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The New UK Driving Test Changes

Added: 27 November 2017

The UK driving test will be changing from Monday 4 December 2017. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) announced the driving test changes in a bid to increase safer driving and reduce the number of young people killed in collisions – the biggest nationwide killer of teenagers aged 15-19.

All tests taken from 4 December 2017 will follow the new driving test format, even for candidates who are retaking their test or have had a previous test postponed.  Here are the changes that come into effect next week and what they might mean for you.

How the UK driving test is changing

There will be four major changes to the UK driving test:

1. Independent driving time will increase

The UK driving test currently includes 10 minutes of independent driving (driving without instruction from the examiner). This will double to 20 minutes, meaning it will now make up around half the total driving test.

2. You’ll need to follow a satnav

For the first time ever, candidates won’t just have to follow instructions from the examiner - they’ll be asked to follow instructions from a satnav, too. The new rule is being introduced because more than 50% of drivers now own a satnav.

80% of UK driving tests will include the satnav component and all of them will use a TomTom Start 52, provided by the driving test centre, and the examiner will set the route. The other 20% of candidates will be asked to follow traffic signs instead.

3. Reverse manoeuvres are changing

If you hate the ‘reverse around a corner’ or ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres, you’re in luck. Both reverse manoeuvres have been scrapped from the UK driving test, even though your instructor will still teach them during the learning stage.

From next Monday, candidates will be asked to perform one of the following three reverse manoeuvres instead:

1.       Parallel park at the side of the road.

2.       A bay park (and you’ll be told whether to do it bonnet-first or boot-first).

3.       Pull up on the side of the road, reverse the length of two cars and re-join the traffic.

4. Answer a safety question

As well as answering a safety question at the start of the test, you’ll now be asked to answer a safety question while driving, too. The first will be a ‘tell me’ question, requiring you to explain how you’d carry out a task such, while the latter will require candidates to demonstrate something during the driving test (e.g. using the windscreen wipers).

What’s not changing

Aside from the changes above, the UK driving test will follow the same format as before.

The test will be marked in the same way, the same things will still count as faults and the pass mark of 15 faults or fewer will remain the same. The cost will not be changing and the driving test will still also last around 40 minutes, the only difference being the divide between instructed and independent driving.

What do you think of the new UK driving test changes? Do you agree with them?

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