The UK’s roads have never been busier with more traffic and more complex road layouts making driving more of a challenge than it’s ever been before. These changes have been reflected in the driving test, which has developed to become more challenging in recent years with extra questions and components including the 'show me, tell me' questions.
The practical driving test 'show me, tell me' section has changed from a few informal questions to a recognised part of the test. The questions are asked in order to check that the learner driver knows about basic vehicle safety checks before they go out on the road. After all, It's important that you can do more than just drive a car.
'Show me, tell me' questions are asked at the start of every practical driving test. Two questions are posed, normally one of each type - for example; ‘show me where you would check the oil level for the car’, and ‘tell me how you would check the brakes are working before you set off’.
We take an in-depth look at the show me, tell me’ section of the practical test below. Scroll down for a more detail on what the questions are and which ones you’re likely to be asked.
The examiner will ask the candidate two questions. The ‘show me’ question, as the title suggests, involves asking the candidate driver to show them how and where on the car they would carry out a particular safety check.
Following this, as you can probably guess, the ‘tell me’ questions consist of explaining to the examiner how you would carry out the safety check. Some of the questions contain both show me and tell me elements but they all follow the same theme.
If one or both of these questions are answered incorrectly, a driving fault will be marked against the candidate in the same way as in the practical test itself.
The questions are changed by the DVSA (Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency) from time to time, with the current set having been put in place in July 2008. There are 19 ‘show me, tell me’ questions in total but you’ll only be asked two on your test.
Questions can be as simple as; “show me how you would check the horn is working” or more complex. We’ve included a few examples from the DVSA guide below…
Apply the indicators or hazard warning switch and check all indicators are working.
Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.
Identify the dipstick/oil level indicator, describe how to check the oil level against the minimum/maximum markers.
Explain that the brake pedal should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side under braking.
There should be no damage, cuts or bulges. There should be a minimum of 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.
Operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk around the vehicle. As this is a ‘tell me’ question, there is no need to physically check the lights.
Have you encountered the 'show me, tell me' questions on your driving test? let us know your top tips in the comments section below...
Everything you need to know about learning to drive, getting your driving licence and choosing your first car...