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Major shake-up for driving test this year

The driving test in England, Scotland and Wales will change from 4 December 2017, to make sure new drivers have the skills they’ll need to help them through a lifetime of safe driving.

1.The independent driving part of the test, where candidates drive without turn-by-turn directions from the examiner, will increase from around 10 minutes to 20 minutes – approximately half of the test.

2.During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav. They won’t be able to use their own sat nav, however. Instead, the examiner will provide the sat nav and set the route.

3.The reversing manoeuvres will be changed. The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested. Instead, candidates will 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), or pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for two car lengths and rejoin the traffic.

4.The examiner will ask two vehicle safety questions during the test – a ‘tell me’ question (where the candidate explains how to carry out a particular safety task) at the start of the test, and a ‘show me’ question (for example, how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers) during the test while driving.

The cost of the test, the overall time of the test and the pass mark will all stay the same. Candidates will pass if they make no more than 15 driving faults and no serious or dangerous faults.

“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,” the Transport Minister, Andrew Jones, said.

DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, added: “Making sure the driving test better assesses a driver’s ability to drive safely and independently is part of our strategy to help you stay safe on Britain’s roads. It’s vital that the test keeps up to date with new vehicle technology and the areas where new drivers face the greatest risk once they’ve passed their test.”