Knowing the changes made in the driving test must be a part of your preparation. As mentioned in the previous article, your chances of passing the test rely heavily on your preparation and your attitude.
Accordingly, the changes made on the driving test ensure that new drivers have proper skills to help them become responsible drivers.
4 Changes In The New Driving Test
1. Independent Driving Test Part Will Now Increase To 20 Minutes
Before this change, the Independent Driving part of the test lasted for just 10 minutes. Now, it will take 20 minutes to finish the Independent Driving part. The Independent Driving Test part is most likely to take half of the entire driving test time.
What is the Independent Driving Part?
Your examiner will inform you when the Independent Driving Test will begin. It will start when the examiner asks you to park your car on the left.
The examiner will tell you this:
“Shortly I’d like you to drive for some distance independently. I’d like you to follow a series of directions from the sat nav, please. Continue to follow the sat nav until I tell you otherwise. Drive on when you’re ready.”
You must drive without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner. Four of the tests From every five driving tests conducted will require the examinee to follow directions from a sat nav. The other one will be based on the road traffic signs.
The examiner will tell you this:
“Shortly, I’d like you to drive for some distance independently. I’d like you to follow the traffic signs for [location] please. Continue to follow the signs until I tell you otherwise. Drive on when you’re ready.”
Remember that the sat nav (TomTom Start 52) that you’ll be using will come from the examiner because you’re not allowed to use your device. The examiner will also be the one who will secure and set up the route for your test.
It’s best to familiarize yourself following directions using a sat nav, however, please note that the Independent Driving Test section is not a navigation test. What is important is that you’ll be able to drive safely and abide by the rules and regulations of the road. If you get lost, your examiner will help you get back on the track.
2. Sat Nav Is Now Used For Directions During the Independent Driving Test
The examiner will no longer provide turn-by-turn directions because the Independent Driving Test section will no be based from a sat nav.
The examiner will be providing the sat nav (TomTom Start 52). All you have to do is follow the directions from the chosen route your examiner has provided for you.
If you get confused with the sat nav directions, you can always ask your examiner for help. It doesn’t matter if you take a wrong turn, as long as you followed the road rules you will not be given a fault for this.
Another thing you have to note is that the sat nav displays the speed of your car and at times the speed limit. You must not confuse this with the speedometer of your car or the actual speed limit road signs because the sat nav should not be relied on when it comes to this kind of information. And the examiner will only use your car’s speedometer to check your speed.
If by any chance that car you’re driving has a built-in sat nav you must see that it’s turned off to avoid confusion.
3. Changes on Reversing Manoeuvres
Expect changes on Reversing Manoeuvres. This time the “reverse around a corner” and “turn-in-the-road” manoeuvres will no longer be part of the test, but still, learn this from your instructor.
You will be asked to do 1 reversing manoeuvre during your driving test. While it’s impossible to determine what would be asked of you, here specifically are three possible reversing manoeuvres you might be asked to do:
If you’re asked to do the parallel parking manoeuvre, then you must perform it within a two-car length gap.
It’s best to practice this with your instructor often before you take your driving test since this manoeuvre will require skills and patience. Ultimately, you need to trust your judgment whenever you must do a parallel parking.
One simple tip you can remember is that if get too close to the kerb in your passenger door mirror then you need to steer more to the right. Meanwhile, if you see too much gap between your car and the kerb then steer to the left.
Pull up on the right and reverse
Same with parallel parking you will have to do the pull up on the right and reverse manoeuvre within 2-car length gap.
Your examiner will ask you to pull up on the right if it’s safe to do so they will give you the instructions that he’d like to see you reverse for 2-car lengths keeping your car considerably close to the kerb.
Please take note that when another vehicle pulls up behind the car you’re driving and would hinder your manoeuvre then the examiner will have to ask you to carry out the test later on. Meanwhile, if another vehicle pulls up in front, then the exercise will proceed.
Parking in a bay
For this exercise the examiner will you to park in a bay, to which you must either:
Reverse in and drive out, which will be done only in the driving test centre car park.
Drive in and reverse out, which could be carried out in any car park including the driving test centre car park.
Your examiner will tell you to drive forward into a convenient parking bay finishing within the lines, either to the left or the right (if the car park allows it).
After which, you will be asked to reverse out either to the left or the right (if the car park allows it).
Don’t park in a bay where there are vehicles in adjacent bays. Also, you must take note you can’t drive through a first parking bay, and then park in a bay directly in front. When you reverse out, you can’t go into any bays behind.
4. Show Me, Tell Me Questions
There will be a portion in your driving test when the examiner asks you two vehicle safety questions; this portion is the “Show Me, Tell Me” questions.
You’ll be asked 1 Tell Me question and 1 Show Me question:
- For the “Tell Me” question, you must point and explain to your examiner the answer to the safety task question. This happens at the beginning of your test before you start driving.
- The “Show Me” question, on the other hand, will be carried out while you’re driving the vehicle. Your examiner will ask you to perform a safety task, and you’ll have to show it by doing it in action.
Check out this article for the complete list of possible “Show Me, Tell Me” questions during your driving test.
Who Is Affected By The Changes In The New Driving Test?
Implementing the changes will take place starting December 4, 2017, and will affect all learner drivers who will take the car driving test.
And the new format will also affect:
- Examinees who failed the test before December 4, 2017, and would have to retake the test starting the said date
- If your test is cancelled or moved and the new schedule will be from December 4, 2017
Important Notes to Consider
The UK driving test pass mark will remain the same. There will also be no changes in the way the examiner will mark the test.
- You’ll pass your driving test if you receive no over 15 driving faults
- There must be no serious or dangerous fault committed to pass your driving test
For your reference there are three faults you can commit:
- Dangerous Fault – this involves actual danger to you, your examiner, and the public or property.
- Serious Fault – this is also considered a major fault that may be dangerous.
- Driving Fault – this also known as a minor fault. This fault is not potentially dangerous, but if repeated again and again may become a serious fault.
Length of Test
The length of the driving test won’t change either. Just like before it will take approximately 40 minutes to finish the test.
Driving Test Cost
Same way with the passing mark and the length of the test, the driving test cost will remain the same.
£62 if you opt to take the test on weekdays and £75 on evenings, weekends, and bank holidays.
The DVSA is committed to assuring that through proper training and driving test, the number of young people killed in collisions will dramatically reduce.