Before setting off on a drive, your Tutor or Examiner will expect you to undertake a series of pre-drive checks. These are in three stages:
The external checks need to be carried out before you get in the car; you would not want top drive a car with flat tyres, or start the engine if there was insufficient oil, They are ordered so that the most difficult external checks are performed first. First come the boot /bonnet checks. A useful acronym to remember for checking under the bonnet is P.O.W.E.R. – Petrol, Oil, Water, Electrics, Rubber, (tyres and wipers). Then comes a walk-round inspection of the tyres, windows, lights, etc.
The cockpit drill is an essential pre-requisite to driving, especially with an unfamiliar car: you would not want to get halfway down the road before realising you didn't know how to operate the controls, or the seat adjustment meant you couldn't fully depress the clutch or brake pedal. The stages are in a strict sequence, certain things like brake pedal pressure cannot be tested until the engine is running, and it's best to make sure the vehicle is not in gear before starting the engine.
Finally the moving brake test has to be performed when the engine is running. This is an essential safety check: much better to find out the brakes don't work in the service station car park when traveling at 20mph than further on down the motorway! The only time it is NOT recommended you do a moving brake test is when you are pulling away on a busy road.