Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

New UK driving test starts today

New UK driving test starts today

All vehicle driving tests taken from 4 December 2017 will follow the new format. The changes, particularly the extended independent driving and use of a sat-nav, should help to produce better, safer motorists.

The head of the DVLA, Gareth Llewellyn, said the union was "trying to undermine" the new test, adding it showed a "shameful disregard for both road safety and learner drivers who have worked so hard".

Some of the most talked about changes are alterations to the reversing manoeuvres potentially undertaken during the test.

During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav.

During the test, the examiner will provide the sat nav and will set the route - learner drivers will not be allowed to use their own device.

Gone is "reverse-around-a-corner" and "turn-in-the-road", replaced with an action requiring an examinee to pull-up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse two-car lengths and then re-join the road.

Instead people will have to either parallel park, park in a bay or pull up on the right hand side of the road, reverse for two auto lengths and rejoin the traffic.

"Tell me" will see examiners quiz learners before setting off, again asking safety questions but this time focused on pre-driving checks, such as tyres pressures.

In a bid to cut the number of young people killed on Britain's roads, the government has brought in a series of changes to the driving test - including the ruling that new drivers must be examined on their ability to follow a sat nav safely.


Karl Russian, the owner of Street Life driving school, who teach new drivers across Essex, told Heart he's anxious the sat nav element could make people more robotic.

AA president Edmund King said the new test reflects real life driving and people who pass it will have more confidence when driving solo.

"Ensuring the driving test is relevant in the 21st century - for example, the introduction of sat navs, will go a long way towards doing this".

Another new addition to the test is the addition of extra "show me" and "tell me" questions.

But the change has caused uproar among examiners. Union officials also announced examiners would refuse overtime and work to rule from 23 November. He said "for the young guys that are going to take their driving test, it's a stressful time as it is, and we still have to turn up and we don't know if they're going to have a test or not have a test".

DVSA wants to make sure that training and the driving test reduce the number of young people being killed in collisions. "This means that we can not move forward together to resolve this dispute, for the sake of our staff and customers". The testing criteria remains largely intact - with a pass being awarded if 15 or less minor faults and no majors occur.

"In the future, we will need to see further changes to the test when we have more electric, connected and semi-autonomous cars on our 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".

Everything you need to know about learning to drive, getting your driving licence and choosing your first vehicle.

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