Learning to Drive
Changes to the UK driving test: 4 December 2017
The driving test will change from Monday 4 December 2017 to include following directions from a sat nav and testing different manoeuvres
The 4 driving test changes
1. Independent driving part of the test will increase to 20 minutesThe independent driving part of the test currently lasts around 10 minutes. During this part of the test, you have to drive without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner.
This part of the test will be made longer, so it’ll last around 20 minutes - roughly half of the test.
2. Following directions from a sat navDuring the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav.
The examiner will provide the sat nav (a TomTom Start 52) and set it up. You won’t need to set the route - the examiner will do this for you. So, it doesn’t matter what make or model of sat nav you practise with.
You can’t follow directions from your own sat nav during the test - you have to use the one supplied by the examiner.
You’ll be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going if you’re not sure. It won’t matter if you go the wrong way unless you make a fault while doing it.
One in 5 driving tests won’t use a sat nav. You’ll need to follow traffic signs instead.
3. Reversing manoeuvres will be changedThe ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but you should still be taught them by your instructor.
You’ll be asked to do one of 3 possible reversing manoeuvres:
• Park in a bay - either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do)
• Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic
4. Answering a vehicle safety question while you’re drivingThe examiner will ask you 2 vehicle safety questions during your driving test - these are known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.
You’ll be asked the:
• ‘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
Who it affectsAll car driving tests taken from 4 December 2017 will follow the new format. This includes if:
• Your test is cancelled or moved for any reason, and your new test date is from 4 December 2017
Pass mark, length of test and cost not changing
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 examiner will still mark the test in the same way, and the same things will still count as faults.
The overall time of the driving test won’t change. It will still take around 40 minutes.
The driving test cost will also stay the same.
Why the changes are being madeRoad collisions are the biggest killer of young people. They account for over a quarter of all deaths of those aged between 15 and 19.
DVSA wants to make sure that training and the driving test reduce the number of young people being killed in collisions.
These changes are being made because:
• 52% of car drivers now have a sat nav - DVSA wants new drivers to be trained to use them safely
• Research has shown that new drivers find independent driving training valuable - they can relate it to driving once they’ve passed their test
The changes follow a:
• Trial of the changes involving over 4,300 learner drivers and over 860 driving instructors
• 70.8% agreed with asking candidates to follow directions from a sat nav
• 78.6% agreed with the plans to change how the reversing manoeuvres are tested
• 78.4% agreed with asking the ‘show me’ question while the candidate is driving