“Show Me/Tell me”

Driving test questions – get the answers you need

What could be asked in the “Show me/Tell me”?

At the start of your practical driving test the examiner will begin by asking you two “Show me/  Tell me” questions. When taking your driving test it can be quite nerve racking. To help you on the day, David & Sarah provide the list of questions that could potentially be asked throughout the “Show me/ Tell me” section of the test.

What is the “Show me/Tell me” for?

  • To show your basic knowledge of the vehicle
  • To show you understand how to do essential checks on your vehicle

Passing your test is what everyone is looking forward to when taking lessons. However, it is key to understand the basics of the car and how to check for areas of concern or to maintain your vehicle. The “Show me/ Tell me” portion of the practical driving test is to ensure you have the basic skills ready to maintain and drive your own vehicle safety once you have passed.

Questions you may be asked

Click here to download a printable version of these questions.

Q1: Tell me how you would check the brakes are working before starting a journey.

A1: Brakes should be tested as you set off by applying gentle pressure at slow speed. Brakes should not feel spongy or slack and the vehicle should not pull to one side.


Q2: Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.

A2: In the manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.


Q3: 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.

A3: No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.


Q4: Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.

A4: Adjust the rigid part of the restraint so that it is close to the back of your head and level with your eyes or top of your ears.


Q5: Tell me how you would check that the headlights & tail lights are working? (No need to exit the vehicle).

A5: Operate switch (turn on ignition if necessary), get somebody to walk round vehicle.


Q6: Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.

A6: The ABS warning light would become illuminated on the instrument panel if there is a fault.


Q7: Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil.

A7: Identify dipstick / oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum/maximum markers.


Q8: Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.

A8: Identify reservoir, check level against high/low markings.


Q9: Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level.

A9: Identify high/low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.


Q10: Open the bonnet, identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level.

A10: Identify reservoir and explain how the washer fluid should be filled to a level between the min and max markers on the side of the reservoir or where there is no min/max marker to keep it topped up regularly.


Q11: Show me / explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey.

A11: If the steering becomes heavy 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.


Q12: Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear; make sure you keep control of the vehicle.

A12: Apply foot brake firmly, Demonstrate by applying parking brake so that when it is fully applied it secures itself, and is not at the end of the working travel.


Q13: Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only).

A13: Check is carried out by pressing gently on the control (turn on ignition if necessary).


Q14: Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working.

A14: Applying the indicators or hazard warning switch and check functioning of all indicators.


Q15: Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car (I can assist you, if you need to switch the ignition on, please don’t start the engine).

A15: Switch ignition on, operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, and garage doors etc., ask someone to help.


Q16: Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washers and wipers.

A16: Operate windscreen washer control button and then activate the windscreen wipers (turn on ignition if necessary).


Q17: Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens.

A17: Set all relevant controls including air vents at both sides to point towards the side windows, use the control switch to direct hot air onto the windscreen then operate the fan, press the heated rear screen switch to clear the rear window.


Q18: Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it /them (no need to exit the vehicle).

A18: Operate the rear fog switch after switching on dipped headlights check switch is illuminated and explain that they should only be used when visibility is reduced to 100 metres or less.


Q19: Show me how you would switch on your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car.

A19: Move the stalk attached to the steering column forwards which will illuminate a blue warning light on the instrument panel.