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Is Your Car Suitable For Your PDA?

Be aware the Department of Transport does NOT provide vehicles for the Assessment. This is the candidate’s responsibility.

Here is a quick list of checks you can do on your vehicle to ensure it is ready for your Practical Driving Assessment:

  1. The vehicle must be road worthy. Ensure the Registration payments for the car are up to date.
  2. The vehicle’s mirrors should be intact, functional, and not held by tape.
  3. Any dings or bumps must not have sharp poking-out parts or bits falling off.
  4. The handbrake (also called the Emergency or park brake) must be Centrally mounted next to the driver’s seat. If needed, this is the only way an assessor can slow the car or stop it. Foot-controlled handbrake, a dashboard pull handbrake, or a handbrake on the driver’s right side will not be acceptable.
  5. Ensure brake lights are not broken and functioning.
  6. Ensure indicators are also functioning and covers are not broken.
  7. Windscreens are to be clear. Give it a good wipe-over before the Assessment. Make sure it has no major cracks. Some minor cracks (10c piece) should be ok. If the crack is in the driver’s line of view or starting to splinter, It will not pass and must be replaced.
  8.  worn tyres - is your car suitable for your pda?The tyres need to have a good amount of tread. To measure this, look at the tyre. Small rubber bars running across the grooves in between the tread – called tread wear indicators – tell you when the tyre is worn out. If the tread is worn down to these bars on any part of the tyre, it’s worn out, unroadworthy, and needs to be replaced.
  9. The transmission is your preference -Automatic or Manual.
  10. Make sure your windows function well. i.e., go up and down smoothly and not get stuck halfway.
  11. Sufficient fuel is good, at least a third of the tank.
  12. Make sure there are no warning lights on the dash. Some are stubborn and, even though they have been mechanically checked, refuse to go off, which will not pass the vehicle check.

Giving your car a wash-over and vacuum before the Assessment is a good idea. (Avoid strong perfumes!!) Apart from ensuring the Assessor will feel comfortable in your vehicle, it will help ease your nerves.

If you don’t have a roadworthy vehicle, Dovetail Driving has vehicles available to loan. These meet the standard acceptable for the Assessment and are fitted with dual control pedals that give the Assessor greater comfort.

This list above is not exhaustive but a guide only to some common causes for vehicles not passing the “Vehicle Check “. The final decision is up to the Assessor at the assessment time.

Besides the arguments above, driving a road-worthy car improves your safety while driving generally, and it’s just a good habit, too.

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