Driver CPC part 3 test: driving ability

You must have passed the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) part 1 theory test before you can book the Driver CPC part 3 test.

If you want to take your test in England or Wales and do not already have an appointment, your driving school must book your test for you.

You cannot currently book a new driving test for yourself because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

What to take to your test

You must bring a lorry or a bus or coach that meets the rules.

You must bring a face covering, unless you have a good reason not to wear one.

You must also bring one of the following:

  • a Great Britain photocard driving licence
  • a Northern Ireland photocard driving licence and paper counterpart
  • an EU photocard driving licence (and paper counterpart, if you have one)

If you do not have a photocard driving licence, bring your paper licence and a valid passport.

Your test will be cancelled and you’ll lose your fee if you do not bring these.

Wearing a face covering

You must wear a face covering for your test, unless you have a good reason not to. Good reasons are things like:

  • having a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability
  • wearing it would cause you severe distress

You need to say if you have a good reason not to wear a face covering when you book your test.

You can take it off during your test if you need to avoid harm or injury.

Your test will be cancelled if you come for your test without a face covering and you did not say that you could not wear one when you booked it.

When you must not come to your test

You must not come for your driving test if:

If you recently entered the UK

If you’ve entered the UK in the last 14 days you must not come for your test, unless you:

If you live in Scotland there’s a different list of ‘travel corridor’ countries.

Find out about the rules for returning to the UK.

How the test works

Your practical test will last about 1 hour and 30 minutes and includes:

  • vehicle safety questions
  • practical road driving
  • off-road exercises

Vehicle safety questions

During your test you’ll be asked vehicle safety questions on either:

Practical road driving

During your practical road driving, the examiner will see how you:

  • use the vehicle controls
  • move away at an angle, uphill and downhill
  • do a controlled stop
  • use the mirrors
  • give appropriate signals
  • show awareness and anticipation of other road users’ intentions
  • manage your progress and control your vehicle speed
  • deal with hazards
  • select a safe place to stop

There will also be 10 minutes of independent driving, designed to test your ability to drive safely while making independent decisions.

Off-road exercises

The off-road exercises will include:

  • an ‘S’ shaped reverse into a bay
  • showing the uncoupling and recoupling procedure if you’re taking a test with a trailer

During the test

You can carry on if you make a mistake during your driving test.

If you make a mistake which means you’ve failed, your driving examiner will direct you back to the driving test centre. The test will end early.

Test result

After you’ve taken the practical test your examiner will tell you if you’ve passed and explain how you did.

You’ll pass your test if you make:

  • 15 or fewer driving faults
  • no serious or dangerous faults

If you fail, you can book another driving test straight away, but you cannot take it for another 3 clear working days.

Cancelled tests

You can apply for a refund of out-of-pocket expenses if the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) cancels your test at short notice.