Test Syllabus

The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency is responsible for administering, conducting and setting the standards required for candidates to pass the British Driving Test.

The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency Driving Test Syllabus is a structured approach to acquiring the practical driving skills and appropriate knowledge to be a safe and responsible driver in a category B vehicle.

The DVSA has developing the ‘National standard for driving cars and light vans (category B)’, and believes that road-safety increases when new drivers show a greater awareness of dangers associated with driving and develop their ability to assess reflect and analyse their driving and recognise areas of improvement. To this aim learning-to-drive should be ‘client-centred’ and not ‘instructor lead’. The responsibility of learning to drive should sit with the client as early in the learning process as possible. To this end, instructors at Kinghams Driving School have the latest client centred driver training qualifications enabling them to teach in a manner that suits differing learning styles.

Whichever way people learn, the DVSA say that the successful driving test candidate will have 46 hours of professional tuition from a qualified local driving instructor and 22 hours of private practice to cover the driving lessons syllabus.

Seems a lot? Well! The DVSA driving lessons syllabus is very extensive and each point detailed below needs to be explained so the student fully understands the task. The student will be repeatedly talked, assisted and coached through each task until independence is achieved through the entire driving lessons syllabus.

For more information about we can best help you through the DVSA Sullabus and achieve your driving goals please get in touch

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We provide weekly and intensive driving courses for beginner, refresher and advanced drivers of all ages, standards and abilities.

Southampton Driving Lessons are now available! Fill in the form to contact our friendly instructor and book your lesson.

Fill in the following form, alternatively give us a call on:

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DVSA Driving Test Syllabus

Driver Cockpit Drill

Doors, seat, steering wheel, seat belts, mirrors.

Vehicle Controls

Hand controls, foot controls, ancillary controls and switches.

Correct Use of Mirrors

Driving mirrors, when to use, anti dazzle setting, blind spot areas, mirrors before hazards, mirrors-signal-manoeuvre routine.

Moving Away Safely

Coordination / use of driver controls, observation (MSM). Anticipation of other road users.

Stopping and Road Position

Stop the car safely. Driving and parking positioning.

Changing Gear

Changing up and down the gears, through 1st to 2nd gears, then 2nd to 3rd. 4th comes a bit later!

Controling the clutch

Driving the car at very slow speeds by gentle use of the clutch biting point.

Turning into and out of Junctions

Mirrors, Signals, Position, Speed, Gears, Look, Assess, Decide and Act. Priorities. Zones of vision. Pedestrians and cyclists.

Cross Roads

Mirrors, Signals, Position, Speed, Gears,Look, Assess, Decide and Act. Priorities. Zones of vision. Peeping and creeping.

Correct Use of Signals

Use of arm and mechanical signals. Signal or No Signal? Misleading signals.

Meeting Traffic

Identify obstructions ahead in good time, judgement of available space, can you pass? Anticipating and holding back for oncoming vehicles.

Clearance to Traffic and Obstructions

Driving past parked cars, maintaining a safe distances from moving and stationary vehicles, clearance to bus and cycle lanes etc.

Hill Starts

Move off up hill: Use of accelerator, clutch and handbrake. Move off down hill: Use of brake pedal, clutch and handbrake.

Main Road Driving

Driving on main roads, dealing with emerging traffic, buses, bus stops, bus lanes, pedestrians, cyclists, cycle lanes and traffic queues.

One Ways

One Way Streets, One Way Systems, Positioning, single and multi lane, changing lanes safely, road markings.

Traffic calming

Chicanes, road humps, speed cushions, rumble strips, build-outs and width restrictions.


Junctions Single and double roundabouts, Observations, approaching speed and use of gears, correct judgement of gaps in the traffic, road positioning, signalling, lane markings, following traffic signs.

Traffic Lights

Controlled cross roads, T Junctions, 2, 3 and 4 phase traffic lights. Filter lights and filter lanes. box junctions, temporary traffic lights.

Pedestrian Crossings

Zebra, pelican, toucan, puffin and Pegasus crossings, the rules, regulations, safe havens, yellow/red tactile surfaces, school crossings.

Dual Carriageways

MSM, slip roads – entering and exiting, use of speed, anticipation, lane discipline and lane changing, clearance to traffic and stopping distances.


Overtaking slower motor vehicles, cycles, on fast/slow single and dual carriageways. Use of gears. Undertaking!

Country Driving

Wide and narrow country roads, passing places, speed limits, cattle grids, bends, dead ground, hedgerows, soft verges.

Eco Safe Driving

Advanced use of gears, braking and acceleration. Matching engine speed to road speed. Reduced fuel emissions and fuel consumption.

Independent Driving

To independently navigate by following instructions given by satnav or road signs.

Car Ancillary Controls

Windscreen wipers, washers, windscreen demisting, side / brake / dipped / main-beam / fog lights, etc. Basic car maintenance checks and safety procedures.

Move Off at an Angle

Control, observation and accuracy driving off from behind a parked vehicle on the left.

Turn in the Road.

Control, observation and accuracy driving off from behind a parked vehicle on the left.Control, observation and accuracy to turn the vehicle around using forward and reverse gears without touching the kerb. This manoeuvre will be taught but no longer forms part of the test.

Reverse Into a Side Road

Control, observation and accuracy to reverse the vehicle around a corner into a limited opening on the left. This manoeuvre will be taught but no longer forms part of the test.

Reverse/Drive Forward Into a Parking Bay

Control, observation and accuracy to reverse or drive forward into and out of a car park parking bay either on the left or right.

Parallel Park

Control, observation and accuracy driving up along side and reversing (parking) behind a parked vehicle on the left (As if reversing into a space between two cars)

Park on the Right

Pull up and park on the right hand side of the road, reverse back two car lengths maintaining a close distance to the curb and then move off safely to rejoin the flow of traffic.


After stop-starting driving lessons for almost two years I passed my test on the second try! Steve was always very encouraging and supportive and I couldn’t have asked for a better instructor – thanks a lot!

Clare Hillsmith