Revamped practical driving test to be rolled out towards end of 2017
Revamped practical driving test in the UK

Revamped practical driving test to be rolled out towards end of 2017

New laws to the practical driving test are to take affect towards the end of the year which will implement learner drivers will have to operate a satellite navigation system (sat-nav) during their driving test as part of the changes to the test which will reportedly help save lives and improve the safety on Britain’s roads.

Starting from December 4th, drivers will need to pass a revamped practical driving test which will include new manoeuvres, a longer independent driving section and will also test your ability to follow directions from a satellite navigation system. All these changes are said to make sure that new drivers have the skills, knowledge and confidence to drive on their own.

The four changes are:

  • An increase of the ‘independent driving’ part of the test from 10 to 20 minutes
  • Asking candidates to follow directions on a sat nav as an alternative to following road signs
  • Replacing current manoeuvres such as ‘reverse around a corner’ with more real life scenarios, such as driving into and reversing out of a parking bay
  • Asking one of the two vehicle safety questions while the candidate is driving, for example, asking candidates to use the rear heated screen

Representatives from the driver training industry are supportive of the changes.

This includes driving instructor associations, the RAC, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), AA and the driving training National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP).

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said: “We are very supportive of the revisions DVSA is making to the practical driving test, which will mean candidates undergo a far more realistic assessment of their readiness to take to the road unsupervised.

“Much has changed since the first driving test was taken in 1935, and it must be right that the test evolves, just as the cars we drive are themselves changing to incorporate ever more driver assist technology such as inbuilt sat-nav systems.

“Novice drivers need to demonstrate the right skills and driving style to cope with the new environment.

“Clearly driving examiners and instructors both need time to adjust to the new test, in particular to ensure that candidates are well-prepared, nevertheless it is good to know that the new test will be running by the end of this calendar year.”

DVSA and the Transport Research Laboratory also trialled the changes with over 4,300 learner drivers and over 860 driving instructors. Feedback from the trial was also positive.