Before you start the engine you must always check that

  • All doors are properly closed
  • Your seat is properly adjusted
  • The head restraints are fitted and properly adjusted
  • Your driving mirrors are properly adjusted
  • Your seat belt is fastened, correctly adjusted and comfortable, with both the lap belt and the diagonal belt protecting your body
  • The parking brake is on
  • The gear lever is in neutral or, if you are driving an automatic vehicle, the gear lever is in P (park).

You shouldn’t

  • Leave these checks until after you have started the engine
  • Attempt to adjust the mirrors or the seat position while the car is moving. This could be dangerous.


Accelerator and clutch

You should

  • Balance the accelerator and clutch to pull away smoothly
  • Accelerate gradually to gain speed
  • Press the clutch in just before the car stops.

If you’re driving an automatic vehicle, you should

  • Ensure that your foot is on the footbrake when you engage ‘drive’ (D)
  • Use the accelerator gradually to
  • Avoid the vehicle surging forward (or backward) out of control
  • Control the upward gear changes

You shouldn’t

  • Accelerate fiercely, especially making the tyres screech. This can lead to a loss of control and may distract or alarm other road users
  • Use the clutch in a jerky and uncontrolled manner when moving off or changing gear.

If you’re driving an automatic vehicle, you shouldn’t cause the vehicle to surge by harsh use of the accelerator.


You should brake

  • Smooth and in good time
  • Lightly in most situations.

You shouldn’t

  • Brake harshly, except in an emergency.

Parking brake

You should

  • Know how and when to apply the parking brake.

You shouldn’t

  • Apply the parking brake before the car has stopped
  • Move off with the parking brake on.


You should

  • Choose the right gear for your speed and road conditions
  • Change gear in good time so that you are ready for a hazard or junction.

You shouldn’t

  • Take your eyes off the road to look at the gear lever
  • Coast with the clutch pedal depressed or gear lever in neutral.

If you are driving an automatic vehicle, select a low gear if you are going down a steep hill.


You should

  • Place your hands on the steering wheel in either the ‘ten-to-two’ or ‘quarter-to-three’ position, whichever is more comfortable
  • Keep your steering movements steady and smooth
  • Begin turning the wheel at the correct time when turning a corner.

Don’t turn too early when steering around a corner. If you do, you risk

  • Cutting the corner when turning right and putting other drivers at risk
  • Striking the kerb when turning left.

Don’t turn too late. You could put other road users at risk by

  • Swinging wide on left turns
  • Overshooting right turns.

You shouldn’t

  • Cross your hands on the steering wheel
  • Allow the wheel to spin back after turning
  • Rest your arm on the door.


You should be able to move off

  • Safely
  • Under control
  • On the flat
  • From behind a parked car
  • On a hill, where appropriate
  • In the correct gear.

You shouldn’t

  • Immediately signal without first taking effective observation around you
  • Pull out without looking
  • Cause other road users to stop or alter their course
  • Accelerate excessively
  • Move off in too high a gear
  • Fail to co-ordinate the controls correctly and stall the engine.


You should

  • Look before you signal
  • Look and signal before you act
  • Act sensibly and safely on what you see in the mirrors.

You shouldn’t

  • Maneuver without looking in the mirrors
  • Fail to act on what you see when you look in the mirrors.


Give signals

  • Clearly
  • In good time.

You shouldn’t

  • Give signals carelessly
  • Mislead other road users
  • Forget to cancel the signal
  • Wave at pedestrians to cross the road.


Traffic lights

You must act correctly at traffic lights.
When the green light shows, check that the road is clear before proceeding.

Signals by authorised persons

You must obey the signals given by

  • Police officers
  • Traffic wardens
  • School crossing patrols.

Traffic calming measures

Take extra care on roads, which have been altered by addition of

  • 30 km speed limit zones
  • Speed restriction humps
  • Width restrictions marked by bollards, posts or paved areas.


You should

  • Take great care in the use of speed
  • Make sure that you can stop safely, well within the distance you can see to be clear
  • Leave a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles
  • Leave extra distance on wet or slippery roads
  • Approach junctions and hazards at the correct speed.

You shouldn’t

  • Drive too fast for the traffic conditions
  • Change your speed unpredictably.


You should be able to choose the correct speed for the

  • Type of road
  • Type and density of traffic
  • Weather and visibility.

You should approach all hazards at a safe speed.

You shouldn’t

  • Drive too slowly, holding up other traffic
  • Be over-cautious or stop and wait when it’s safe to go
  • Prepare too early for the junctions by approaching too slowly and holding up traffic.


You should stop the car

  • In a short distance
  • Under full control
  • Without risk to other road users.

You shouldn’t

  • Anticipate the signal by stopping while your examiner is checking the road behind
  • Skid out of control
  • Allow the car to swing off course.


You should

  • Reverse under full control
  • Keep reasonably close to the kerb, without striking or mounting it
  • Use good, effective all-round observation.

You shouldn’t

  • Mount the kerb
  • Swing out wide
  • Reverse too far from the kerb
  • Be inconsiderate to other road users
  • Take more than a reasonable time to complete the exercise, creating a hazard for other road users
  • Steer harshly while the car is stationary (dry steering).


You should

  • Drive alongside the parked vehicle and position your car so that you can carry out the exercise correctly and safely
  • Select reverse gear – your reversing lights might help others to understand your intentions
  • Use effective all-round observation
  • Reverse into the space behind the parked car, within the space of about two car lengths
  • Stop reasonably close, and parallel, to the kerb.


You should

  • Look at the layout marking and size of the space available
  • Use your mirrors and signal if necessary
  • Check your position and keep your speed down
  • Use effective all-round observation
  • Look out for pedestrians
  • Reverse and park as neatly as possible, with your wheels straight
  • Make sure that your vehicle is neatly parked between the layout markings in the bay.

You shouldn’t

  • Get too close to a parked car or the layout markings
  • Mount the kerb
  • Swing your car from side to side
  • Park, at an angle, too far from the kerb or layout markings
  • Place too much reliance on interior/exterior mirrors rather than taking good effective all-round observation
  • Be inconsiderate or cause a danger to other road users
  • Take more than a reasonable time to complete the exercise. This may cause an obstruction for other road users
  • Steer harshly while the vehicle is stationary (dry steering).


You should

  • Make sure that the road is clear in both directions
  • Drive forward in first gear, turning the steering wheel to the right as much as possible
  • Steer briskly to the left just before you pull up close to the opposite kerb
  • Check all around, especially your blind spots
  • Reverse, turning your wheel to the left as much as possible
  • Steer briskly to the right before you pull up close to the kerb behind you
  • Repeat if necessary until your car is facing in the opposite direction.

You shouldn’t

  • Mount the kerb (try not to touch it)
  • Be inconsiderate or cause danger to other road users
  • Take more than a reasonable time to complete the exercise, causing an obstruction for other road users
  • Steer harshly while the car is stationary (dry steering).


You should be able to

  • Observe road signs and markings and act correctly on what you see
  • Judge the correct speed on approach
  • Slow down in good time, without harsh braking
  • Judge the speed of the other traffic, especially at roundabouts and when you are joining major roads
  • Position and turn correctly.

You shouldn’t

  • Approach the junction at the wrong speed
  • Position and turn incorrectly
  • Enter a junction unsafely
  • Stop or wait unnecessarily.


You should be able to judge the speed and position of vehicles

  • Behind, which might be trying to overtake you
  • In front, if you are planning to overtake
  • Coming towards you.

Overtake only when you can do so

  • Safely without causing other vehicles to slow down or alter course.

You shouldn’t overtake when

  • Your view of the road ahead isn’t clear
  • You would have to exceed the speed limit
  • The road is narrow.


You should

  • Show judgment and control when meeting oncoming traffic
  • Be decisive when stopping and moving off
  • Allow enough room when passing parked cars.

Watch out for

  • Doors opening
  • Children running out into the road
  • Pedestrians stepping out from the pavement.
  • Vehicles pulling out without warning.


You should

  • Position your car correctly and adjust your speed
  • Keep as close to the centre of the road as is safe
  • Watch out for oncoming traffic and stop if necessary.

Watch out for pedestrians

  • Crossing the side road
  • On the pavement, if you are entering a driveway.

You shouldn’t cause other vehicles to

  • Slow down
  • Swerve
  • Stop.

You shouldn’t

  • Cut the corner
  • Go beyond the correct turning point before you begin to turn.


You should

  • Be able to judge a safe separation distance between you and the vehicle in front
  • Avoid the need to brake harshly if the vehicle in front slows down or stops
  • Take extra care when your view ahead is limited by large vehicles such as lorries or buses.

Watch out for

  • Brake lights ahead
  • Direction indicators
  • Vehicles ahead braking without warning.

You shouldn’t

  • Follow too closely
  • Brake suddenly
  • Stop too close to the vehicle in front in a traffic queue.


You should

  • Normally keep well to the left
  • Keep clear of parked vehicles
  • Avoid weaving in and out between parked vehicle
  • Position your vehicle for the direction you intend to take.

You should obey all lane markings, especially

  • Bus and cycle lanes
  • In one-way streets.

And be particularly aware of left- or right- turn arrows at junctions.

You shouldn’t

  • Drive too close to the kerb
  • Drive too close to the centre of the road
  • Change lanes at the last moment or without good reason
  • Hinder other road users by being badly positioned or being in the wrong lane
  • Straddle lanes or lane markings
  • Cut across the path of other traffic in another lane at roundabouts.


You should

  • Recognise the different types of pedestrian crossing
  • Show courtesy and consideration towards pedestrians
  • Stop safely when necessary.

At zebra crossings

You should

  • Slow down and be prepared to stop is there is anyone waiting to cross
  • Know how to give the correct arm signal, if necessary, before slowing down or stopping.

At pelican crossings

You must

  • Stop if lights are red
  • Give way to any pedestrians when the amber lights are flashing.


  • Approach a crossing too fast
  • Drive over a crossing without stopping or showing awareness of waiting pedestrians
  • Block a crossing by stopping directly on it.

Don’t hurry pedestrians by

  • Sounding your horn
  • Revving your engine
  • Edging forward.


  • Overtake within the zigzag white lines leading up to crossings
  • Wave pedestrians across
  • Take late or incorrect action on traffic light signals at controlled crossings.


When you make a normal stop you should be able to select a place where you won’t

  • Obstruct the road
  • Create a hazard.

You should stop close to the edge of the road.

You shouldn’t

  • Stop without sufficient warning to other road users
  • Cause danger or inconvenience to other road users when you stop.


You should

  • Judge what other road users are going to do
  • Predict how their actions will affect you
  • React safely and in good time.


You should

  • Give way to pedestrians when turning from one road to another
  • Take particular care with the very young, the disabled and the elderly. They may not have seen you and could step out suddenly.


Take special care

  • When crossing bus or cycle lanes
  • With cyclists passing on your left
  • With child cyclists.

Moped riders and motorcyclists

Look out for moped riders and motorcyclists

  • In slow-moving traffic
  • Coming up on your left
  • At junctions.


Take special care around animals. Give horse riders and other animal handlers as much room as you can. Watch young, possibly inexperienced, riders closely for signs of any difficulty with their mounts. Plan your approach carefully.

Emergency vehicles

Don’t panic. You should

  • Check where they’re coming from
  • Try to keep out of their way
  • If necessary pull into the side of the road and stop, but don’t endanger other road users.

You shouldn’t

  • React suddenly to road or traffic conditions
  • Show irritation with other road users
  • Sound the horn aggressively
  • Rev your engine or edge forward when waiting for pedestrians to cross a road.