[New Driving Test (4th December 2017) - The Complete Guide]
Should you try taking the car practical driving test before it changes?
Is it getting harder?
Do you have to use a sat nav?
Is the new driving test longer?
Your questions answered and more...
Here are a list of the key changes:
Independent driving increased
Using sat nav
‘Independent driving will increase from the current 10 minutes to 20 minutes
That’s around half the duration of your driving test. The examiner can start the independent driving at any point during the test. So they may do so at the beginning of your driving test, midway or towards the end. it’s also important to note that One in 5 driving tests won’t use the sat nav. The pupil will follow traffic signs for about 20 minutes instead. Don’t worry if you take a wrong turn during the independent drive. The sat nav or examiner will get you back on track. Most importantly, whatever you do, do it safely. That also means, going the wrong way safely. You could also be asked to carry out a reversing manoeuvre during the independent drive.
Reversing manoeuvres will be changed: You’ll be asked to do one of the following reversing manoeuvres
- Parallel park at the side of the road
- Park in a bay -driving in or reversing out “I’d like you to drive forward into a convenient bay finishing within the lines, either to the left or right (if the car park allows it).” …. “Now, I’d like you to reverse out either to the left or the right (if the car park allows it).
- Park in a bay reversing in and driving out. The examiner will advise you which one.
- Pull up on the right hand side of the road, reversing 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic. “Pull up on the right when it’s safe to do so.” Once you’ve don’t that… “I’d now like you to refer about 2 car lengths, keeping reasonably close to the kerb.” If another vehicle pulls up behind your car, preventing you from reversing back, the manoeuvre won’t be completed. You’ll be asked to drive on and another exercise will be carried out. However, if a vehicle pulls up in front, the exercise will continue. If the vehicle blocks your view, the examiner will control the situation and give you appropriate advice.
The manoeuvre can be done during the independent driving of the test.
Reversing around the corner and turn in the road will no longer be tested but instructors have been advised to continue to teach them.
Answering the ‘show me’ question while driving: The examiner will ask the ‘show me’ question (where you’d be asked how to carry put a safety task) while driving.
For example, they might ask you to show how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers.
The ‘show me’ question can be asked during the independent driving part of the test.
The ‘tell me’ question (where you explain how to carry out a safety task) will still be asked at the start of the test, before you start driving.
Pass mark, length of test and cost not changing
The pass mark is staying the same. So you will pass if you make no more than 15 driving faults and no serious or dangerous faults.
The examiner will assess the test i the same way, and the same things will still count as faults.
The overall time of the driving test won’t change. It will still be around 40 minutes.
The driving test cost will also stay the same.
Your Questions Answered!
Should you try and attempt the driving test before it changes?
There has been a rush and panic as learners try to prepare for the existing driving test. Not everybody likes change but it's something we're going to have to embrace and accept. Change isn't always a bad thing you know. We wouldn't recommend you go out of your way, financially stretching yourself, taking a load of lessons just to try and beat the change.
Is it getting harder?
We wouldn't necessarily say it's getting harder. The new driving test format has been introduced to reflect modern day driving- just everyday stuff. Apart from the 4 key changes mentioned above, everything else stays exactly the same. Pass mark, length of test and cost remain exactly the same :)
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