The driving test is changing next week! From 4th December, learner drivers will need to prove that they can use a sat nav and drive into a parking bay in order to pass their test.

The changes are being made to ensure that new drivers have the skills they need to help them through a lifetime of safe driving.

There will be four changes to the driving test….

1. Independent part of the driving test is changing from 10 to 20 minutes

This will equate to roughly half of the test and requires the learner to drive without turn-by-turn instructions from the examiner.

2. Follow directions from a sat nav

During the independent part of the test, most learners will be asked to follow a sat nav.  However, this won’t be the case on every test, as 1 in 5 tests will use road signs instead.

If the learner is asked to use a sat nav, as most will be, one will be supplied to them and the route will be set by the examiner. They will be unable to use their own sat nav during the test. The learner may ask the examiner for confirmation of where they need to go during the test, and it won’t matter if they go the wrong way, unless they make a fault whilst doing it.

3. Reversing manoeuvres are changing! 

Reversing around a corner and 3-point turns in the road will no longer form part of the driving test! These will still be taught by driving instructors, but instead, learner drivers will be asked to perform one of the following 3 manoeuvres:

  • Parking in a bay – this will either be driving in and reversing out or reversing in and driving out – the examiner will decide which one the learner needs to do
  • Parallel park at the side of the road
  • Pull up on the right-hand side of the road and reverse 2 car lengths and re-join traffic

4. Answer a vehicle safety question 

One of these questions will be asked as a ‘tell me’ question before the test starts. This will be a safety task-based question. There will also be a second question, which will be asked as a ‘show me’ question whilst driving.  This will be something such as being able to demonstrate how to clear the windscreen using the controls and wipers whilst driving.

The overall time of the test won’t change remaining at 40 minutes. The pass mark, cost and the way the test is marked will also stay the same.

These changes are being made because although our roads are among the safest in the world, road collisions are still the biggest killer of young people.  These changes will equip new drivers with the skills they need, to be able to use our roads safely.  This will help to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

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