More real-world driving test tweaks have been added to the exam in an effort to bring it in line with more modern motorist behaviour

A new UK driving test has come into force today, designed to focus on modern driving styles and road scenarios in a bid to bring the format up to date.

Candidates are now faced with more manoeuvres, such as reverse bay-parking, while dated ones such as reversing around a corner will be removed.

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) research shows that half of motorists use sat-nav, but around a quarter of accidents involving new drivers are caused by them being distracted. The new test aims to address this by integrating a sat-nav into the test for the first time.

Drivers taking the test will now be asked to follow directions to a predetermined destination, enabling examiners to assess a driver's ability to follow instruction while also adhering to road signs.

The independent driving section of the driving test, where drivers are asked to follow signs to a destination without further instruction from the examiner or sat-nav, will also be extended from 10 to 20 minutes.

Additionally, examiners will now ask safety questions while the driver is on the move, or even ask them to use turn on certain controls, such as the rear heated screen.

Edmund King, president of the AA, welcomed the changes, telling Autocar: “We know that new drivers are a higher risk on the roads, therefore we need to better prepare them for real-world driving. These changes will test drivers in a more realistic manner which is essential to improving their safety once their L-plates are removed. The changes, particularly the extended independent driving and use of a sat-nav, should help to produce better, safer motorists.

“We have already had positive feedback from our driving instructors and their pupils and therefore fully support these proposed changes.

“In the future, we will need to see further changes to the test when we have more electric, connected and semi-autonomous cars on our roads.”

Read more: 

UK driving test set for changes in 2017

Learner drivers to be allowed onto motorways in 2018

Autocar launches safer learner driver scheme

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11

16 April 2017
If this stops people driving into rivers and the sea because the disembodied voice in their satnav tells them that is the way to Tesco then that's a good thing.

16 April 2017
Reverse bay parking is easy, you just press a button then drive past the space. Reversing around a corner is trickier.

16 April 2017
Reverse bay parking is easy, you just press a button then drive past the space. Reversing around a corner is trickier.

16 April 2017
Why was there no test previously for reading a map book ? Testing for following satnav is not safety related, navigation was considered as secondary to car control and recognising dangerous situations and road signs. Are drivers to be tested on mobile phone use in case there is an accident and need help ? Too many committee meetings and think tanks me thinks.Thank the lord I past my test 35 yrs ago. ;-)

19 April 2017
Andrew 61 wrote:

Why was there no test previously for reading a map book ? Testing for following satnav is not safety related, navigation was considered as secondary to car control and recognising dangerous situations and road signs. Are drivers to be tested on mobile phone use in case there is an accident and need help ? Too many committee meetings and think tanks me thinks.Thank the lord I past my test 35 yrs ago. ;-)

You are correct. Sat nav use isn't an intrinsic part of driving. And while I would hope that the inclusion of reversing into bays may encourage more to do so after passing the test, because it seems a vast majority as it stands drive in and then get annoyed when one sounds the horn at them to prevent them hitting one's car as they blindly scoot out backwards without taking care to ensure their way is clear, yet I am sure that reversing around a corner should still be a requirement at the same time. It's a different skill, especially in terms of observation in all three directions.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

17 April 2017
Perfect for the future Uber drivers, setting the sat nav as they won't know their way around in this country yet and parking in a bay whilst dropping off the perpetually unemployed at Aldi to stock up on cheap beer and crisp mulitpacks for the weekend. Putting the Great back into Britain!

28 November 2017
The Apprentice wrote:

Perfect for the future Uber drivers, setting the sat nav as they won't know their way around in this country yet and parking in a bay whilst dropping off the perpetually unemployed at Aldi to stock up on cheap beer and crisp mulitpacks for the weekend. Putting the Great back into Britain!

What has any of that got to do with anything?

28 November 2017

Is this a test of how you can drive?   Or how well you can operate the car?

 

And what if you have a different car from the one you've learned to drive in?   Or even that, for whatever reason, the car you learned in wasn't available on your test day?

 

Test should be purely on driver skills.   Not on where all the controls are in a car, not on whichever satnav is installed, and not on following a route where you may either have previous knowledge or not.   Especially as for a new destination you'll probably would have already checked a map to see how to get there.

 

Driver skills remain, but car accessories and satnavs change and are improved.

 

28 November 2017

Sounds like a good update of the test, acknowledging new technology and removing out of date, less useful skills, such as reversing round a corner. I can't remember the last time I did that! I would even argue it's not a particularly safe manoeuvre anyway, especially with modern traffic levels. Parking skills are a good move. I would also like to see motorway driving included as part of the learning/testing procedure. Lane and speed/distance discipline on most of our motorways is shocking, not to mention signalling and general observation skills.

Driven to distraction - Hotwheels

28 November 2017

Agree with most of that but surely motorway skills are tested by dual carriageway driving? Its about 50+ miles to the motorway from where I live but my daughter had to drive on the main dual carriageway A road at motorway speeds during her test, though I'd imagine there are places around the uk where neither are available.

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