DVSA planned changes to the practical driving test

Why is the practical driving test changing?

  • Most fatal collisions happen on high speed roads. The changes allow more of theses types of roads to be included on driving tests.
  • As much as 53% of drivers now use a sat nav and this will continue to grow. Due to this, sat nav will be included in 4 out of 5 driving tests.
  • The independent drive has proven to help learner drivers post test as they've learned to read the road signs and markings more effectively.
  • Many new drivers struggle with parking and moving away safely from the right. The new practical driving test will focus on these more.

What are the changes to the new practical driving test?

1. The independent drive

This will be increased from 10 minutes to 20 minutes.

2. The use of a sat nav

During the independent drive the examiner will most likely ask the learner driver to follow directions given by a TomTom Start 52 sat nav. One in 5 driving test candidates will be asked to follow road signs and markings instead of using the sat nav.

The DVSA have recently announced that there's not currently a welsh language pack for the TomTom Start 52 sat nav, but they're looking into it. Those wishing to sit the driving test in the welsh language, will do the independent driving part by following the road signs and markings as in the current test.

The examiner will provide the sat nav which will have built in pre-programmed driving test routes to follow. However, during driving lessons the driving instructor you may use any sat nav or smart phone.

As with the existing driving test, you may ask the examiner to confirm directions if you're not sure where you're going!

3. The manoeuvres

The reverse around the corner and turn in the road manoeuvres will be removed from the new practical driving test. However, these are very useful manoeuvres that will aid learners with turning the car around and control. So DoDrive® recommend driving instructors still teach these manoeuvres.

The parallel parking and bay parking manoeuvres will be kept in the new practical driving test. However, the examiner may now ask the driving test candidate to drive in forwards and reverse out of a parking bay or reverse in and drive out. The bay parking manoeuvre will be done at the driving test centre where possible or some other local carpark. Most likely a council owned carpark, but the DVSA are in talks with local businesses too!

There is one completely new manoeuvre in the new practical driving test. The learner may be asked to pull up on the right, reverse back 2 car lengths and then rejoin traffic on the left.

The learner will still only be asked to carry out one manoeuvre on the new driving test!

4. The show and tell

The are some changes to the show and tell me questions on the 4th December 2017. You will be asked one 'tell me' question at the start of the practical driving test before driving, and one 'show me' question whilst on the move.

New learner 'show me, tell me' questions and answers


Will the driving test fee be changing?

The practical driving test fee will remain unchanged.

Is the pass mark changing for the new driving test?

The pass mark for the driving test will remain unchanged.

Are there any other changes?

As far as we know these are the only changes. Should we be made aware of any others, will we update this page to include them. We recommend that you bookmark this page and check back often over the next fews months!

When is the driving test changing?

The practical driving test is changing on the 4th of December 2017 (04/12/2017). If your practical driving test is booked for or after this date, you should be preparing for the new practical driving test!