Hand Signals and Technical Checks for the Irish Driving Test

The Irish Driving Test takes appromimately 1 hour from start to finish but you are only driving for around 30-35 minutes. To begin with you should reverse your car into the car park space outside the test centre. By doing so it is much easier to leave once you start the test. You should practice this beforehand and check our Video Tutorials page if you have any difficulties. Don’t worry if you take a few attempts or if a tester is watching as they will not give it much attention and it will not have any effect on how they mark the test.

You should go into the test centre 15 minutes early and wait in the waiting room for your name to be called. You do not need to register with anyone that you are there. All test centres have a bathroom you can use and most have a water fountain. When your name is called the tester will bring you into an interview room and check your learner permit and get you to sign a form. The tester will then ask you some Questions and Road Signs. It depends on the individual tester but you may be asked up to 12 of each. If you get 3 or more wrong then it is a Grade 2 mark and the tester will continue with the rest of the test.

When you leave the test centre and go to your car the tester will ask you to open the bonnet and do the Technical Checks. You will be asked to point out the Coolant, Brake Fluid, Oil and Windscreen Wash.

Technical Checks for the Irish Driving Test
Technical Checks for the Irish Driving Test

The tester will also ask some questions about the car in a Show Me/Tell me format. These include:

  • Front/Rear Demister
  • Hazard Lights
  • Anti-glare Mirror
  • Dipped/Full Headlights
  • Fog Lights
  • Wipers
  • Windscreen Wash
  • Adjust Headrest

The tester will then ask you to move off when safe to do so and to turn left or right when leaving the test centre. They will explain to keep driving straight unless they say otherwise. During the test you will drive for around 30-35 minutes depending on traffic. You will be assessed in the following situations:

  • Road positioning
  • Overtaking and passing
  • Anticipation and observation
  • Use of mirrors and signals
  • Progress
  • Speed

Your driving will be assessed upon:

  • Road positioning
  • Overtaking and passing
  • Anticipation and observation
  • Use of mirrors and signals
  • Progress
  • Speed
  • Compliance with traffic lights, road signs and markings
  • Use of the vehicle controls (accelerator, clutch gears, brakes and steering)
  • Use of secondary controls such as wipers demisters, etc.

QUES. How do you check if the lights are working?

A: Switch on, Walk around car if necessary, otherwise ask someone to help. Check all lenses are clean and free of cracks, holes.

QUES. How do you check your Reflectors?

A: It’s a visual check. Look at them and check that they are clean and unbroken.

QUES. How do you check your Indicators?

A: Switch on, walk around car or ask someone to check. Also if one lamp is gone that side will flash double speed on your dashboard. Also check that the lenses are clean and unbroken

QUES. How do you check your Brake Lights?

A: Switch on engine. Reverse against a reflective surface and brake. Check your mirrors to see if the lights are on.

QUES. How do you check your brakes are working?

A: They should not feel spongy or pull to one side. Brake gently after you move off when safe to do so.

QUES. How do you check your Handbrake?

A: Pull it on. It should stay up (Ratchet engages OK)

QUES. How do you check your Power Steering?

A: The steering wheel will be difficult to turn if its not working. To check, try turning the wheel with engine off and it will feel stiff. Once engine is turned on it will loosen and that is how you know the power steering has kicked in.

QUES. Tell me how to check the Tyres?

A: The tread depth should be a minimum 1.6 mm deep across 75% of the tyre. Check air pressure when tyre is cold. Find correct pressure in owners car manual (normally 28-30 PSI). Most garage forecourts have air pumps available for use.

QUES. How do you know if there is a problem with the anti lock braking system?

A: The ABS warning light will become illuminated on the instrument panel.
Inside the car you may also be asked to show you know how to use the wipers, lights (full beam and dipped headlights), fog lights, front and rear demister, hazard lights, windscreen wash (front and back) and mirrors (including the anti-glare function).

During the test you will also be asked to perform the hand signals

Once you return to the test centre the tester will bring you back into the interview room and give you feedback as well as whether you passed or failed. The full results will then be sent out by either email or post depending on how you applied. If you do not pass you need to wait 3 weeks before you can resit it.