Guide to becoming an instructor

ADI Part 2 Test

ADI Part 2 practical test: Need to know

Guide to the ADI Part 2 practical test

To qualify as an approved driving instructor (ADI), you need to pass three tests. First off there’s a theory test. You need to pass this in order to take the ADI Part 2 test, which is a practical test of your driving ability. Again, you need to pass this in order to progress to ADI Part 3, which is a test of your chops as an instructor.

Here BSM takes a closer look at the ADI Part 2 practical test.

How can I book ADI Part 2?

Please note that COVID-19 restrictions may still apply. You can visit GOV.UK or nidirect for the latest guidance in your area. Driving tests are suspended in Scotland at the time of writing.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is responsible for driving instructor tests in England, Scotland and Wales. You can book the ADI Part 2 test on GOV.UK here, which costs £111. There’s a different process to book the ADI practical test in Northern Ireland, which is done through the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA).

You can also use these links to change your test date or centre if required.

What is the ADI Part 2 practical test?

While the ADI Part 2 test can be compared to the practical driving test, it’s a much tougher beast. You’ll be expected to demonstrate Highway Code knowledge and driving skills at an expert standard.

The test lasts for approximately an hour. You’ll undergo an eyesight test and safety questions, followed by an on-the-road test of your driving ability. You’ll have to perform some reversing manoeuvres, and finally there’s an independent driving section. In order to move on to the ADI Part 3 test, you need to pass all sections.

What should I take to the ADI Part 2 test?

You should bring the following on the day of the test:

● A full and valid driving licence.

● (If you’re taking the test in Northern Ireland) Photocard licence. Bring both your photocard and the counterpart paper licence. Bring a current passport if you don’t have a photocard

● The pass certificate for your ADI Part 1 theory test.

● A face covering.

You also need to provide the car to take the test in.

What car should I use for the ADI Part 2 test?

There are quite a few criteria for the car you use, and there’s also a list of cars you shouldn’t. You can see the full list on the DVSA website.

But generally speaking, the car you bring to the test should be an estate, saloon or hatchback with a solid roof. It must be a manual with right-hand steering. It should have working seatbelts, and the passenger seat should have a head restraint and be easily adjustable. You also need an adjustable rear-view mirror for the examiner to use.

Plus, the car mustn’t have L-plates on display.

Also, it should hopefully go without saying, but the car should be roadworthy, taxed and insured. A nice, clean, well-oiled machine will probably make a better impression.

What’s in the ADI Part 2 eyesight test?

When the test begins, the examiner will ask you to read a number plate. You’ll be doing this in daylight, so hopefully shouldn’t have any problems with visibility. You’ll have to either read a new-style plate from 26.5m, or an old-style number plate from 27.5m.

You’ll fail instantly if you can’t read the registration plate, and the test won’t continue. For this reason, it’s important not to forget your glasses or contact lenses if you wear them.

What are the ‘show me, tell me’ safety questions?

Next up, you’ll have to answer five ‘show me, tell me’ questions concerning vehicle safety checks. You’ll be asked:

● Three ‘tell me’ questions while stationary, where you’ll have to explain how to carry out certain checks.

● Two ‘show me’ questions while driving, where you’ll have to demonstrate certain checks.

You can read a full and up-to-date list of the ‘show me, tell me’ questions in the ADI Part 2 on the DVSA website

What’s in the ADI Part 2 driving ability test?

The examiner will be looking for expert-standard driving knowledge and skill here. You’ll be taken out in varying road and traffic conditions, including dual carriageways and motorways where possible.

The examiner be looking for any or all of the following:

● Expert handling of the vehicle controls

● Use of correct road procedure

● Anticipating the actions of other road users, and responding appropriately

● Excellent judgment of distance, speed and timing

● Driving in a way that’s considerate to other road users, taking into account both their safety and convenience

● The ability to drive in an environmentally friendly fashion

You may also be required to perform an emergency stop.

What are the ADI Part 2 reversing manoeuvres?

You’ll be asked to perform two of the following:

● Parallel park behind a vehicle at the side of the road.

● Reverse park into a bay, then drive out.

● Drive forward into a parking bay, then reverse out.

● Pull your car up on the right-hand side of the road. Reverse for roughly the length of two cars. Then rejoin the traffic.

While performing each manoeuvre, you’ll need to keep a good all-round view of the car.

What’s in the ADI Part 2 independent driving section?

This section lasts around 20 minutes. You’ll be expected to drive without instruction from the examiner, taking your cues instead from road signs or a sat nav. If it’s the latter, the examiner will set it up for you – you cannot use your own sat nav for this.

Although you’ll be expected to make the correct decisions without prompting, you won’t necessarily be marked down for going off route. If you make a fault while doing so, that’s a different story. But if the examiner starts to give you guidance, don’t take it as an indication that you’ve failed or been given a fault.

How do I pass the practical test?

You return to the test centre at the end. Here, the examiner will give you your score and feedback.

If you have six faults or fewer – congrats! You’ve passed the practical. At this point, you’ll be given a letter with your result. This also contains instructions of how to apply for the ADI Part 3 test.

At this point, the option of applying for a trainee licence will also be on the table. You can read more about the potential driving instructor (PDI) route here. We think this is a great option if you’d like to accrue on-the-road experience of teaching real learner drivers. And you get paid for it, which never hurts.

What happens if I fail the ADI Part 2?

You’ll fail if you get seven or more faults. In addition, you’ll fail if you have one serious fault. If there’s a dangerous fault during the test, the test will stop there and then.

In order to move on to ADI Part 3, you need to pass the practical test and get your certificate. If you fail for the first time, you can have two more chances. However, failing for a third time will set you back to square one. In other words, you’ll have to go back to resit your ADI Part 1. This is why it’s a really good idea to take any feedback on board, which will set you in better stead for resitting your practical test.