The new driving test announced by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) includes 4 significant changes to the current format and follows public consultation and an extensive trial of the new test formats.
Amongst the changes is the introduction into most tests of the use of a satellite navigation system, a TomTom Start 52, that the learner will need to follow instructions from during the test.
The new tests are being introduced by the DVSA in an attempt to improve driving skills and reduce the number of fatal driving accidents in the UK which currently accounts for over a quarter of all deaths between the ages of 15 and 19.
The significant changes are;
The independent stage of the test where the driver operates the vehicle without direction from the examiner will increase from 10 to 20 minutes.
The introduction of the sat nav to the test. Over 52% of all new drivers now drive a car that is fitted with sat nav and the DVSA are keen to encourage their safe use.
The existing reversing around a corner from a main road to a side road and the 3 point turn will be removed from the test and replaced with;
- 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 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic
Two vehicle safety questions will be introduced that will be asked during the driving stage of the test and will follow the format;
- tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving
- ‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving – for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers
The new driving test will initially apply to cars only and will apply to;
- new tests booked after the 4 December 2017
- you fail a test before then, and retake your test from 4 December 2017
- your test is cancelled or moved for any reason, and your new test date is from 4 December 2017