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There is less than a month to go before the new driving test comes into force. From Monday, December 4, new car drivers in England, Scotland and Wales will have to demonstrate a new set of skills aimed at making sure they can navigate their way through a lifetime of safe driving.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency hopes the new test will reduce the number of road collisions – the biggest killer of teenagers. Here’s what you need to know about the changes:
The 4 driving test changes
1. Increased independent driving
The independent driving part of the test currently lasts around 10 minutes. During this part of the test, you have to 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.
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.
They will be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where they’re going if they’re not sure. It won’t matter if they go the wrong way unless they make a fault while doing it.
One in five driving tests won’t use a sat nav. Candidates will 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 they should still be taught by the instructor.
Drivers will be asked to do one of three possible reversing manoeuvres:
4. Answering a vehicle safety question while driving
The examiner will ask two vehicle safety questions during the driving test – these are known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.
How the new test will work
All car driving tests taken from December 4, 2017 will follow the new format. This includes if:
Pass mark, length of test and cost not changing
The pass mark is staying 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.
Why the changes?
Road collisions are the biggest killer of young people. They account for over a quarter of all deaths of those aged between 15 and 19.
DVSA wants to make sure that training and the driving test reduce the number of young people being killed in collisions.
These changes are being made because: