On Monday 4th December, the UK driving test is set to change. in what is being described as an acknowledgement to modern day driving, candidates will now be scrutinised on their use of modern driver aids and increasingly common manoeuvres.
One of the most noticeable changes will be following directions from the a sat nav. Where in previous tests the instructor has given out directions, the examiner will now provide candidates with a preprogramed sat nav. In every test, the sat nav will be provided by the instructor. Additionally, the sat nav provided will be the same in ever test, with the DVSA opting to use the TomTom Start 52.
The updated test isn’t only an acknowledgement as to how driving has changed, but it also puts an increased focus on independent driving. With these changes, there will be less interpretation or instruction from the examiner. As a result, the time period allocated to independent driving will also increase from 10 minutes to 20.
Furthermore, there will be a more modern slant added to the reversing manoeuvres section of the test. The reverse around a corner and the turn in the road will be dropped, although both of these manoeuvres will still be taught by instructors.
Instead, candidates will be asked to perform 3 of the following possible 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 final change will have the examiner ask you 2 vehicle safety questions before and during the test. More commonly known as ‘show me/tell me’ questions, as part one, you’ll be asked to carry out a safety task before starting your test. Part two will be a showing task whilst driving, where the instructor will ask you about the car controls, like washing the windscreen for example.
While a lot of drivers will see the new changes as an increase in difficulty, the end result may be a little different. Not only will the new test prepare candidates better for modern driving, it will standardize testing further, given that the interaction with the instructor will be further minimalized.
Many learners will embrace the independent driving. It’s less instructive approach might ease the pressure. Following a satellite navigation will help candidates preview turnings and junctions, helping them prepare better to maneuver.
The angst surrounding these changes might be unfounded.