When does the UK driving test change?


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The DVSA has announced the date the new driving test will come into place – and it’s not too far away

Driving Test Cone

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has confirmed the changes will come into effect on 4 December 2017 throughout England, Scotland and Wales, and will include following directions from a sat nav as well as the testing of new manoeuvres.

According to the DVSA there are four major changes:

  1. The  independent driving part of the test will increase to 20 minutes - independent driving currently makes up 10 minutes, the increase means it will take up roughly half the test.
  2. Following directions using a sat nav - this will occur during the independent driving section. It won’t matter if you go the wrong way, unless you make a fault while doing it.
  3. Manoeuvres will be changed - the ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested. Instead, 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) and pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for two car lengths and rejoin the traffic.
  4. Answering a vehicle safety question while you’re driving -the examiner will now ask two vehicle safety questions during your driving test, these are known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.

Why are the changes being made?

The changes, which follow a public consultation as well as extensive trials, are coming into place in order to reduce the number of deaths on UK roads. Road collisions are the biggest killer of young people, accounting for over a quarter of all deaths of those aged between 15 and 19. As well as this, the DVSA have contended that:

  • Most fatal collisions happen on high-speed roads (not including motorways) - changing the format of the test will allow more of these types of roads to be included in driving test routes
  • 52% of car drivers now have a sat nav – the DVSA wants new drivers to be trained to use them safely
  • Research has shown that new drivers find independent driving training valuable - they can relate it to driving once they’ve passed their test.

Transport Minister, Andrew Jones, said of the changes: “Our roads are among the safest in the world. However, road collisions are the biggest killer of young people.

“These changes will help us to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads and equip new drivers with the skill they need to use our roads safely.”


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