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UK driving test changes set to be introduced on 4 December, 2017 have been greeted with a mixed response. What do driving instructors think?

UK Driving Test Changes Criticised by Driving Instructors

UK driving test changes, set to be introduced on 4 December 2017, have been greeted with a mixed response. What do driving instructors think? Well, they’re not too happy about what the changes mean for learner drivers. What’s ruffled their feathers? Let’s find out…

Major UK practical driving test changes have been slammed by the country’s driving instructors, who describe them as ‘unsafe.’ From December 4, 2017, the driving test will feature an extended independent driving section – doubling from 10 minutes to 20 minutes – changes to a number of manoeuvres and the use of satellite navigation.

The three point turn looks set to be scrapped from the test, while reversing round a corner will also be dropped from the exam. Instead, learner motorists will be expected to reverse out of a parking bay and perform a controversial new manoeuvre that will see driving test candidates pull up on the right and reverse three car lengths backwards before moving off.

Driving test changes opposed by driving instructors

However, Britain’s driving instructors are not impressed with the new look practical test format. Following the announcement of the biggest shake up to the driving test since the introduction of the theory test in 1996, an instructor-led petition has received hundreds of signatures.

The petition urges the DVSA to scrap the new parallel parking manoeuvre over driving safety fears. Instructors have labelled it a ‘dangerous exercise.’ Instructors are not the only ones disappointed with the new look driving test.

A survey conducted by comparison website giant,, found that one in three participants think the new test won’t improve road safety. However, motoring editor at, Amanda Stretton, disagreed.

She said: “We hope that the new test will help new drivers to adapt to the modern conditions of our roads, especially through the independent driving task and using a sat nav.

Stretton did express her concern that one in three drivers believe these new changes are still not going far enough. She said: “To help improve the quality of driving on our roads, there is a valid argument that new drivers should be taught general road etiquette and how to treat fellow drivers.”

Driving test changes piloted

The driving test changes have already been piloted by several UK driving test centres over the past two years and will be rolled across all test centres by the end of the year. The DVSA said that the new look test will reduce the focus on slow speed manoeuvres on quiet roads.

Instead, driving examiners can better assess the ability of learner drivers to operate a vehicle safely in busier areas, where new drivers are involved in more crashes. The DVSA’s Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn said: “DVSA’s priority is to help motorists through a lifetime of safe driving, which is why we have modernised the driving test.”

He added: “This includes driving for longer without instruction, on a wider range of roads at different speeds, and using a sat nav, so we are better testing a driver’s ability. These changes have been welcomed by the Driving Instructors Association, the BSM and the AA because of the positive impact they will have on road safety.”

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