The driving test will change from Monday 4 December 2017 to include following directions from a sat nav and testing different manoeuvres.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has confirmed that the driving test in England, Scotland and Wales will change from Monday 4 December 2017. The changes come as newer technologies, such as sat navs and cruise control, become commonplace with almost every new car having them built in as standard.
The changes are designed to make sure that new drivers will have the skills they’ll need to help them through a lifetime of safe driving. It’s important that the DVSA update the driving test from time to time to incorporate new strategies to develop new generations of safe drivers, but some say that the changes come too slowly with ever advancing technologies being developed every year.
The four driving test changes are as follows:
1. Independent Driving – The independent driving part of the test currently lasts around 10 minutes, but this is being increased to 20 minutes, which will take up about half of the driving test. During this part of the test, you will have to drive without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner.
2. Sat Nav – During 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) and set it up. You won’t need to set the route – a choice that was decided so that you can practice with any make or model of sat nav. Importantly, it won’t matter if you go in the wrong direction as long as you don’t make a fault while doing so. One in five driving tests still won’t use a sat nav and will follow traffic signs instead, so you’ll still need to practice both.
3. Reversing Manoeuvres – The ‘reverse around the corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres from yesteryear are no longer going to be tested [shock horror], but you will still be taught them by your instructor. Here’s the new three that you could be tested on: parallel park at the side of the road, park in a bay (reverse in and drive out, or drive in and reverse out), or pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse two car lengths and rejoin the traffic.
4. Answer Questions – You know those ‘show me, tell me’ questions that you used to get at the start of your test? Well, now you’ll get asked two while you’re driving as well. So, you could be asked to ‘Tell me how you would perform an emergency stop,’ for example or you could be ask to ‘Show me how to clean the windscreen using the car controls and wipers,’ for example.
The new driving test format will come in to effect from 4 December 2017, this includes if you failed a test before then or if your test is cancelled or moved for any reason where the new date is after 4 December.
Your driving instructor should have been teaching you all of these things anyway, so you shouldn’t have to learn anything new. The only difference is that you will now be testing on these new points. Driving test marking, length and cost are all staying the same, just the format is changing.
The new driving test format comes in to effect on 4 December 2017. If you’re nearing your test date, best of luck!