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 driving test candidate 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 sat nav will have the sound switched on, but the driving test candidate may request for it to be switched off if they feel it's distracting. However, it should be noted that if the sound is switch off, the driving test candidate will spend more time looking at the sat nav screen than actually necessary for navigation!

The examiner will provide a sat nav with built in pre-programmed driving test routes, a sat nav dash mat or screen mount, and a battery pack for power. However, during driving lessons the driving instructor may use any sat nav or smart phone. Any sat nav used by the driving instructor should be removed or if built in, switched off before the driving test.

As with the existing driving test, the driving test candidate may ask the examiner to confirm directions if they'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!

Our source at the DVSA has told us that reversing into a bay will probably only be done at test centres with a carkpark, and that driving forwards into a bay and reversing out will be done in public carparks. This has not yet been confirmed!

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

Because there's no turning the car around manoeuvres, the examiner may do any of the manoeuvres during the independent drive part of the practical driving test.

The driving test candidate 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. The driving test candidate 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

Note: Should the driving test candidate fail to do the 'show me' safely, they'll be given a dangerous fault!

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 the practical driving test is booked for or after this date, the driving test candidate should be prepared for the new practical driving test.

Are there any changes to the DL25 driving test report form?

Yes. Due to the two new manoeuvres of parking forwards into a parking bay and reversing out. And, pulling up on the right, reversing two car lengths and rejoining the left. Forward park has been added to section 8 on the new DL25 driving test report form.

Why are the old manoeuvres still on the DL25?

The driving test candidate may take a wrong turn and have to reverse around a corner or do a turn in the road. The examiner will assess and mark this as they currently do. Our source at the DVSA has informed us that, if the candidate has to turn the car around, it may be classed as their manoeuvre. However, this has not yet been confirmed!