Show Me Tell Me is the name given to the technical / safety questions asked by a driving examiner in the Uk practical driving test.|
This element of the practical test was first introduced in September 2003, and the question bank was amended in July 2008.
On your driving test you wil be asked one 'show me' question and one 'tell me' question at the start of the test, after the eyesight test, but before starting the engine. The 'show me' question will require you to physically do something such as sound the car's horn or to point to something such as the engine oil dipstick and describe a procedure under the bonnet. The 'tell me'question will be purely verbal.
You cannot fail your practical driving test for getting one or both questions wrong, but you can pickup 1 minor driving fault as a result of one or two incorrect answers. 16 or more minor driving faults, or one serious or one dangerous fault will result in a test failure.
Showmetell.me gives the complete set of show me tell me safety questions and answers below for use in a practical driving test, as well as added explanations and advice, and even pictures showing where the main under bonnet items are in many popular driving school tuition vehicles found in the menu on the left hand side of this page.
You do not need to answer the questions word for word, but should demonstrate a good understanding of the topics.
If you are having driving lessons with a professional approved driving instructor (ADI car), he or she will show where everything is on the car you are learning to drive, but this website is intended to be a valuable aid to that learning. When you pass your driving test it is a great idea to familiarise yourself with all the items mentioned on your own car or the car that you will be using. Basic regular checks not only keep the car safer, but can also spare you an unnecessary breakdown and/or repair bill.
Show Me Tell Me Questions and answers
Q1) Show me how you would check that the direction
indicators are working.
A1) Applying the indicators or hazard warning switch
and check functioning of all indicators. (may need
to switch ignition on, prompt not to start engine)
TIP- Most cars will not need to have the ignition switched on to activate the hazard switch, so it should be simple to lean into the car, switch it on, walk around the car checking all 4 main indicators (there are also indicators on the front wings and/or the door mirrors), and then lean into the car to switch off the hazard switch.
Q2) Show 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)
A2) Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in
windows, garage doors, etc, or ask someone to
help. (you may need to switch ignition on, but do not start engine)
Q3) Show me / explain how you would check that the
power assisted steering is working before starting a
A3) If the steering becomes heavy the system may not
be working properly. Before starting a journey two
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.
Q4) Show me how you would check the parking brake
(handbrake) for excessive wear, make sure you
keep safe control of the vehicle.
A4) 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
TIP- Keep the button pressed in when aplying the handbrake so that you do not hear the ratchet noise.
Q5) (Show me) Open the bonnet, identify where you would check
the engine oil level and tell me how you would
check that the engine has sufficient oil.
A5) Identify dipstick / oil level indicator, describe check
of oil level against the minimum/maximum markers.
TIP- You will have to open the bonnet, but then just point to the dipstick, and describe pulling it out to check the level. Different cars have different min/ max markers- they could have lines or rings. People usually wait for the engine to be stopped for a while before checking the oil level (on level ground), pull out the dipstick, wipe it on a cloth, re-insert it, and then pull it out once more to check the level.
Q6) (Show me) Open the bonnet, identify where you would check
the engine coolant level and tell me how you would
check that the engine has the correct level.
A6) Identify high/low level markings on header tank
where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how
to top up to correct level.
TIP- You should always wait for the engine to cool down before opening the header tank cap or the radiator cap. This is because the cooling system is pressurised, and although the normal running temperature of an engine is around 80c (very hot), it can rise to above boiling point.
Q7) (Show me) 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.
A7) Identify reservoir, check level against high/low
TIP- If and when you do top up with brake fluid, be very careful as brake fluid can cause serious damage to paintwork on the car.
Q8) Show me how you would check that the horn is
working (off road only).
A8) Check is carried out by using control usually on steering wheel. (turn on
ignition if necessary).
Q9) Show me how you would clean the windscreen
using the windscreen washer and wipers
A9) Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen (turn
ignition on if necessary.
Q10) Show me how you would set the demister controls
to clear all the windows effectively, this should
include both front and rear screens.
A10) Set all relevant controls including; fan, temperature,
air direction / source and heated screen to clear
windscreen and windows. Engine does not have to
be started for this demonstration.
TIP- Front air direction should be set to demist- usually this looks like a windscreen with 'wavey' lines on it, temperature to warm or hot- usually red, and fan speed should be set to medium or high- often cars have numbers 0-5. Rear demist will be a button usually in the centre of the dashboard. Air conditioning can be used to good effect for demisting the windscreen in the winter as the air is dryer.
Q11) Show me how you would switch on the rear fog
light(s) and explain when you would use it/them.
(No need to exit vehicle)
A11) Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and
ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on.
TIP- Rear foglight should be used when visability is seriously reduced. It must be switched off as soon as visibility is improved to avoid dazzling other drivers, especially at night.
Q12) Show me how you switch your headlight from
dipped to main beam and explain how you would
know the main beam is on whilst inside the car.
A12) Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if
necessary), check with main beam warning light.
TIP- Main beam warning light will be a blue light usually close to the main instruments.
Q13) Tell Me Tell me how you would check that the brakes are
working before starting a journey.
A13) Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes
should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not
pull to one side.
TIP- Spongey brakes are caused by air in the hydraulic system, and the brakes should be bled immediately, and the cause of air ingress investigated. Pulling brakes may be caused by one brake being faulty- usually seized- which results in the effect of the 'good' brake pulling the car to one side.
Q14) Tell Me where the windscreen washer reservoir is
and tell me how you would check the windscreen
A14) Identify reservoir and explain how to check level.
TIP- On some cars you can see the level in the bottle, but on many the bottle is concealed, and all that you can see is the filler neck. In this case you could say that you would open the filler cap and look down for a level or just try topping up the bottle with screenwash/water.
Q15) Tell Me where you would find the information for
the recommended tyre pressures for this car and
how tyre pressures should be checked.
A15) Manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure
gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are
cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit
Q16) Tell Me how you make sure your head restraint is
correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection
in the event of a crash.
A16) 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. N.B. Some restraints
might not be adjustable.
Q17) 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.
A17) No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across
the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around
the entire outer circumference.
Q18) Tell me how you would check that the headlights &
tail lights are working. (No need to exit vehicle)
A18) Operate switch (turn on ignition if
necessary), then walk round vehicle. (As this is a
"Tell Me" question, there is no need to physically
check the lights.)
Q19) Tell me how you would know if there was a
problem with your anti lock braking system.
A19) A warning light should illuminate if there is a fault
with the anti lock braking system.
NOTE- The show and tell questions are used by the driving examiner on a practical test in various combinations, and so a certain 'tell me' question above may be used in conjuction with several different 'show me' questions.