he Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has confirmed that the driving test in England, Scotland and Wales will change from Monday 4 December 2017. Note that driving test works differently in Northern Ireland.
The changes are designed to make sure new drivers have the skills they'll need to help them through a lifetime of safe driving.
The changes will only apply to car driving tests to begin with.
The 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.
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 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.
The ‘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:
The 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:
All car driving tests taken from 4 December 2017 will follow the new format. This includes if:
Your driving instructor should have been teaching you everything you need to know to drive safely, so you shouldn't need to worry about learning anything new.
Read more about what will happen during the driving test from 4 December on the Government web site.
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.
Road 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:
The changes follow a:
The proposals were widely supported by the public. The results of the consultation show that:
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.
DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said:
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.
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