The driving test changes have been in the pipeline for over two years, and they are now being implemented on Monday 4th December 2017.
At MeDrive Driving School, we have been following the developments closely and all our Driving Instructors are fully prepared for the changes. The pupils who are with us at the moment will have passed before this deadline, so please don’t worry! The new learner driver in the late summer and autumn months will be taking the new driving test. The changes set out by the DVSA are as follows:
1. Independent driving part of the test will increase to 20 minutes
The independent driving part of the test currently lasts around 10 minutes. During this part of the test, you must drive without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner.
This part of the test will be made longer, so it’ll last around 20 minutes – roughly half of the test.
This will only affect one in five driving tests, the other four will be conducted with sat nav.
2. Following directions from a Sat Nav
During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a Sat Nav.
The examiner will provide the sat nav and set it up. You won’t need to set the route – the examiner will do this for you. So it doesn’t matter what make or model of Sat Nav you practice with.
You can’t follow directions from your own Sat Nav during the test – you have to use the one supplied by the examiner.
You’ll be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going if you’re not sure. It won’t matter if you go the wrong way unless you make a fault while doing it.
At MeDrive once we have confirmation of the make and model of Sat Nav the Examiners will be using, please be reassured all are driving instructors we will be purchasing the same Sat Nav to keep continuity.
3. Reversing manoeuvres will be changed
The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but you should still be taught them by your instructor.
You’ll be asked to do one of three possible 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 you have to do)
- pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic.
The MeDrive driving instructors will be teaching our learners the turn in the road, and also the left reverse around the corner. As we feel once you have passed your driving test, these manoeuvres are an invaluable way of turning the car around on a major road.
4. Answering a vehicle safety question while you’re driving
The examiner will ask you 2 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.
- “show me” question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving – for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers.
As we get closer to the new driving test in December, we will inform you on what make and model of Sat Nav the driving examiners will be using. Several parents have requested this information in Buckley, Chester, Connah’s Quay and Wirral for private practice.
I personally feel these changes can only make the newly qualified driver safer. As a parent, this is the can only be a good thing. Later in May as promised I will be looking at a test route in Ellesmere Port and breaking it down into its elements.