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Driving School Ireland - Sligo,
Phone 071 9162311 or 087 6688797

The Driving Test in Ireland

From the:-
"Irish Government Driving Test information leaflet"

The purpose of the driving test is to ensure that an applicant for a certificate of competency has an adequate knowledge of the Rules of the Road, that he/she understands and can make proper use of the controls of the vehicle, and that, by putting this knowledge and skill into practice, can drive safely and competently without danger to, and with due regard for the safety and convenience of other road users.


In preparing for your driving test you should get in as inuch practice as possible in all types of traffic situations. When practising manoeuvres do not cause danger or annoyance to those living nearby or obstruct traffic. For these reasons it is advisable to avoid test routes


The driving test is straightforward. All Driver Testers are trained to classify faults in the same way and to a uniform standard. Their work is checked/supervised to ensure that they keep to this standard and this is why a Supervisor may sit in on a test. His presence will not affect your- Driver Tester's decision.

Unlike your Instructor the Driver Tester will not help you with encouragement or advice. He is there simply to see and note on his marking sheet how you cope. He will not talk unnecessarily while you are driving because that might distract you.


There are a number of conditions or requirements which must be complied with. Some of these relate to yourself and some to your vehicle. These requirements are set out below and on the notice of appointment and if they are not met on the day of the test, your test will not be conducted and your fee will be forfeit.


You must

(a) present yourself at the test centre at least five minutes before the time shown on the appointment notice
(b) produce your current Irish provisional licence for inspection by the Driver Tester before the start of the test. The licence must be valid for the category of vehicle in which you intend to do the test.
(c) be covered by insurance to drive the vehicle in which you intend to do your test.


The vehicle you provide for the test must
(a) be sufficiently representative of the. category for which you wish to be tested. If the vehicle you intend to use is automatic or semi-automatic, this fact will be noted on your Certificate of Competency should you pass your driving test, and you will only be licenced to drive such vehicles.
(b) be in roadworthy condition.
(c) display a current motor tax disc (trade plates, general or limited, are not acceptable).
*(d) display a current insurance disc.
*(e) display "L" plates (front and rear).
*These are not required if you are doing your test on a motorcycle or an agricultural tractor.


The following paragraphs summarise the various elements which make up the driving test.

1. Knowledge of the Rules of the Road
You will be asked a number of questions on the Rules of the Road and you will have to show by your answers that you have a sound knowledge of them. Remember, even though your driving may be done in a rural area and in one class of vehicle, you should know the rules which apply in city and town traffic and to other road users.

2. Moving off/ Hill test/ Vehicle controls
You should be able to move off safely and smoothly, either on the level or on a gradient, taking care not to inconvenience or endanger pedestrians, cyclists or. other traffic. This involves using the mirror, signalling and looking around.
Make proper use of accelerato/clutch/gears/ footbrake/bandbrake and steering. On a gradient you should be able to coordinate the release of the handbrake with the use of the accelerator and clutch. Do not roll back. Do not stall the engine.
Accelerator: The accelerator should be used smoothly.
Clutch: Operate the clutch with reasonable smoothness. Do not "coast" i.e. drive for a distance with the clutch disengaged.
Gears: Select the correct gear for moving off, overtaking, for the speed, and for making a turning. Engage gears smoothly. Do not coast in neutral.
Brakes: Release and apply handbrake smoothly and when required. Apply footbrake smoothly (except in emergencies). Avoid unnecessary use of brakes while turning.
Steering: Hold the wheel where there is maximum control. Have both hands on the wheel except when operating a control or giving a signal.

3. Road and Lane Position
In normal driving maintain correct position on the straight, on bends and within traffic lanes. Do not hug the middle of the road or the kerb. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
When overtaking or changing lanes do not drive too close to the vehicle in front. Pull out smoothly. Allow sufficient but not excessive clearance. Overtake promptly and return to correct position. Do not cut in.
Do not overtake where it is prohibited to do so. Do not accelerate when being overtaken.
Normally, you will overtake on the right, but you may overtake another vehicle on the left
(a) when the driver in front of you has signalled his intention to turn right, and you intend, after having overtaken, to go straight ahead or turn left.
(b) in slow moving traffic when vehicles in the lane on your right are moving slower than the traffic in your lane.
Depending on the course you intend taking at a junction or a roundabout make sure you are in the appropriate lane.
On stopping in traffic or at a kerb be in a safe position and do not cause any obstruction to others. Stop smoothly and under control.

4. One-Way Streets
When driving in a one-way street take up correct position depending on the course you intend taking at the end of the street.

5 Turning Right
When you intend to turn right look into your mirror, signal your intention, look into your mirror again and then take up a position in good time just left of the centre of the road. Give way to other traffic and to pedestrians as necessary. Turn around the centre point of the junction and when you hgve completed the turn take up the correct position to the left of the road. NEVER CUT THE CORNER

6. Turning Left
When you intend to turn left look in your mirror, signal your intention in good time, look in your mirror again and then take up a position as close as practicable to the left side of the road. Give way to other traffic and to pedestrians as necessary. Do not swing wide before or after turning. Do not mount the kerb.

Always give way to traffic from your immediate right on the roundabout but keep moving if the way is clear.

Turning Left
If you intend turning left (taking the first exit) approach in the left hand lane and use the left- turn indicator. Keep to the left hand lane in the roundabout.

Going Forward
When you intend going forward you should approach in the left-hand lane and keep to that lane in the roundabout. If, however, conditions make it necessary (for example, if the left-hand lane is blocked) you may approach in the right- hand lane and keep to that lane in the roundabout. If the roundabout itself is clear of other traffic, you may take the most convenient lane through the roundabout. You should use your left-turn indicator immediately you pass the exit before the one you intend to take.

Turning Right
When you intend turning right you should
(a) use your right-turn indicator on approach and maintain this signal.
(b) Approach in a right-hand lane and keep to that lane until you come to the exit before the one you intend to take. You should then change to the left-turn indicator and proceed with care to the exit you wish to take.

8. Anticipation/Observation
(a) Always look around before moving off to ensure that no traffic is coming up on the outside which you may not see in the mirror(s).
(b) Be on the lookout for dangers ahead and anticipate what others may do. Always have a clear picture of the traffic situation in which you are driving. Never attempt any movement or manoeuvre until you can see that it is safe to do so.
(c) Before overtaking, changing lane, altering course or stopping make sure that it is safe to do so. Do not follow blindly behind another vehicle.
(d) On approach to junctions or roundabouts and before entering another road look right and left. Make sure that it is safe to proceed.
(e) React correctly to hazards.

9. Mirrors/Signals
Make sure that your mirrors are properly adjusted. Mirrors should be used froin time to time to provide a picture of following traffic. Use the mirrors and give a correct signal in good time before - moving off - overtaking or changing lane - turning right or left - at roundabouts - slowing - stopping. Always use your mirrors before signalling. Do not give contradictory signals and make sure that indicators are cancelled after use. Avoid giving dangerous signals to pedestrians. The horn should be used helpfully but not excessively. You are expected to know and be able to demonstrate the correct hand signals.

Yield right of way as required - when moving off; overtaking/changing lane; turning right/ turning left; at cross junctions/roundabouts; when meeting other road users. Do not insist on the right of way if by doing so you could contribute to an accident.

Adjust speed to suit traffic, road and weather conditions and when approaching bends - junctions - roundabouts - traffic controls - turning right - turning left. Never drive at such a speed that you cannot stop safely. Drive within the speed limit.

Having regard to the speed limits, keep up with the normal flow of traffic. Maintain reasonable progress moving off/ on the straight/ overtaking /changing lane /at junctions / at roundabouts/ turning right/ turning left. Do not cause obstruction.

Comply with traffic lights, pedestrian lights, pedestrian crossings, road signs, road markings, yellow box junctions and signals given by Gardai, school wardens or persons in charge of animals.


Reverse: You will be required to reverse into a side road on the left or right or both, keeping reasonably close to the kerb and to continue reversing while it is safe to do so until requested to stop. Manoeuvre competently. Do not bump or mount kerb. Throughout this manoeuvre you should make proper use of the vehicle controls, maintain reasonable prqgress and show care and consideration for the safety of pedestrians and other road users. Be prepared to stop if necessary

Turnabout: The purpose of this manoeuvre is to test your ability to control the vehicle in a restricted space. You will be required to turn the vehicle within the width of the roadway to face, in the opposite direction. You may go over and back more than once if necessary.
Manoeuvre competently.
Do not bump or mount kerb.

Throughout this manoeuvre you should make proper use of the vehicle controls, maintain reasonable progress and show care and consideration for the safety of pedestrians and other road users. Be prepared to stop if necessary.

PARK: You should be able to park the vehicle reasonably close to the kerb and in a safe position.
Do not park illegally.
Show care and consideration for other road users.
Take care when opening the door.

Look behind you before moving off/ overtaking/changing lane/turning right/ turning left/ stopping and at roundabouts.
Give correct hand signals in good time and in addition to using direction indicator.
Keep motorcycle under control while signalling and complete signal before making turn to ensure that both hands will be on handlebars when turning.
Perform "U" turn correctly.
Maintain proper control of motorcycle at slow speed.
Steer a correct course.
Motorcyclists are advised to read booklet "This is your Bike" - published by the National Safety Council, 6 Northbrook Road, Dublin 6. Telephone: 01-963422.

16. Courtesy
Show due regard for the safety and convenience of other road users.

PLEASE NOTE: Cancellation of driving test appointments will only he accepted if notification is received in the Department at least ten working days in advance of the appointed date.


Acknowledgement to Government office "Driving test information leaflet"

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