Show and tell questions...

To see the official Show and Tell questions for the practical driving test click on this link.


About the questions...

The examiner will ask you one:

Hint: You do not have to answer these questions word for word as in these answers. Use your own words if you like but make sure that you get the main points across and give the correct information. Failure on one or both questions will result in a minor fault. Listen to the question carefully. You can ask the examiner to repeat the question if necessary.

Tell me...

1. Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.

Brakes should be tested as you set off - drive the car slowly and use the footbrake to check. The pedal should not feel spongy or slack.  The car should not pull to one side.

Information may be found in the manufacturer’s guide or handbook. When checking use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre if there is one, remember to refit the valve caps.

3. 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 the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. Note: Some restraints might not be adjustable.

4. Tell me how you’d check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.

Visual inspection. There should be no cuts and bulges. They must have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre, and around the entire outer circumference of the tyre.

5. Tell me how you’d check that the headlights and tail lights are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Explain you’d operate the switch (turning on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).

6. Tell me how you’d know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.

Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.

7. Tell me how you’d check the direction indicators are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), and then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights). Use direction indicator switch, not hazard warning switch.

8. Tell me how you’d check the brake lights are working on this car.

Explain you’d operate the brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows or doors, or ask someone to help.

9. Tell me how you’d check the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey.

If the steering becomes heavy, the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey, 2 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.

10. Tell me how you’d switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you’d use it/them. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

rear fog sw tony webber ©2009

Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition first). Check warning light is on. Explain use.





11. Tell me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you’d know the main beam is on.

Operate lever switch on steering column (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with blue main beam warning light.


You need to open the bonnet and tell the examiner how you’d do the check if you’re asked question 12, 13 or 14.

Warning: Do not touch things under the bonnet as they may be very hot and cause burns.

To open the bonnet. Pull the bonnet release lever, situated in the driver's footwell, towards you until you feel it release. At the front of the car locate the secondary release lever, which is just under the partly open bonnet and directly in line with the letter 'd' of the Ford badge, and with your right hand push lever to left whilst lifting the bonnet with the left hand. Secure the bonnet with the bonnet strut.

When closing the bonnet, support it while you replace the bonnet strut to its clip and then lower the bonnet until it rests by itself. Place both hands on the bonnet with fingers away from the edge and push down so that the catch clicks.


oilcheck tony webber ©2009

12. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient oil.

Answer. Identify dipstick. Say: I’d remove the dipstick, wipe it clean with a cloth or tissue, replace the dipstick to re-check the oil level, remove it again and check the result. The level should be between the maximum and minimum markings, and it's best done with car on level ground and when the engine is cold.



coolant tony webber ©2009

13. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient engine coolant.

Answer. Identify coolant header tank and Say: The level should be between the maximum and minimum markings, and it's best done when the engine is cold.




brake fluid tony webber ©2009

14. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.

Answer. Identify brake fluid reservoir. Say: I would check that the level is between the maximum and minimum markings.




Show me...

Hint: Familiarise yourself with the location of each control so you are not searching for one when asked. You do not have to do the task immediately - choose a safe opportunity to demonstrate your 'Show me' question. Choose a moment when there are not more important tasks to perform.

1. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the rear windscreen?

2. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen?

3. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights? As well as choosing a safe time to switch on the lights think about the impact on other road users if they see your lights go on. How might they interpret this? What might they do?

4. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d set the rear demister?

5. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate the horn? As well as choosing a safe time to operate the horn think about the impact on other road users if they hear it. How might they interpret this? What might they do?

6. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d demist the front windscreen?

7. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d open and close the side window?



Questions © 2018 Crown Copyright.

Photographs © 2009-2019 Tony Webber.


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