SHOW ME, TELL ME
Safety Check questions and answers for car tests. (Show me / Tell me) The source material can be found in the DVSA publications “Driving the Essential Skills” and “The Official DVSA Driving Tests”. Advice and information on how to carry out vehicle safety checks can also be found in the manufacturer’s handbook.
One question from the “Tell me” list will be used at the beginning of the test and one from the “Show me” list is executed whilst driving.
Below is the full list of questions and answers candidates may be asked (As of 4th December 2017).
(While driving along)
When it’s safe to do so…
- Can you show me how you wash and clean the rear windscreen
- Show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen?
- How do you switch on your dipped headlights
- Can you show me how you’d set the rear demister?
- Show me how you’d operate the horn?
- Can you show me how you’d demist the front windscreen?
- How do you open and close the side window?
(At the beginning of the test)
Q1: Tell me how you'd check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. The vehicle should not pull to one side.
Q2: Where would you find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how the tyre pressures should be checked.
Manufacturers guide, use a reliable gauge, check and adjust pressures when the tyres are cold. Don’t forget the spare, remember to refit the valve caps.
Q3: Tell me how you would 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 the head restraint is at least as high as the eyes or tops of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. Note: Some restraints may not be adjustable.
Q4: 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.
No lumps, bumps, cuts, cracks and bulges in the side walls. A minimum of 1.6mm depth of tread across the centre three-quarters breadth of the tyre and around the circumference of the tyre.
Q5: Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working.
Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on the ignition if necessary) then walk around the vehicle. (As this is a “tell me” task, you don’t need to physically check the lights).
Q6: Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.
The warning light on the dashboard should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.
Q7: Tell me how you would check that all of the direction indicators are working. You don't necessarily need to exit the vehicle.
Explain you’d switch on the indicators or hazard warning lights (turn on the ignition if necessary) and go around the vehicle to check that all the indicators are working.
Q8: Tell 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.
Check handbrake / neutral. With ignition on, apply the footbrake, make use of garage doors, windows etc., or ask someone to help. As this is now a tell me you should not need to check the brake lights physically.
Q9: Explain to me how you would check the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey.
If the steering becomes heavy the system may not be working properly. Drive forwards and turn the steering wheel. The wheel should turn noticeably with you and shouldn’t feel heavy.
Q10: Tell me how you would switch on the rear fog lights and explain when you would use them. Do not start the engine.
Check handbrake / neutral. Turn the ignition until the lights come on the dashboard. Turn on dipped headlights. Then turn on rear fog lights. Check rear fog lights warning light is illuminated (orange) on the dashboard. Fog lights should only be used when visibility is less than 100 metres.
Q11: Tell me how you switch your headlights from dipped beam to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on.
Check handbrake / neutral. Turn the ignition until lights come on the dashboard. Turn on the head lights. Switch to main beam. Check main beam warning light on the dashboard (blue).
Q12: Open the bonnet, and tell me how you'd check that the engine has sufficient oil.
Open the bonnet and identify the dipstick / engine oil level indicator. Describe how to check the oil level in-between the minimum and maximum markers. where the brake fluid reservoir is and check the level between minimum and maximum markers.Check handbrake / neutral. With ignition on, apply the footbrake, make use of garage doors, windows etc., or ask someone to help. As this is now a show me question the examiner may check the brake lights for you. If you need to switch on the ignition first sit in the car. Check handbrake / neutral. Turn ignition until the lights come on the dashboard. DO NOT START THE ENGINE.
Q13: Open the bonnet, and tell me how you'd check that the engine has sufficient coolant.
Identify the high and low level markings on the header tank where fitted, or the radiator cap. Describe how to top up to the correct level with water and anti-freeze.
Q14: 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.
Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and check the level between minimum and maximum markers.