We have provided a list of questions and suggested answers to the SHOW ME / TELL ME safety check 

questions that the examiner will ask at the beginning of a driving test. 

The examiner will ask these questions when the candidate reaches the vehicle, before the driving element 

of the test. One or both questions answered incorrectly will result in one driving fault being recorded.

The candidate should be familiar with the relevant component's location and the method of checking 

each component on the vehicle that will be used on the day of the test. 


DSA SAFETY-CHECK QUESTION BANK FOR CARS: 


1. 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. 

Identify dipstick / oil-level indicator; describe check of oil level against the minimum / maximum markers.


2. 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. 

Identify high / low level markings on the header tank where fitted or radiator filler-cap; describe how to 

top up to correct level. 


3. Identify where the windscreen-washer reservoir is, and tell me how you would check the 

windscreen-washer level. 

Identify reservoir and explain how to check level. 


4. 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. 

Identify reservoir and check level against high / low markings. 


5. Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car. (The examiner can assist 

you. If you need to switch the ignition on, please don’t start the engine). 

Operate brake pedal; make use of reflections in windows, garage doors, etc. or ask someone to help. 


6. Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey. 

Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. The brakes should be tested as you set off and the vehicle should 

not pull to one side. 


7. Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre-pressures for this car and 

how tyre pressures should be checked. 

You would need to check the manufacturer's handbook. You should check and adjust pressures when tyres 

are cold, using a reliable pressure gauge. Remember to re-fit the valve caps and to check the spare tyre.


8. 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. 

There should be no cuts and / or bulges; 1.6 mm of tread depth across the central three quarters of the 

breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference. 


9. Tell/ Show me / explain how you would check that 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 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.


10. Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail-lights are working. (No need to exit the 

vehicle). 

Operate switch - (turn on ignition if necessary); walk round vehicle. 


11. Tell/ Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working. 

Apply the indicators - (turn on ignition if necessary) - or hazard warning switch and check functioning of all 

indicators. 


12. Tell/ Show me how you would check that the horn is working.

The check is carried out by using the control (turn on ignition if necessary). 


13. Tell/Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear. Make sure you 

keep safe control of the vehicle. 

Demonstrate by applying the parking brake so that when it is fully applied it secures itself, and is not at 

the end of the working travel.


14. Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washers and wipers. 

Operate the appropriate switch as per the manufacturer’s instructions. You may need to switch the 

ignition on to do this. 


15. Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively. This should 

include both front and rear screens. 

Operate the appropriate controls / switch for both front and rear screens as per the manufacturer’s 

instructions. You may need to switch the ignition on to do this. 


16. 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, please don’t start the engine). 

Operate the appropriate switch as per the manufacturer’s instructions. You may need to switch the 

ignition on to do this. 

You would use the rear fog lights when visibility is reduced to less than 100 metres (Highway Code). 


17. Show me how you would switch your headlights from dipped to main beam and explain how you 

would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car. 

Operate the appropriate switch as per manufacturer’s instructions and note the colour of the warning light 

displayed on the instrument panel. The standard code is green for dipped and blue for main beam. For 

those people who are unable to differentiate between the colours, note the different layout of the symbols 

used. 


18. Tell me how you would make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best 

protection in the event of a crash. 

Follow the advice given in the official publication, ’Driving-the essential skills’. 


19. Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system. 

Check that the appropriate symbol used in the instrument panel goes out when the engine is started and 

remains off for the duration of your journey.



From 4th December 2017 ‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving

  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?
  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?
  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?