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Independent Driving

Independent driving section of the test

Your practical driving test will include around 10 minutes of independent driving. It’s not a test of your orientation and navigation skills.

How the test works

During your test you’ll have to drive independently by either following:

  • traffic signs
  • a series of verbal directions
  • a combination of both

To help you understand where you’re going when following verbal directions, the examiner can show you a diagram (Click here to see diagram PDF).

You can’t use sat nav because the independent driving section tests how you make your own decisions.

Forgetting the directions

It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember every direction, or if you go the wrong way.

Driving independently means making your own decisions – this includes deciding when it’s safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where you’re going.

The examiner will confirm the directions to you if you ask for a reminder of them.

Going off the independent driving route

Your test result won’t be affected if you go off the independent driving route, unless you make a driving fault.

The examiner will help you get back on the route if you go off it or take a wrong turning. You can then continue with the independent driving.

Poor traffic signs

The examiner will give you directions until you can see the next traffic sign if there are poor or obscured traffic signs. You won’t need to have a detailed knowledge of the area.

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