Advice

How to prepare for the ‘Show me, Tell me’ section of the driving test

Learners have to prove they can check basic safety features as part of the driving test, so it pays to swot up beforehand.

First published: 4th May 2016
What is the ‘Show me, Tell me’ part of the driving test?
‘Show me’ and ‘tell me’ questions were introduced to the practical driving test on 1 September 2003. Before you start the driving part of your test, the examiner will ask two questions about basic things drivers need to check to ensure their vehicle is safe.

For the ‘show me’ question, the examiner will ask you to demonstrate a basic safety check. For the ‘tell me’ question, you have to explain to the examiner how you would carry out such a check.
What sorts of questions will I be asked?
The examiner can ask you about things inside and outside the car, but questions will always relate to basic safety checks and ways you can tell whether or not a car is fit to be on the road. They might ask you about things like the horn, lights or brakes, and how to tell if they’re working properly.
Examples of ‘show me’ questions
An examiner might ask, ‘show me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on'. You would then have to turn on the main beams (you might need to switch on the ignition or engine to do so), and point to the main beam warning light.

Or, ‘show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers'. You would have to turn on the wash/wipe function, again, possibly with the ignition or engine on.
Examples of ‘tell me’ questions
The examiner might ask, ‘tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system'. You would explain that a warning light should illuminate if there is a problem with the ABS.

Or, ‘tell me how you would check the headlights and tail lights are working'. Tell the examiner you would turn on the light switch and walk around the vehicle to see if the lights were on (though you wouldn’t physically have to do this).
How can I prepare for the ‘show me, tell me’ part of the driving test?
The government publishes all of the questions examiners are likely to ask in the ‘show me, tell me’ section of the driving test – and the correct answers – on its website, so you can swot up on this part of the test before the day. They also have some videos that show you what this part of the test is really like.
Related topics:
New Drivers