What happens during the test

There are 5 parts to the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 2 test:

  • an eyesight check
  • ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions
  • general driving ability
  • manoeuvres
  • independent driving

How long the test lasts

The test takes around one hour.

The eyesight test

You’ll have to read a number plate from a distance of:

  • 26.5 metres for vehicles with a new-style number plate
  • 27.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate

New-style number plates start with 2 letters followed by 2 numbers, such as AB51 ABC.

You’ll fail the test if you do not pass the eyesight test. It will count as one of the 3 attempts you’re allowed at the ADI part 2 test.

‘Show me, tell me’ questions

You’ll be asked 5 vehicle safety questions known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions. These test that you know how to carry out basic safety tasks.

You’ll be asked:

  • 3 ‘tell me’ questions at the start of your test, before you start driving
  • 2 ‘show me’ questions while you’re driving - for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers

You’ll get a driving fault for each incorrect answer you give.

You’ll get a serious fault and fail the test if you answer all 5 questions incorrectly, or if you lose control of the car while answering any of the ‘show me’ questions.

Your general driving ability

You’ll have to show the examiner all of the following:

  • expert handling of the controls
  • use of correct road procedure
  • anticipation of the actions of other road users and then taking appropriate action
  • sound judgement of distance, speed and timing
  • consideration for the convenience and safety of other road users
  • driving in an environmentally-friendly manner

You’ll drive in varying road and traffic conditions, including motorways or dual carriageways where possible.

You might also be asked to carry out an emergency stop.

Reversing your vehicle

The examiner will ask you to do 2 of the following exercises:

  • parallel park at the side of the road
  • reverse into a parking bay and drive out
  • drive into a parking bay and reverse out
  • pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for around 2 car lengths, and rejoin the traffic

Independent driving

You’ll have to drive for about 20 minutes by following either:

  • directions from a sat nav
  • traffic signs

The examiner will tell you which you have to do.

Following directions from a sat nav

The examiner will provide the sat nav and set it up for you.

You cannot follow directions from your own sat nav during the test.

Going off the route

Your test result will not be affected if you take a wrong turning, unless you make a fault while doing it.

The examiner will help you get back on the route if you do.

If you cannot see traffic signs

If you cannot see a traffic sign (for example, because it’s covered by trees), the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next one.

If you make mistakes during your test

You can carry on if you make a mistake. It might not affect your test result if it’s not serious.

The examiner will only stop your test if they think your driving is a danger to other road users.

  1. Step 1 Check if you can become an instructor

  2. Step 2 Apply to become a driving instructor

    You must get a new Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to start your application, even if you already have one.

    1. Get a DBS check £6
    2. Start your application
  3. Step 3 Get a trainer

    Get a registered trainer to help you prepare for the 3 qualifying tests.

    1. Find driving instructor training courses
  4. Step 4 Take the theory test (ADI part 1)

    1. Revise and practise for your test
    2. What you need for your test
    3. Find a theory test centre
    4. Book your test £81

    Once you've passed the theory test, you must pass the other parts of the test within 2 years or you'll have to start the whole process again.

  5. Step 5 Take the driving ability test (ADI part 2)

  6. Step 6 Get practice teaching

    If you’ve passed ADI part 2 you have the option to apply for a 6 month trainee licence to get experience teaching students.

    1. Find out about trainee instructor licences
    2. Apply for a trainee instructor licence £140
  7. Step 7 Take the instructional ability test (ADI part 3)

  8. Step 8 Register and start working as an instructor

    Once you've passed the tests you must register within 12 months.

    1. Register for your first ADI certificate £300

    When you have your certificate you can start charging for lessons. You can either:

    You'll have at least one standards check every 4 years. You also need to renew your registration and get a new DBS check every 4 years.

    1. Find out about ADI standards checks
    2. Renew your registration £300
    3. Improve your skills as an instructor