At the beginning of your driving test, usually after the eyesight test, you will be asked two SHOW ME and TELL ME questions about standard safety. The driving instructor can be ‘on hand’ to assist the opening and closing of the bonnet (if relevant). It is a good idea to have the car handbook readily available and clearly marked up to assist when describing the checks (e.g. reading of the oil level dipstick).

  • SHOW. Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil.

Identify dipstick / oil level indicator, describe how you would check the oil level against the minimum / maximum markers.

  • SHOW me where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level.

Identify reservoir and check level.

  • TELL me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.

Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you move off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.

  • SHOW me / explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey.

If the steering becomes heavy the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey two checks can be made. With the wheel turned slightly, maintained while the engine is started, you notice a slight movement in the wheel as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an instant indication the power steering is functioning ok.

  • SHOW me how you would check that the direction indicators are working.

Apply indicators or hazard warning lights and check all indicators.

  • SHOW me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear.

Demonstrate by applying the handbrake and when it is fully applied it secures itself, and is not at the end of the working travel.

  • TELL. Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.

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.

  • SHOW Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level.

Identify high/ low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.

  • TELL. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.

The head restraint should be adjusted so the middle part of the head restraint is at least as high as the top of the ears, and as close to the back of the neck as possible.

  • SHOW Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.

Identify reservoir, check level against high/ low markings.

  • TELL. Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.

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.

  • SHOW me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only).

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

  • SHOW me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers.

Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen (turn ignition on if necessary).

  • TELL. Tell me how you would check that the headlights & tail lights are working (no need to exit vehicle).

Operate switch (turn on ignition if necessary).

  • SHOW me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens.

Set all relevant controls including; fan, temperature, air direction / source and heated screen to clear windscreen and windows.

  • SHOW me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/ them.

(No need to exit vehicle) Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on.
Explain use.

  • TELL. Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti lock braking system.

Warning light on dashboard would indicate problem.

  • SHOW me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car (if you need to switch the ignition on, please don’t start the engine).

Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors, etc, or ask someone to help (if you need to switch the ignition on, please don’t start the engine).

  • SHOW me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car.

The driving test is changing on 4 December 2017. The questions you can be asked, and how you’ll be asked them will change.

The examiner will ask you one:
‘tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving
‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving
2. ‘Show me’ questions
When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the rear windscreen?
When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen?
When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights?
When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d set the rear demister?
When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate the horn?
When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d demist the front windscreen?
When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d open and close the side window?
3. ‘Tell me’ questions
1. Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.

2. Tell me where you’d find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.
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.

3. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.
The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. Note: Some restraints might not be adjustable.

4. Tell me how you’d check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.
No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre, and around the entire outer circumference.

5. Tell me how you’d check that the headlights and tail lights are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.
Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).

6. Tell me how you’d know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.
Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.

7. Tell me how you’d check the direction indicators are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.
Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), and then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).

8. Tell me how you’d check the brake lights are working on this car.
Explain you’d operate the brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows or doors, or ask someone to help.

9. Tell me how you’d check the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey.
If the steering becomes heavy, the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey, 2 simple checks can be made.

Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.

10. Tell me how you’d switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you’d use it/them. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.
Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.

11. Tell me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you’d know the main beam is on.
Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.

12. Tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient oil.
Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum and maximum markers.

13. Tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient engine coolant.
Identify high and low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.

14. Tell me how you’d check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.
Identify reservoir, check level against high and low markings.