From Monday 4th December, changes will be made to the DVSA driving test. The easy three-point-turn is out but the dreaded parallel park is still in. Driving independently will increase to twenty minutes but you’ll have a sat-nav added to the mix so you could say you win some, you lose some.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) are applying the change to ensure that new drivers have the skills they need for a lifetime of safe driving. To help you gear up for the new test, we’ve given a run-down of the key changes.
1. Independent driving will increase to twenty minutes.
The current length of the independent driving part of the test is ten minutes, during which time you must drive without detailed directions from the examiner. The new test will make the independent driving segment last for roughly half of the driving test.
2. Following directions from a sat-nav
The examiner will ask candidates to follow directions from a sat-nav during the independent driving part of the test.
The examiner will provide and set up the sat-nav as well as set the route. You will not be able to use your own sat nav. You can ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going and it won’t matter if you take the wrong direction, as long as you don’t make a fault while doing it.
For those of you who hate the thought of a sat-nav as part of your driving test, one in five tests won’t use one and you’ll need to follow traffic signs instead.
3. Reversing manoeuvres will be changed
The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but may still be taught by your instructor, if they wish.
You’ll be asked to do one of three reversing manoeuvres:
parallel park at the side of the road
park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which one)
pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for two car lengths and re-join the traffic
4. Answering a vehicle safety question while you’re driving
You will be asked two vehicle safety questions during your driving test – these are known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.
You’ll be asked the ‘tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving.
The ‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) will be asked while you’re driving – for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers.
5. What’s staying the same
The pass mark will stay the same. So, you’ll pass your test if you make no more than 15 driving faults and no serious or dangerous faults.
The examiner will still mark the test in 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 take around 40 minutes.
The driving test cost will also stay the same.
Road collisions are the biggest killer of young people, which is why the DVSA wants to make sure that the training and driving test reduce the number of young people being killed on high speed roads. Changing the format of the test will allow more high speed roads to be included in driving test routes. With 52 % of car drivers owning a sat-nav, the DVSA wants new drivers to be trained to use them safely. The extended independent driving part of the test will be valuable to new drivers as they will be able to relate it to driving once they’ve passed their test.
The changes have been decided based on consultation with the public who widely support the new elements of the test and have been trialled by over 4000 learner drivers. The changes will come into place on Monday 4th December.
From all of us here at Lookers, we wish you good luck if you are taking your driving test soon. Come in and see us once you’ve passed to find your perfect car.