Basic Safety Checks for Your Vehicle

These are basic vehicle checks that a driver should carry out to ensure the vehicle is safe for use. Some checks may involve you opening the bonnet to specify where and how to check the fluid levels. If fitted, you can answer questions on tyre pressures and fluid levels by referring to the vehicle information system many modern vehicles are equipped with.

Your Sally’s instructor will take you through the vehicle safety checks to ensure you understand them.

Before the start of a car driving test your examiner will ask you two questions, known as the “Show Me, Tell Me” questions. The first will be a “Show Me” question requiring you to demonstrate how you’d carry out a check, the second will be a “Tell Me” questions where you’re required to explain how to carry out the check.

Example “Show Me” Questions

Show me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on.
Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.

Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively.
Set all relevant controls including fan, temperature air direction and source, and heated screen to clear windscreen and windows.

Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear; make sure you keep safe control of the vehicle.
Apply footbrake firmly. Demonstrate by applying parking brake (handbrake) so that when it is fully applied it secures itself, and is not at the end of the working travel.

Example “Tell Me” Questions

Tell me how you would 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. Vehicle should not pull to one side.

Tell me how you would 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.

Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working (no need to exit vehicle).
Operate switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle. As this is a ‘tell me’ question, there’s no need to physically check the lights.