ADI part 2

ADI part 2 is the exam that many people dread – it’s time to retake your driving test!

This is not just a normal test though, it’s an advanced driving test that demands a very high level of skill. You’ll have to drive using a safe, methodical system that allows you to make progress whenever possible.

You must not display any signs on your vehicle to show that you’re on a test. You must not make more than 6 small faults in one hour of driving and you’ll pick up faults far more easily than on a standard driving test.

Read about ADI part 1 here and ADI part 3 here.

What happens on ADI part 2?

The test is about one hour long and covers a variety of roads including motorways.

You will have to pass:

  • An eyesight test
  • 2 show me questions and 3 tell me questions (see my show me/tell me page)
  • 2 of 4 manoeuvres such as bay parking
  • Independent driving using a sat nav or traffic signs

To see more information click here for a more detailed description from the DVSA.

How hard is ADI part 2?

Part 2 is very hard and you must demonstrate a high level of driving skill to pass. Imagine a giraffe on stilts standing on top of a stepladder at the top of mountain; that’s how high we’re talking.

The pass rate for ADI part 2 in Birmingham in 2020 was 55.3%

See the official DVSA ADI part 2 pass rates here.

I’ve seen people that have decided to become driving instructors after already passing advanced driving tests in previous jobs. Some were police drivers, firefighters and others that had done a lot of advanced driving yet they failed part 2.

You only have three attempts at part 2. If you fail three times then you have to wait for two years from the date you passed part one before you can start again from part one.

Good quality tuition from an experienced advanced driver is essential if you want to have any chance of passing.

As with the L test, you now also do show me tell me and follow a sat nav. One in five tests won’t use a sat nav and you’ll follow road signs instead.

Although it’s not easy, the part 2 test is now easier than it once was. When I took mine in 2002 you had to do five manoeuvres and the emergency stop. Now you only get two out of four manoeuvres and maybe an emergency stop.

How most people fail ADI part 2

Here are the top three reasons for failing the part 2 test.

3) Picking up a serious fault, especially by not making enough progress.

Imagine that you’re approaching a roundabout and the left lane, which goes ahead, has five vehicles in it. The middle lane, which also goes ahead, is empty. If a learner was to choose the left hand lane then it wouldn’t be a problem. If you did that on a part two then you would fail for not making sufficient progress by overtaking the other vehicles.

2) An accumulation of small faults (drivers faults). You can only make 6 driver faults during the one hour drive. It’s very often the case that people fail due to picking up too many driver faults rather than a single serious fault.

An example of a driver fault would be if your braking is erratic and it’s making the car jump when you’re stopping. That kind of braking shows poor planning and is unacceptable because good planning is one of the key elements of advanced driving and an essential skill you must pass on to learners.

A very common mistake made in part 2 is signalling when it’s not necessary. If you indicate to pull up and move off but nobody is around to see the signal then what is the point of signalling? Do this on an L test and it wouldn’t matter but you’d fail a part 2 for signalling unnecessarily.

1) You’ll learn what the most common fault is on your training.

Commentary driving

Commentary driving is an essential skill that you must master to become a driving instructor. It simply means driving with your mouth. I remember putting it like that to my trainer who took a few seconds to think about it and said “That’s brilliant!”.

You must be able to talk pupils through every last step of what to do in any situation.

Many trainers think that commentary driving should be a compulsory part of advanced driving tests. It isn’t though and you can do the test in silence.

It’s incredible how many trainers and companies don’t do this as part of their part 2 training. If you can’t do commentary driving then you’ll never make it through part 3 so you may as well start developing the skill when you’re doing your part 2.

This video will give you a good example of what it involves.

Click here for more ADI part 2 videos.

ADI part 2 test routes

People often ask me if I can show people the test routes for part 2. Yes, I can but here are some points to consider.

The waiting times for the part 2 and part 3 tests are long, as in several months or more. It’s common for instructors to travel the length of the country to take an ADI test because there may be one available sooner elsewhere.

I traveled from Birmingham to Manchester and Wolverhampton to take my tests and I didn’t have a clue where I was!

I make up my own test routes because not knowing where you’re going makes it much harder and teaches you to be prepared for anything.

Test routes are carefully planned to include a variety of road and traffic conditions. They are not just random routes thrown together after a few pints.

The test will last for about one hour but it’s the route that is important, not the time. If you get back after 50 minutes then they won’t drive round the block for 10 minutes, you’ll just finish early. If you get stuck in traffic and it takes 90 minutes then the result still stands. Should an examiner get back late then their next test is cancelled.

Can I use my own car?

Yes but you must make sure that it is insured for the purpose of part 2 training. Some car insurance policies might cover you, some won’t so it’s essential to check. Never just assume because to assume makes and ASS of U and ME.

Instructor trainers often drive around in other peoples cars not realising they’re not fully insured. What I’m about to say is something I’ve had confirmed by my insurance company twice.

If I do a lesson in your car then we’ll be covered but only on a third party basis. That means any damage to your vehicle would not be paid for in the event of crash. This is because the car is being used for tuition and most normal car insurance policies only cover you for social, domestic and pleasure use.

You need to contact your insurance company to make sure you’re fully covered in your own vehicle. Ask if you are covered for ADI part 2 tuition and tests. You can often pay a small amount extra to be covered, as little as £40 for a month or £150 for a year.

On the day of your part 2 test you will need to sign a declaration form in front of the examiner. You’re signing to say your car is insured for the purposes of a part 2 test and they can ask to see proof so always take your insurance documents along. If they are in any doubt as to whether the car is insured they will cancel the test and you will lose your test fee.

You can see a list of car requirements for ADI part 2 by clicking here.

Can I do my mock test/real test in your car?

Mock tests yes but real tests no for several reasons.

The part 2 test involves you showing complete control of your vehicle. Harsh braking or jumpy gears changes can be enough to fail you because you’re assessed on how you do things, not just what you do.

I’ve had people try and do a mock test in mine and they never make it past 5 minutes!

A stipulation of the part 2 test is that you must not display any sign to other vehicles that you’re on a test because it could give you an unfair advantage. Many people give way to cars to L plates on and you mustn’t have any advantage like that. My car has L plates attached which can’t easily be taken off and put back on.

If you really want to do a mock test in my car we can but only if you’ve done your lessons with me in my car otherwise it just won’t work.

How my training for part 2 works

There’s no better way of seeing how you’d do on an advanced driving test than to take an advanced driving test.

Your first session will involve us doing a mock test. You’ll be driving a one hour test route just as you would on the day and it will include everything the real test would.

Part two tests in Birmingham are done from South Yardley test centre on Clay Lane (click here for a map) but we don’t have to go there to do a mock test. I can do them from the Kings Heath or Cocks Moors Woods test centres in south Birmingham. The postcode of Kings Heath driving test centre is B14 5JA (click here for a map). Cocks Moors Woods is no longer used but it’s a great place to meet thanks to the large car park.

Unless you have had recent advanced driving lessons then your chances of passing the mock test are very slim. Don’t worry – the aim isn’t to pass, yet!

We’ll see how your driving compares to the standard required and make a list of things to work on. We can spend the rest of the lesson working on those things and you can practise between lessons as well whenever you’re driving.

Once the problems from the previous mock test have gone then we do another mock test. When you can you pass a mock test then you’re ready for the real thing.

You don’t have to pass a mock test before taking the real one but it is nice to go into the real part 2 test knowing you’ve already passed one before.

Special note about my ADI part 2 training

Not all test centres offer the ADI tests. The nearest test centre to me that does the ADI part 2 test is South Yardley.

I do not cover this area and I don’t do mock test from that test centre.

I can train you for part 2 but we won’t be driving in the area that your test is in.

People have I trained in Birmingham have traveled to Liverpool, Derby and Cornwall for tests.

This is because the waiting times for ADI part 2 in Birmingham can be 4 months or more. You may find one at a test centre that is miles away but it’s next week or next month.

I can’t do part 2 training around the actual test routes in Birmingham but it really doesn’t matter. You should be good enough to pass anywhere.

Once you have passed part 2 then it’s on to part 3.