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New changes to the driving test came into force back in December 2017, and it’s important to understand the difference as a learner driver so you can be fully prepared. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) confirmed the updates back in 4th December 2017, and if you are learning to drive at the moment, and wonder how this will affect you, here’s what you need to know.

What are the changes?

Basically, there are four main changes to the original driving test and they include a number of new elements involving all of the following sections:

The independent driving part of the test is 10 minutes longer

Previously, the independent part of the driving test lasted for around 10 minutes and this has now been increased to 20 minutes. During this stage, you will have to drive on your own merit without any directions from your examiner, but don’t worry, as you’ll be fully prepared for this by your driving instructor. This 20-minute segment is around half of the driving test which lasts for 40 minutes or so in total.

Using a sat nav

Another new element to the driving test is to follow directions from a satellite navigation system. The examiner will provide the sat nav and set this up for you, all you have to do is follow the instructions, and you’re allowed to ask the examiner for confirmation of where you are going if you’re not sure. It doesn’t matter if you take the take the wrong turn whilst using the sat nav, as long as you don’t make a driving fault whilst you are following the directions. Following sat nav instructions are applicable to four out of five driving tests, but one in five won’t use this element, the examiner could ask you to follow road signs instead. It’s worth preparing for both scenarios just to be sure.

You no longer have to reverse around a corner

If you passed your driving test before December 2017 you would have been instructed to reverse around a corner during the examination and also been asked to complete a ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvre. These are no longer applicable. Instead, you will be asked to undertake one of the following reverse manoeuvres whilst you are under test conditions:

• Park in a bay – this can be either driving in and reversing out or reversing in and driving out. Your examiner will tell which option they want you to complete at the time.
• Parallel park the car on the side of the road.
• Drive, then pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse the vehicle for two car lengths, then rejoin the traffic again.

You will be asked to perform one of these manoeuvres during the test and will receive plenty of practice in the weeks before by your driving instructor.

Vehicle safety question

The final change to the driving test is a section where you will be asked a safety question about the vehicle you are driving. More commonly known as ‘show me, tell me’, you will be asked a tell me question, which involves you telling the examiner how you’d complete a safety task before you drive the vehicle, and a show me question whilst you are driving, where you explain how you would carry out a safety check (such as using the windscreen washers to clean the glass) as the vehicle is moving.

These are the four main changes that have been added to the latest driving test. There’s nothing to worry about though, you’ll be fully prepared for all eventualities by your driving instructor and these actions will be included as part of your driver training.

Here at Weekly Crash Courses, we ensure you receive the highest level of training so you are confident and fully prepared for your driving test. Book lessons with us today and for the best rates contact us here, or call Andy in person on 07788 973538.

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