How to Switch Headlights from Dipped to Main beam

Before the driving part of the practical test begins, the examiner will ask you a ‘tell me’ question. This question may be: “Tell me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you’d know the main beam is on?

Show me tell me answer: Operate light switch (ignition may need to be switched on or engine started if necessary), activate main beam lights and check the blue main beam warning light is on.

To switch the headlights from dipped to main beam:

  1. Switch on the ignition or power up the car
  2. Switch on the headlights
  3. Push the left lever away from you to activate main beam and pull the left lever back towards you to deactivate main beam.

What to tell the examiner

Tell the examiner that you know that the lights have switched from dipped to main beam because of the illuminated blue dashboard symbol.

How to switch from dipped headlights to main beam
How to switch from dipped headlights to main beam

To Finish

Once you have explained this procedure to the examiner, select the dipped lights position, turn off the lights and turn off the ignition switch or turn off the engine (whichever is applicable).

To Note:
  • Some vehicles can operate main beam headlights with the ignition switch being switched on, whilst others may require the engine to be started.
  • Location of the switch to activate headlights varies for different makes and models of vehicle.
  • Ensure you turn the switch all the way round – the middle setting is likely to be the side lights.
  • Once headlights are switched on, this is by default the ‘dipped’ headlight setting and a green dashboard symbol will inform you of this.
  • It is almost always the left-side hand control lever to switch from dipped to main beam headlights on all makes and models of car.

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