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ADI Driving Ability Test Part 2

This guide to the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 2 test is the ideal preparation. It will help you prepare for the driving ability test.

We explain what you will need to take with you (e.g. a suitable car), ADI practical test procedures, and how the faults and test result work.

Booking and Taking the ADI Test Part 2

You must have already passed the ADI part 1 theory test before you can book the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 2 test.

The second part (in a series of three) is a test of your driving ability. So, to pass the ADI part 2 you will need to drive:

  • In a safe manner (in various road and traffic conditions).
  • In a way that shows are familiar with The UK Highway Code.

You should only take the ADI driving ability test when there is no longer a need for instruction. DVSA produce guidance notes on the national standard for driving category B vehicles (e.g. cars and light vans).

You can use the Royal Mail postcode finder to help you find driving instructor training courses near to the area where you will qualify to become an ADI.

How to Change or Check Test Details

After booking the ADI part 2 test you can use the GOV.UK website to change your driving test appointment (e.g. to find a ‘cancellation appointment’).

The same service also works for checking your test details online (e.g. if you lost the confirmation email sent to you).

Rebooking the Theory Test

You should use the same booking service to rebook the ADI part 2 test (e.g. if you failed and want to resit it). But, you can only rebook after the first and second attempt (see further details below).

Note: Some of the procedures for the Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Part 2 Test differ in Northern Ireland.

Things You Must Take to a Driving Test

You will need to bring along:

  • Your United Kingdom driver’s licence.
  • The approved driving instructor (ADI) part 1 pass certificate.
  • A car that meets certain requirements (see below).

Note: Failing to bring the correct things to your test can result in a cancellation. In this case, you would not get a refund of the money.

UK Driving Licences

You can replace a driving licence online with the DVLA if yours is lost, damaged, or stolen. But, keep in mind that it can take up to two (2) weeks to get a replacement.

  • Take a valid passport along with your paper licence if yours is not the new photocard version.
  • Take the Northern Ireland photocard along with the paper counterpart if yours is a licence from Northern Ireland

Note: It would be necessary to change your driving ability test date if the new licence does not arrive in time.

Using Your Own Car for the ADI Test

Strict rules apply to all cars used for practical driving tests in the United Kingdom. So for example, you must be using a car that:

  • Is taxed and insured for a driving test (your insurer can confirm this).
  • Is roadworthy and has a current MOT (for vehicles more than 3 years old).
  • Is a saloon, hatchback, or estate car in good working condition (it cannot be a convertible)
  • Has no warning lights showing there is a fault (e.g. the airbag warning light).
  • Has the legal tread depth on each tyre and none of them should be damaged.
  • Is smoke-free (meaning you must not smoke in the vehicle before or during the test).
  • Can reach at least 62mph (with a speedometer calibrated for miles per hour).
  • Has four (4) wheels and a maximum authorised mass (MAM) not more than 3,500kg.

Note: The Lorry and bus section explains the definition of MAM in more detail. In basic terms, it refers to the weight limit of a car when loaded.

Your car must also be fitted with:

  • Extra mirrors mounted onto the wing mirrors on both the passenger and driver side (used by the examiner).
  • A seatbelt on the passenger seat for the examiner to use and a proper passenger head restraint (it cannot be the slip-on type).

Using Dashcams and Cameras

You would be able to use a camera that is fitted to the car for insurance purposes, providing:

  • It does not record audio from inside the car.
  • It faces to the outside of the car and does not record film of what is happening inside the vehicle.

Using Manual or Automatic Cars

You can either use a manual car (with 3 pedals) or an automatic car (with 2 pedals) to take the United Kingdom driving test. But, after passing the test, the type of car you can teach with will depend on:

Note: Taking the test in an automatic car means you can only teach people to drive in an automatic car after passing.

Using Hire Cars for the Driving Test

Providing it meets all the rules, and is fitted with dual controls, there is nothing to stop you taking your test in a hire car.

You can also use a vehicle that features:

  • An electronic parking brake.
  • Hill-start assist.

Cars You Cannot Use (with known safety faults)

Some cars fail to provide all-round vision for the examiner during the test exercises. Thus, you cannot use a:

  • BMW Mini convertible
  • Ford KA convertible
  • Toyota iQ
  • VW Beetle convertible

Note: It is best to check with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) before booking the test if you plan on using a convertible car or a panel van.

DVSA Driving Test Enquiries
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0300 200 1122
Monday to Friday: 8am to 4pm
Check a list of call charges.

As a rule, you will not be able to use any of the cars shown in this table of known vehicle safety faults. These cars have been recalled for reasons of safety.

Car Model Reason for the Recall List of Vehicles Affected Recall Issue Date
Citroen C1 Steering failure Vehicles built between 9th of September 2014 and 15th of October 2014, with vehicle identification numbers (VINs) between wF7xxxxxxER516105 and VF7xxxxxxER523367 28th of June 2016
Peugeot 108 Steering failure Vehicles built between 9th of June 2014 and 15th of October 2014, with VINs between VF3xxxxxxER256527 and F3xxxxxxER017078 28th of June 2016
Toyota Aygo Steering failure Build dates between 9th of September 2014 and 15th of October 2014, with VINs between JTDJGNEC#0N022080 and 0N026438, JTDJPNEC#0N002099 and 0N002100, JTDKGNEC#0N022186 and 0N031372, and JTDKPNEC#0N002083 and 0N002102 28th of June 2016
Toyota Yaris Potentially defective seat rail track and/or steering column mounting Some models built between June 2005 and May 2010 (‘05’ to ‘10’ registration plates) 9th of April 2014
Vauxhall ADAM Potential steering problem VINs with last 8 digits between E6077301 to E6113446, and F6000001 to F6006544 29th of September 2014
Vauxhall Corsa D Potential steering problem VINs with last 8 digits between E6071016 and E6118738, and E4181031 and E4308122 29th of September 2014

In some cases, you may use one of the cars listed in the table by providing proof that the car (either):

  • Was not part of any recall.
  • Was previously recalled but there was no requirement to have any work done.
  • Was previously recalled and the recall work has already been carried out.

The proof you provide to the car testing facility must be (either):

  • On official or headed notepaper from the manufacturer or a dealer.
  • The recall letter or the safety notice (containing an official stamp by the manufacturer or the dealer).

Note: The facility will cancel the test, and you may lose your test fee, if your car fails to meet the rules or you don’t take appropriate proof.

What Happens on the ADI Test Part 2?

It takes around one hour to complete the five parts of the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 2 test. The five different part are:

  • An eyesight check (reading a number plate)
  • ‘Show me, tell me’ (practical questions about vehicle safety)
  • General driving ability (may include motorways and dual carriageways)
  • Manoeuvres
  • Independent driving segment
Passing the Eyesight Check

To meet the legal eyesight standard for driving you will need to read out the correct letters and numbers on a vehicle number plate from a distance of:

  • 26.5 metres (for vehicles with the new-style number plate).
  • 27.5 metres (for vehicles with the old-style number plate).

Note: The new-style number plates begin with two (2) letters followed by two (2) numbers (e.g. AB99 ABC). Failing the car eyesight check counts as one of the 3 attempts allowed for passing the ADI part 2 test.

‘Show Me, Tell Me’ Vehicle Safety Questions

The primary purpose of the five (5) ‘show me, tell me’ questions is to confirm you can perform some basic safety checks. The examiner will ask you to carry out:

  • Three (3) ‘tell me’ questions (e.g. explain how you would carry out a safety task) conducted at the start of the test before you start driving.
  • Two (2) ‘show me’ questions while actually driving the car (e.g. show how you would wash the car windscreen).

Note: Each incorrect answer results in one (1) driving fault. Answering all five questions incorrectly results in a serious fault and you would fail the test. Losing control of the vehicle while answering one of the ‘show me’ questions would also result in a failed result.

Being Tested on Your General Driving Ability

The examiner will want to see that you:

  • Display expert handling of the controls.
  • Use correct road procedures
  • Anticipate the actions of other road users and take appropriate action.
  • Use sound judgement of distance, speed, and timing.
  • Show consideration for the convenience and safety of other road users.
  • Drive the vehicle in an environmentally-friendly manner.

You will be asked to drive the vehicle on different types of roads and in various traffic conditions. It can include driving on motorways and dual carriageways. You may also need to perform an emergency stop.

Reversing the Vehicle

You must be able to manoeuvre the car into a restricted space and then be able to stop the car under your control. So, you will need to carry out two (2) of these exercises:

  • Parallel park at the side of the road.
  • Park the car in a parking bay by (either):
    • Driving in and then reversing out.
    • Reversing in and then driving out (the examiner will confirm which one).
  • Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse the car for around two (2) car lengths, and then rejoin the normal flow of traffic.
Independent Driving Part

The final part of the practical driving test involves a twenty (20) minute drive, following (either):

The examiner will confirm which to follow. The rules of the ADI test part 2 do not allow you to use your own sat nav. But, the examiner will set up a sat nav device for you to follow.

Going Off the Planned Route

As a general rule, going off the route will not affect your test result (unless taking a wrong turning causes you to make a fault). The examiner will be aware that it may happen, and will help you to get back on track if it does.

If the Traffic Signs are Obscured

It may be difficult to see a traffic sign (for example if trees are covering it). If this happens, the examiner will provide you with further directions to follow until you can see the next traffic sign.

If You Make a Mistake

Only serious blunders are likely to affect the result even if you make a mistake. So, stay under control and continue with the test, if you feel you made an error of judgement.

Note: DVSA examiners only stop car tests if they assess the driving to be dangerous for other road users.

ADI Test Part 2 Faults and Result

The three types of practical driving test faults you can make are:

  • A driving fault (has little potential for danger but could become a serious fault if repeated).
  • A serious fault (something that has the potential of becoming a dangerous situation).
  • A dangerous fault (involves actual danger to the driver, the test examiner, members of the public, or to property).

The Pass Mark

You will pass the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 2 test if you DO NOT make:

  • More than six (6) ‘minors’ (driving faults)
  • Any ‘majors’ (serious or dangerous faults)

After reaching the pass mark, the examiner who tested you will:

  • Tell you if you made any driving faults.
  • Give you a copy of the driving test report.

You would then have a choice between:

Note: If you get a trainee driving instructor licence it can help you prepare for the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 3 test.

What Happens If You Do Not Pass?

If you fail, the examiner will tell you which particular faults you made. You would need to pay again in order to book the driving test again (resit it). The choice would only apply if you fail the first or second attempt.

If You Fail the Third Attempt

Failing the ADI driving ability part 2 test three times means you would need to retake and pass the ADI part 1 theory test again.

Note: You must wait for a period of two (2) years from the date when you first passed the ADI part 1 test.

How to Appeal the ADI Part 2 Test

You can make an appeal if you believe the examiner failed to follow the regulations during your test. A successful appeal would not get the test result changed, but it could get you a free retest.

You would need to make your appeal to either a magistrate’s court or to a sheriff’s court (depending on where you took your test). So, appeal to:

  • A magistrate’s court within six (6) months of sitting a test in England or Wales.
  • A sheriff’s court within twenty one (21) days if you took it in Scotland.

If the Test is Cancelled (e.g. bad weather)

DVSA will not conduct driving tests in dangerous or in adverse weather conditions. So, they will cancel it if there is thick fog, high winds, or if the roads are flooded or icy.

It is best to phone the test centre if there are any bad weather conditions in force on examination day. You will find the phone number on the booking confirmation email.

If the test cannot go ahead the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will:

  • Book the next available date for a test (you would be able to change your driving test appointment).
  • Send the rescheduling details to you within three (3) working days. Although unusual, long periods of bad weather may force a delay of up to seven (7) days.

Note: Drivers cannot claim out-of-pocket expenses if the DVSA cancels the test because of bad weather.

Cancelled Due to Vehicle or Health Problems

You would have to book your practical driving test again, and pay the exam fee once more, if the problem that causes the cancellation is (either):

  • A fault of yours (e.g. you feel unwell during the evaluation).
  • A fault of your vehicle (e.g. the car breaks down during the test).
Other Reasons for Cancelling the Test

There may be another reason why the DVSA needs to cancel the schedule (e.g. the examiner is not feeling well). In this case, they would send you a new date.

Note: You can apply for a refund of out-of-pocket expenses for a cancelled driving test at short notice (less than 3 clear working days).

Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Part 2 Test Guide for United Kingdom