Learners taking their test will face a different driving test from December 4.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has revealed there will be five fundamental changes you will need to know about.
You’ll probably have to use a satnav
One in five candidates will still be asked to follow road signs during the independent driving section of the test but most will be asked to follow instructions from a satnav. The examiner will provide the satnav and set it up.
You’ll be driving independently for longer
The time spent driving independently will double from the current 10 minutes to 20 minutes, giving examiners the chance to get a better feel for the learner’s overall ability.
The test route will be on busier roads
The increased independent driving portion of the test means there’s time to update test routes to include busier, faster, higher-risk roads where new drivers statistically have the most crashes.
You’ll be asked how the car works while you are driving
The examiner will ask you two vehicle safety questions during your driving test – these are known as the “show me, tell me” questions. You’ll be asked the:
- “tell me” question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving
- “show me” question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving – for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers
You won’t have to reverse around a corner or do a three point turn
Instead you’ll be asked to do one of three possible reversing manoeuvres: parallel park at the side of the road; park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out; or pulling up on the right-hand side of the road, reversing for two car lengths and rejoining the traffic. (DVSA recommend that instructors still teach the old manoeuvres).
New driving test to better assess a driver’s ability to drive safely
DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said: “Making sure the driving test better assesses a driver’s ability to drive safely and independently is part of our strategy to help you stay safe on Britain’s roads.
“It’s vital that the driving test keeps up to date with new vehicle technology and the areas where new drivers face the greatest risk once they’ve passed their test.”
The pass mark is staying the same, so you’ll pass your test if you make no more than 15 driving faults and no serious or dangerous faults.
The overall time of the driving test will not change and nor will the cost.
If you are preparing for your driving test remember, practice makes perfect. Extra practice outside of your lessons can make a huge difference to the number of lessons needed before you pass, dramatically reducing how much you will have to fork out.
Adrian Flux offers car insurance for learner drivers aged between 17 and 25 from under 85p a day, a cost-effective way for young learner drivers to get that all-important extra time behind the wheel.