Posted on Categories Bournemouth

Thank you to all the Driving Instructors in Bournemouth who created the following list. This list was produced to help pupils taking driving lessons in Bournemouth reduce faults within the driving test. As part of the practical driving test, all candidates will be asked two questions based on key checks that should be made regularly on their vehicles to ensure it stays legal and safe to use on the road. If the question is not answered correctly then one driver fault will be commited. There are a total of nineteen questions that the driving vehicle and standards agency (DVSA) may choose the two questions from and these will be asked prior to moving off from the driving test centre. The questions are either asked as a ‘Tell me how you would check’ or ‘Show me how you would check’. All our driving instructors will go through these questions as part of your driving course however it is good to learn and practise these when you can within your own time. We hope you find these useful.

Show Me / Tell Me Safety Questions

  1. Open the bonnet and identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil.
  • Identify dipstick /oil level indicator and describe how you would check the oil level against the min/max markers.
  1. Open bonnet and identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check the engine has the correct level.
  • Identify the high and low markings on the header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, & describe how you would top up to the correct level.
  1. Identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is situated and tell me how you would check that the windscreen washer level is sufficient.
  • Identify windscreen washer reservoir and explain how to check level.
  1. Open the bonnet and identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid within it.
  • Identify the reservoir and check level against minimum and maximum markings
  1. Tell me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car before starting your journey.
  • Operate brake pedal and make use of reflections in windows, garage doors etc or ask someone to help. You may need to turn on your ignition first.
  1. Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting your journey.
  • By pressing your brake pedal they should not feel spongy or slack and they should also be tested as you set off  and your vehicle should not pull to one side.
  1. Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.
  • There should be no cuts and bulges on the tyre and there should be minimum of 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.
  1. Tell me where you would find the correct information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how the tyre pressures should be checked.
  • The tyre pressure can be found in the manufacturer’s guide. This should be checked using a reliable pressure gauge. The pressures should be checked when tyres are cold and don’t forget  to check the spare tyre and replace the valve caps.


  • 9.  Show me or explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey
  • If the steering becomes heavy then the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey two simple checks can be made. Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.
  1. Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working. ( you may not need to exit the vehicle)
  • Explain how you operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary) & how you would walk round vehicle to check working.
  1. Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working.
  • You can either apply the indictors or hazard warning switch and check functioning of all indicators by walking around the car and physically checking them. (turn on ignition if necessary) 
  1. Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only)
  • Check is carried out by pressing the horn control (turn on ignition if necessary)
  1. Show me how you would check the parking brake (hand brake) for excessive wear.
  • Demonstrate this by applying the parking brake and that when it is fully applied it secures itself, and is not at the end of the working travel.
  1. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash
  • The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of head restraint is at least as high as the top of your ears or eye & as close to the head as is comfortable. NB Some restraints do not move.
  1. Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers.
  • Operate the control to wash and wipe the windscreen (turn ignition on if necessary)
  1. Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all windows effectively, this should include both the front and the rear windows
  • Set all controls including the Fan, temperature, air direction / source & heated screen to clear windscreen & windows. (Engine does not need to be started for this demo)
  1. Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them. (no need to exit vehicle)
  • Operate the switch (turn on dipped head lights & ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on & explain its use. They should be only be used when visibility is less then a hundred meters.
  1. Tell me how you would know if you had a problem with your anti lock braking system (ABS) whilst driving your car.
  • Identify the warning light which should illuminate if there is a fault with the system
  1. Show me how you would switch your headlights from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know that the main beam is on whilst you are inside the car.
  • Operate switch (turn ignition on if necessary) & check main beam warning light is on. (usually a blue light)

Paul Knott