Show Me Tell Me: What Can You Expect on Your Driving Test?

Vehicle Safety Questions – AKA Show Me, Tell Me – instil horror in a lot of learner drivers. You’re trying your best to get your head around the intricacies of actually staying on the road and now they expect you to know how to check your hydraulic brake fluid?! What are they, sadists?! But to be honest, Show Me, Tell Me is the part of your driving test that you need to worry the least about. And that’s partly because it’s so easy to prepare for. So, what do you actually need to know?

Everything you need to know about Driving Test Show Me, Tell Me questions

What are Show Me, Tell Me questions?

Show Me, Tell Me questions were introduced to the UK driving test in 2003. The basic aim being to try to further prepare new drivers for the road. Because, while you’re not expected to be a mechanic, the more you know about your car, how to maintain it, and the red flags you need to look out for, the safer your vehicle – and your driving – will be.

At the start of your driving test, your examiner will ask you one ‘tell me’ question. For this, you will not need to leave the test car, simply explain how you would deal with the relevant safety task.

Later on in the test – and this could be at any time – your examiner will ask you a ‘show me’ question. Here, you will be required to demonstrate how you would physically deal with a safety check while you’re driving. This isn’t meant to catch you out. If you feel that you can’t safely do it while driving, just say this to the examiner. They’ll ask you to pull over at the next convenient spot and you can answer then.

There are 14 standard ‘tell me’ questions. 7 ‘show me’ questions. You will be asked one of each.

Will I fail if I get Show Me, Tell Me wrong?


Getting one of your Vehicle Safety Questions wrong won’t lead you to fail your test. Even if you get both wrong, it’s not the end of the world. But an error will give you a minor fault. You’ve got 15 minors (or one major) to get through before you fail your test.

Be aware: while you won’t fail your test if you answer your Show Me, Tell Me questions incorrectly, you can get a serious fault – which does mean a fail – if you lose control of the car when answering the ‘show me’ question.

What show me, tell me questions can I expect on my driving test?

Show me questions are centred around common driving activities. They include washing the windows, demisting and beeping your horn, among other things.

Tell me questions have a wider range. You might be asked to explain how to test your brakes, check your tyres for safety, adjust your head rest, or check your engine for coolant.

You can find the full list of Vehicle Safety questions – and their answers – here.

If you mess up with your show me, tell me questions, it can feel like you’ve failed before you’ve even pulled out of the test centre. But in reality, it’s no biggie. Put it behind you and focus on your drive. Don’t sweat it and let it ruin your chances. It’s not ideal, but it is OK.

That being said, if you can nail show me, tell me, you’re off to a flying start. Your confidence gets a lift. And you’ve got one less minor to worry about. So, it’s worth taking some time to familiarise yourself with the questions and get ahead, ready for test day.

Ready to start preparing for your driving test? Let DGN show you the way

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