New driving test brings changes for learners

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The new driving test will come into force on 4 December 2017. Will you be ready for all the changes that are about to be deployed for learner drivers from the DVSA?

Bryan Greenall, an experienced driving instructor from Evolve Driving School in the Milton Keynes area, has all the information on the changes that will be made and why.

Here are the main points:

  • Independent drive increases to 20 minutes
  • Satnav driving in independent drive
  • Reverse manoeuvre revisions
  • “Show me, tell me” question changes

Read on for a more details insight into what changes for the new driving test.

Reverse manoeuvre shake up

There will be two omissions from the new driving test that learner drivers will not be required to do:

  1. The left reverse manoeuvre around a corner will no longer be part of the test
  2. The turn in the road or (three-point turn) has also been phased out

The following manoeuvres will remain:

  1. The parallel park will still be a manoeuvre on the new driving test.
  2. The bay park manoeuvre will also still be included in the new test, but with a revised mandate. You will now possibly be asked to either drive in and reverse out or reverse in and drive out of a bay. Only one of the two examples will be asked by an examiner. Public car parks may be used for this manoeuvre and not just be driving test centre bays as this used to be.
Most common driving test mistakes by a learner driver

New reverse manoeuvre for the new driving test

The new driving test will now include a completely different reversing exercise. You may be asked to pull over to the right-hand side of the road next to the kerb. Your examiner will ask you to reverse back around two car lengths and then drive off safely rejoining the traffic back to the left.

Although the Highway Code advises not to park on the right, facing oncoming traffic, this is a legal manoeuvre that learner drivers will do from time to time once they are qualified. This is the reason why the DVSA have included it into the test, to reflect more real-life driving situations.

Many driving instructors are against this new change and are petitioning to have it removed from the new test. Lesley Young, Chief Driving Examiner, explains the reasoning behind the decision to include this new manoeuvre on the DVSA blog.

Using a satnav is now part of the driving test

Satnav independent drive

The independent drive that used to last for 10 minutes, either following road signs or following a series of directions via the examiner showing an image of a route they want you to follow, has now been revamped. Following directions via images has now been omitted from the independent drive.

As satellite navigation is used more and more in driver’s everyday journeys, the DVSA has now included the use of it for the driving test. The reason for this inclusion is to try to make the driving test a more realistic scenario, to represent everyday driving conditions that occur.

So, what is new? The independent drive will now be 20 minutes of either following satnav directions or following road signs. Only one in five driving tests will be conducted following road signs. The remaining four tests will follow satnav routes. Both disciplines will last for approximately 20 minutes.

The particular satnav device the DVSA has chosen to use for the new driving test is the TomTom Start 52. This replicates a standard satnav anybody may be using in their car. It is safe to say that driving instructors may use a totally different device for their pupil training.

“Show me, tell me” question changes

The examiner will still ask one “tell me” question before you set off to drive. They will now ask you one “show me” question while you are on the drive. There used to be 19 questions that examiners had the use of. There are now 21 questions in total.

A “show me” example question whilst driving is: “When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights?”

Six more questions are included in this category. You are required to fulfil the requested question while still being in safe control of the vehicle whilst driving.

The “tell me” questions will remain the same as before, with a couple of exceptions in that examiners will only require a verbal explanation on some of the answers.

As before on the old driving test, you will only be marked down with one minor fault if you get one or both questions wrong.

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Bryan Greenall
Bryan Greenall
I am a driving instructor and owner of Evolve Driving School in Milton Keynes. My aim is to make it as simple as possible to achieve your goal of passing your driving test, including the practice of “SAFE DRIVING FOR LIFE”, of which I am a firm believer.

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  1. Lovely article on the new driving test. It makes things very clear for all learner drivers to know what changes are coming and why for our new test on the 4 th of December. The examples from the blog on the pulling up on the right you linked to has some good information for everybody including myself as a driving instructor. Thanks for the article Bryan. Paul.

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