In December 2017 the driving test as we know it changed. The DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) wanted to bring the test into line with the skills new drivers need to have on today’s roads. Such as driving with a satnav and driving on high speed roads. The major changes are as follows:
- Following directions from a Satnav
We recently wrote an article about the law in relation to satnavs in cars. Many people use them nowadays and they can be a distraction. So, the new test will incorporate it as part of the possible skills examined in order to train new drivers to use them safely. The driving instructor will set the route on their own satnav and the driver will be expected to follow the route. They can ask questions if they need to and if they take a wrong turn it won’t be a fail, unless they make a fault.
- Independent driving
This has always been part of the test but will now be for up to 20 minutes. The DVSA say that research shows new drivers find independent driving useful once they go on to pass their test and drive alone.
- Answering a vehicle safety question while you’re driving
There will be two different types of safety question. A ‘tell me’ and a ‘show me’ question.
The first will be asked at the start – before you drive. You will be asked to tell the examiner how you would carry out a safety task, such as operating the windscreen wipers.
The show me question would be asked during the examination. You will be asked to show the examiner how you would carry out a safety task during driving.
- Finally, the reversing manoeuvres have changed.
There will no longer be a reverse around the corner or turn in the road manoeuvre. Instead they will be replaced by these 3 possible reversing manoeuvres:
- Parallel parking
- Reverse in and drive out, or drive in and reverse out of a parking bay
- Pull up on the right-hand side of the road (against the flow of traffic), reverse for 2 car lengths and then rejoin the traffic
The cost of the driving test will remain the same for now.