Show Me Tell Me Questions with Examples

by EzLicence Last updated


Show me, tell me questions assess your knowledge of the vehicle and its functions. You’ll be asked about car maintenance and safety features, ensuring you know your way around the vehicle you’re driving.

Examples of Tell Me Questions

You’ll be asked one tell me question before you start the driving part of your test. These questions cover everything from checking brake functionality to making sure your lights work without having to step out of the car. 

You just need to explain how you would perform the checks. There’s no need to remember the answers word for word, the examiner is only looking for you to have a general understanding. 

'Show me, tell me': tell me questions 2024: official DVSA guide

1. Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.

  1. Confirm the brake fluid level in the reservoir under the bonnet is filled to an adequate level.
  2. Inspect for any leaks in the brake system as they can compromise brake performance.
  3. Before driving off, test the brakes by pressing the foot brake pedal firmly; they shouldn’t feel spongy or slack. Watch for any dashboard warning lights that might indicate brake issues.
  4. Listen for any unusual noises when applying the brakes. Unusual sounds could signal a problem that needs immediate attention.

2. Tell me where you’d find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.

You’ll find the recommended tyre pressures for your car in the owner’s manual or on a sticker inside the driver’s door or fuel filler flap. 

To check the tyre pressures, use a reliable pressure gauge. Make sure to do this when the tyres are cold for the most accurate reading. You should check your tyre pressures at least once a month and before starting on long journeys or when carrying heavy loads. 

3. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.

You’ll want to adjust the head restraint so that the rigid part is at least as high as your eye or the top of your ears. Make sure the head restraint sits close to the back of your head without any gaps. This can greatly reduce the risk of whiplash injuries.

4. Tell me how you’d check the tyres to ensure they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.

You can use a tread depth gauge to confirm the tread meets this minimum requirement of at least 1.6mm. It’s also important to inspect your tyres for any signs of damage, such as cuts, bulges, or foreign objects that could lead to a blowout.

5. Tell me how you’d check that the headlights and tail lights are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Simply turn on the vehicle’s ignition without starting the engine. After doing so, you’ll need to operate the headlight switch to the ‘on’ position. This action should illuminate the headlights at the front of your vehicle.

To verify your tail lights are also working, activate either the parking lights or the headlights. You can then look to the rear of the vehicle. To confirm these lights are indeed functioning without the need to exit the vehicle, you can use reflections off windows, walls, or mirrors.

6. Tell me how you’d know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.

You’ll know there’s an issue with your anti-lock braking system if the ABS warning light on your dashboard stays lit.

7. Tell me how you’d check the direction indicators are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Check that your vehicle’s ignition is on and then activate the indicator stalk to check if the direction indicators are functioning correctly. Look for the flashing indicator symbol on your dashboard. You can then get out of the vehicle and walk around the car to check they’re working. 

Remember, there’s no need to actually step outside for this as it’s a tell me question. You can confirm everything from the driver’s seat.

8. Tell me how you’d check the brake lights are working on this car.

To do this, turn on the ignition (with or without starting the engine) and ask someone to stand behind the car to check. If alone, you can make use of reflections. 

9. Tell me how you’d check the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey.

Start the engine and move the steering wheel slightly. You should be able to notice a slight but noticeable movement in the wheel. The second, and more obvious, test will be to move slowly forward and turn the wheel in a place it’s safe to do so. You should be able to tell immediately if the steering is heavy which would show there’s a problem with the power-assisted steering. 

10. Tell me how you’d switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you’d use it/them. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Activating the rear fog light(s) requires you to find and turn rear fog lights using the designated switch on the dashboard or lighting control panel. Fog lights can greatly improve safety during poor visibility conditions like heavy rain, fog, or snow.

11. Tell me how you switch your headlights from dipped to the main beam and explain how you’d know the main beam is on.

Switching your headlights from dipped to the main beam involves a simple push or pull of the indicator stalk. When you’ve successfully activated the main beam, a blue symbol lights up on your dashboard. 

12. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient oil.

Locate the dipstick in the engine bay. It’s your tool for this check. Pull it out, wipe it off to clean any oil residue, then reinsert it fully. Pull it out again to see the oil level. The oil should be between the minimum and maximum marks on the dipstick.

13. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient engine coolant.

First, find the coolant expansion tank under the bonnet. Once the header tank is found, check the level against the markers on the side of the tank. The coolant level must sit between the minimum and maximum markers.

14. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.

Open the bonnet and find the brake fluid reservoir. Check the fluid level against the min and max markers on the reservoir.

Show Me Questions

For the show me questions, you’ll need to physically show how you’d perform certain safety tasks. This will take place during the practical driving test. The examiner will ask you one show me questions and It’s not just about knowing what to do; it’s about showing you can do it safely.

Bear in mind that every car is different so you’ll need to spend some time getting used to your car. Your instructor can go over everything with you before the test. 

'Show me, tell me': show me questions 2024: official DVSA guide

Can you show me how you wash and clean the rear windscreen?

First, make sure you’re in a safe location. Then, identify the specific control lever or button for the rear windscreen—this varies by vehicle but is often found on the dashboard or on one of the stalks around the steering wheel. Gently activate the washer fluid to squirt onto the rear windscreen, followed by the wiper to clean the glass. 

Can you show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen?

You’ll need to find the controls, either on the dashboard or the wiper stalk, and activate the washer. This involves either pulling or twisting the control towards you.

Once activated, the wipers will automatically sweep across the front windscreen, and washer fluid will be sprayed. You must be left with clear visibility, free from any obstructions.

Can you show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights?

This will be slightly different in every car but it’s normally on the indicator stalk or a dial on the dashboard. When the headlights are on you’ll notice a warning light or a symbol lighting up on the dashboard.

Can you show me how you’d set the rear demister?

Find the button or switch on your centre console to turn on the rear demister. Set the temperature to high and make sure the correct option is selected. 

Can you show me how you’d operate the horn?

This should be an easy one! Give the centre of the steering wheel a push and be thankful that you got one of the easy questions. 

Can you show me how you’d demist the front windscreen?

You need to press the designated button or switch that’s usually on the centre console. 

Can you show me how you’d open and close the side window?

Another easier question, you’ll just have to show the examiner that you can use the button on the door to open and close the window at a safe moment. 

What are Show Me Tell Me Questions

Show me and tell me questions demonstrate to the examiner that you understand how to keep a vehicle safe. You’ll be asked about car maintenance and safety features, ensuring you know your way around the vehicle you’re driving.

Why are they in your driving test?

Driving test show me, tell me questions are there to make you aware of the key safety aspects of your vehicle. They directly translate to real-world situations that you will use while driving. This helps to keep you and other drivers safe while you’re out on the road. 

Want to Practise with an Instructor?

If you’re looking to get some practice in before your exam, find a driving instructor here with EzLicence. We connect learners with qualified driving instructors at a time that suits you. There are driving instructors all across the country, all rated by learners just like you. So take a look and brush up on your driving skills so that you can pass your test with confidence. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How many "Show Me, Tell Me" questions are there in the test?

There are two questions: one "show me" and one "tell me" question. The show me question is asked at the beginning of the driving test and the tell me question is during the test. 

What happens if I get a "Show Me, Tell Me" question wrong?

Getting one or both questions wrong will result in a minor one driving fault, but it won't necessarily fail you unless your total minor faults exceed the allowed number or you commit a serious fault.

How should I prepare for these questions?

Take time with your examiner to go over the questions during a lesson. It also helps to repeat this just before going into your driving test. 

What if I don't understand the question the examiner asks?

If you're unsure about what the examiner is asking, you can politely ask them to repeat or clarify the question. It's important to understand the question fully before answering.

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