obtaining reasonable accuracy.
- To start at a fixed point between two cones.
- Reversing inside a clearly defined boundary.
- Reverse so that Cone B (see diagram) is on the offside of your vehicle.
- Ensure that the extreme rear of your trailer is within the painted yellow box area at the end of the bay when you stop.
Reversing – Do
- Use control when reversing the vehicle.
- Use good all-round observation.
- Accurately judge the size of your vehicle and trailer.
Reversing - Do Not
- Approach the starting point too fast.
- Approach the fixed-point cones at an angle.
- Stop beyond the fixed-point cones.
- Turn the steering wheel incorrectly when starting to reverse.
- Over-steer so that any wheel goes over the yellow boundary.
- Fail to use effective observation around the vehicle.
- Allow any part of your vehicle to hit any of the cones or poles.
- Stop so that the rear of your vehicle and trailer is either short of, or beyond the yellow box in the bay.
Uncoupling and Recoupling
This exercise is normally carried out when you return from the on-road driving exercise. You will be asked to stop where there is safe and level ground to uncouple the trailer and park the vehicle alongside the trailer, then move the vehicle and recouple the trailer.
When uncoupling you should: -
- Apply the handbrake.
- Disconnect the breakaway cable and stow away correctly.
- Disconnect the electric line and stow away correctly.
- Remove any safety chain or coupling.
- Ensure that the jockey wheel is lowered correctly.
- Release the coupling.
- Draw forward and park alongside the trailer.
- You will then be asked to re-couple as if the trailer is "new and unfamiliar" to you.
When recoupling you should: -
- Check the handbrake on the trailer.
- Drive the vehicle forward, line up with the trailer and reverse back to approximately 3 feet from the drawbar.
- You must NOT reverse straight up and re-couple, as you do not know if the hitch is at the right height.
- Get out of the vehicle and check the height of the drawbar.
- Reverse back until the vehicle and trailer touch.
- Do NOT push the trailer backwards with the vehicle.
- Attach the breakaway cable.
- If necessary, release handbrake and adjust the trailer position then re-apply the hand brake.
- Re-connect the trailer to the vehicle.
- Show trailer is securely fastened to the vehicle by taking the jockey wheel the opposite way and lifting the rear of the vehicle, then lower.
- Put the jockey wheel away.
- Re-connect the electric line.
- Release the trailer brake.
- STOP - and check that everything is connected correctly.
- As you must behave as if it is a new and unfamiliar trailer, you will need to carry out safety checks around the trailer to check the security of doors, wheels, mudguards, lenses, corresponding number plate etc.,
- Full light check to include brake lights, left and right indicators and side lights.