With a new UK driving test confirmed from 4 December, 2017, Book Theory Test Today looks at what has changed on the new test and what those changes mean for learner driversâ€¦
Why is the UK driving test being changed?
In a bid to modernise the British driving test, the DVSA has confirmed that learner drivers will have to follow sat-nav instructions as part of the exam. The overhaul is designed to make the UK driving test more â€˜currentâ€™, with historic manoeuvres such as three-point turns and reversing around a corner, scrapped in favour of modern motoring exercises.
So, whatâ€™s new?
According to a report published by Car Magazine, driving examiners have been studying the behaviour of candidates as they learn to drive and once they have passed the practical driving test. As a result, the test has undergone a shake-up with a view to keeping up with modern roads and driving behaviours.
Hereâ€™s a sneak peek at whatâ€™s new:
- Candidates will be asked to follow sat-nav prompts in addition to road signs â€“ The sat-nav device will be provided and set up by the driving examiner. However, one in five driving tests will not use sat-nav.
- Candidates will be asked safety questions while driving â€“ You will be asked two vehicle safety questions during your driving test â€“ otherwise known as the â€˜show me, tell meâ€™ questions.
- Independent driving element will be doubled in length to 20 minutes â€“ This part of the test is currently 10 minutes long and requires you to drive without constant instruction from your examiner. This will now last for approximately half of the test.
- More realistic driving manoeuvres are added to the test, while old ones are removed â€“ Exercises such as the â€˜reverse around a cornerâ€™ and the â€˜turn-in-the-roadâ€™ will no longer be tested. You can expect to be tested on one of the following three manoeuvres:
- Parallel park at the side of the road.
- Park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do).
- Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for two car lengths and rejoin the traffic.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), which is responsible for the UK driving test, said that the upgraded exam â€˜should promote greater independence and confidence on busier and faster roads.â€™
The new look test is set to be rolled out on Monday, 4 December 2017, with the driving theory test remaining a separate part of the exam.
The UKâ€™s independent road safety organisation, TRL, recently led a nationwide survey with 4,300 learner drivers and 860 driving instructors having their say on what the new UK driving test should involve.
Head of transport psychology at TRL, Shaun Helman, said: â€˜The driving test does an important job of ensuring that people have the basic skills needed to be competent when they begin driving solo. These changes are designed to make the test more reflective of real-life driving, and can be seen as a positive evolution of the licensing process.â€™
â€˜The planned changes to the test will see much greater emphasis put onto independent driving, as well as a renewed focus on higher-risk driving environments during trainingâ€™, he added.
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