RAS Driving School Driving Test Tips

Driving Test Tips

Driving test tips and driving lesson tips with RAS Driving School! Any help for pupils on their driving test or driving lessons is a good thing! At RAS Driving School we aim to help all our pupils by giving them as much help and as many tips as possible on their driving lessons and in preparation for the driving test.


Tip:Make sure your Head Restraint is correctly adjusted to give you maximum protection in the event of a crash. Remember about your passengers.
Action required:Before moving off ask your passengers to adjust the Head Restraint so that the rigid part is at least as high as the eyes or level with top of their heads. Demonstrate how to do it.
Reason:An incorrectly adjusted Head Restraint can lead to serious neck injuries if involved in an accident. If you don't ask your passengers to adjust Head Restraint they are unlikely to do it themselves.


Tip:Check your centre and side mirrors (lean forward in passanger seat) and check the blindspot before opening the door. Look for anyone or anything.
Action required:open the door safely using two hands, one hand pushes the other pulls. Make sure you close the door after exiting.
Reason:if you don't look you could hit a passing road user: a cyclist pedestrian or other vehicle, or cause obstruction on the road. Also the wind and camber of the road could force the door swing open damaging the hinges.


Tip:Cyclists are harder to see. If you don't look for them they will become invisible to you!
Action required: as you are moving off at the traffic lights check left and right mirrors looking for cyclist
Reason:If you don't do it you can have a collision with an overtaking cyclist.


1. Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working properly before starting a journey Brakes should be tested as you set off by applying gentle pressure at slow speed on the brake pedal. They should not feel spongy or slack and the vehicle should not pull to one side.
2. Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked Find them in the 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 would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road Check there are no cuts or bulges in the walls, the tread depth across the central 3/4 of the breadth of the tyre is at least 1.6 mm, and around the entire outer circumference.
4. Tell me how you would adjust the head restraint so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash. Adjust the rigid part of the restraint so that it is close to the back of your head and level with your eyes or top of your ears.
5. Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working? Operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), walk round the vehicle to check the lights.
6. Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system The ABS warning light would become illuminated permanently on the instrument panel if the ABS system is faulty.
7. 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 check of oil level against the minimum/maximum markers. (Take the dipstick out, clean with cloth, dip fully again, take out and assess the level, put dipstick fully in. The check should be carried out on a level road).
8. Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a sufficient level of hydraulic brake fluid Identify reservoir, visually check the level against high/ low level markings. No dirt should get inside the reservoir.
9. 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 coolant tank if fitted, or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level. It should be between the markings. Coolant should be resistant to strong freezing temperatures. Purified water is only acceptable during summer time.
10. Open the bonnet, identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level Identify reservoir and explain how the washer fluid should be filled to a level visible in the tube.
11. 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 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.
12. Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear, make sure you keep control of the vehicle Apply footbrake firmly at first, then demonstrate it by applying parking brake so that when it is fully applied it secures the car, and is not at the end of the working travel.
13. Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only) Check is carried out by pressing gently on the control (turn on ignition if necessary).
14. Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working Turn on ignition, apply the indicators or press thehazard warning button and check functioning of all indicators by walking around the vehicle.
15. Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car (I can assist you, if you need to switch the ignition on, please don't start the engine) Switch ignition on, gently press the brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors etc, ask someone to help.
16. Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washers and wipers Operate windscreen washer control button and then activate the windscreen wipers (turn on ignition if necessary).
17. 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 air vents at both sides to point towards the side windows, use the control switch to direct hot air onto the windscreen then operate the fan, press the heated rear screen switch to clear the rear window. ( Rear window button usually requires the engine to be on).
18. Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it /them (no need to exit the vehicle) Operate the rear fog switch after having switched on dipped headlights, and check that the warning light is illuminated then explain that they should only be used when visibility is reduced to 100 metres or less.
19. Show me how you would switch on your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how would you know the main beam is on whilst inside the car Move the stalk attached to the steering column forwards which will illuminate a blue warning light on the instrument panel.


Before you start to drive you should ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy.

Carry out the following checks:

Visual examination of the exterior for damage or defects
Tools and jack are presented and in good order
Wheels in good order and nuts secure (do not over-tighten, especially with alloy wheels)
Tyres-check all the tyres, including the spare, for:
  • damage
  • tread depth
  • pressure (pressure setting are only accurate when tyres are cold)
Adequate fuel, oil, water, windscreen was and other fluids
Fan belt in good conditions and correctly tensioned
Lights-include high intensity fog lights, indicators, reversing and brake lights -in working order
Windscreen wipers and washers in good condition
Horn working correctly
Fire extinguisher present and working in order
All glass clean - windows inside and out, lenses, mirrors

A useful aid to remember the key points to check is P O W D E R

Petrol Oil Water Damage Electrics Rubber (tyres and wipers)

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