Driving Test Changes - from December 2017
Over the Easter weekend, the DVSA announced that changes would be made to the driving test from 4th December 2017 following the results of trial tests and a consultation process.
We believe that these are a positive step forward, however time will tell whether they improve road safety reduce the casualty rate for new drivers.
The main changes are:
Turn in the road and reverse around the corner manoeuvres will be removed from the driving test.
Two new manoeuvres will be introduced: parking forwards into a space then reversing out and pulling up on the right hand side of the road then reversing for approximately two car lengths before driving on.
The independent drive section will be increased from 10 minutes to 20 minutes. 4 out of 5 tests will be asked to follow directions given by a satnav device, 1 out of 5 tests will still follow signs as is the norm at present.
The Show Me Tell Me questions have been updated and the Show Me will be asked on the move, whilst the Tell Me will still be carried out at the test centre before moving off. The new questions can be found here.
What manoeuvres will you be teaching?
We will teach all the manoeuvres necessary to ensure that you are a safe driver. This will include the turn in the road and reverse around the corner, as well as the new manoeuvres.
Imagine a scenario on your driving test - you are following the satnav directions but take the wrong exit off a roundabout leading onto a narrow, dead end road. In taking the exit, you did so correctly so no fault has been recorded. To allow you to get back onto the correct route, the examiner will step in and ask you to turn the car around where possible.
As it's a narrow road, the only safe option to turn the car around is to reverse around the corner into a cul-de-sac. If you haven't been taught how to do this safely, by not taking proper care and observations you could end up with a serious or dangerous fault being recorded.
What if I fail a test in November and have to take a new test in December?
As we will have been preparing you for all manoeuvres, and following satnav instructions, this will not be a problem.
What about the satnav element?
It has not been decided which vendor will be providing satnavs for the new test. Even once this has been decided, there are a lot of different options and manufacturers each giving directions in different ways.
The main thing to note with the satnav-based independent drive is that you must still use the information from the satnav together with road signs and markings to make safe progress. Therefore it doesn't really matter if you use the same make as you will get in the driving test, Google or iOS maps on your phone or built in units in cars.