The new UK practical driving test will come into force next week on December 4th.
Plans to change the test were announced earlier this year by the DVSA, seeing a number of rules changes and new standards introduced.
Here are the four key new changes:
1. Independent driving
The independent driving portion of the practical driving test is increasing as of December 4th.
Currently this portion of the practical test lasts around 10 minutes, but it will increase to 20 minutes as of next week.
During this portion of the examination drivers will have to drive without sep-by-step instructions from the examiner and required to follow signs and road marking.
The independent driving portion of the test will therefore make up around half of the total test time.
2. Sat nav
Another change to the driving test sees the introduction of sat nav to the practical exam.
During the independent driving portion of the test drivers will be required to follow direction from a sat nav.
The examiner will provide and set up the route for you ahead of the test, so learners do not need to worry about what model they learn to drive with – although you must follow the sat nav provided by the examiner during the test and not your own.
According to information of the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency website “you will be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going if you’re not sure.”
Therefore it doesn’t matter if you go the wrong way as long as you do not make a fault while doing it.
Drivers should still get clued ip on traffic signs and road marking, however, as one in five tests will not use a sat nav.
UK practical driving test is changing on December 4th
3. Manoeuvre changes
The ‘reverse around a corner’ manoeuvre is being scrapped as is ‘turn-in-the-road’.
Instead drivers will be asked to complete one of three different 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 (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. Vehicle safety questions
During your test the driving instructor will ask you two vehicle safety questions while you are taking your test.
These are know as ‘show me’ / ‘tell me’ questions, which were typically asked by the examiner before the test began.
The ‘tell me’ questions will still be asked at the start of the exam while the ‘show me’ questions will be asked while you’re driving.
Pass marks for the test are remaining the same so if you make no more than 15 driving faults then you will still pass.
DVSA’s priority is to help you through a lifetime of safe driving
It will also remain the same length as before – 40 minutes – and cost the same.
The DVSA decided to implement these new changes as road collisions account for over a quarter of death of those aged between 15 and 19.
In addition to this most fatal collisions happen on high-speed roads (not including motorways).
The DVSA said that changing the format of the test will allow more of these types of roads to be included in driving test routes.
In addition to this 52 per cent of drivers now use a sat nav, so the examiners felt it suitable that new motorists learn how to use them.
Driving test will include new manoeuvres, changes to independent driving and inclusion of sat navs
Lastly, doubling the independent driving portion of the test was done as new drivers said that this was a useful part of the test which they can relate to driving once they have passed.
Speaking about the changes, Transport Minister, Andrew Jones, said: “Our roads are among the safest in the world. However, road collisions are the biggest killer of young people.
“These changes will help us to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads and equip new drivers with the skill they need to use our roads safely.”
And DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, added: “DVSA’s priority is to help you through a lifetime of safe driving.
“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.”