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Driving test changes: 4 December 2017

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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 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 4 driving test changes

1. Independent driving part of the test will increase to 20 minutes

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.

2. Following directions from a 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 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.

3. Reversing manoeuvres will be changed

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:

4. Answering a vehicle safety question while you’re driving

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:

How the new test will work

This video shows how the test will work from 4 December 2017.

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Who it affects

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 2017.

Pass mark, length of test and cost not changing

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.

Why the changes are being made

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:

Changes are supported by the public

The changes follow a:

The proposals were widely supported by the public. The results of the consultation show that:

Helping you through a lifetime of safe driving

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.

More information

More information for driving instructors is being published on DVSA’s Despatch blog.

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