Q962: I've heard that the UK driving test has changed – is this true?
From Monday 4th December 2017, four changes were made to driving tests conducted in England, Scotland and Wales. The changes are designed to ensure that new drivers have the skills they need in order to drive safely in modern day driving conditions. Initially, the changes described below will only apply to car driving tests.
The independent driving part of the test i.e. the part of the test where candidates have to drive without turn-by-turn directions from the examiner, will increase from around 10 minutes to 20 minutes.
Using a sat nav
During the independent driving part of the test most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav but one in five candidates will be asked to follow traffic signs instead.
The sat nav will be provided by the examiner (Tom Tom Start 52), who will set the route the candidate needs to follow – candidates cannot use their own sat nav .
Candidates will be allowed to ask the examiner for confirmation of where they're going and it won't matter if they go the wrong way so long as they don't commit a fault.
Whilst the 'reversing around a corner' and 'turn in the road' manoeuvres will still be taught by driving instructors, they won't be included on the driving test. Instead, candidates will be asked to do one of four reversing manoeuvres:
- Parallel park at the side of the road.
- Parking in a parking bay – candidates will be asked to drive in and reverse out.
- Parking in a parking bay – candidates will be asked to reverse in and drive out.
- Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for two car lengths and then re-join the traffic.
Vehicle safety questions
Candidates will be asked to answer two vehicle safety questions by the examiner – these are known as 'show me, tell me' questions.
Candidates will be asked the 'tell me' question at the start of the test before they start driving. The question will be about how to carry out a safety task e.g. 'Tell me how you'd check the brake lights are working on this car'.
Candidates will be asked the 'show me' question whilst they are driving e.g. 'When it's safe to do so, can you show me how you'd set the rear demister '.
Your driving instructor will be able to tell you more about the questions that may be asked.
The cost and duration (approximately 40 minutes) of the driving test will remain the same. Additionally, there are no changes to the way the examiner will mark the test – candidates will still pass so long as they make no more than 15 driving faults and no serious or dangerous faults.