Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Driving tests in the UK change today – find out how

The changes have been enforced in England, Scotland and Wales

woman taking driving test© Photo: iStock
Chloe Best
Lifestyle Features Editor
December 4, 2017
Share this:

Driving tests are undergoing the biggest change in generations in a bid to help new drivers to be safer and more independent on the roads. The DVSA announced in October that prospective drivers need to demonstrate "real life" driving skills if they want to pass their test, with changes coming into force from today, 4 December 2017.

STORY: How to use your phone as an in-car sat nav without breaking the law

"Great Britain's roads are among the safest in the world. But there is scope to do more to keep road users safe – particularly newly-qualified drivers," said Gareth Llewellyn, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) chief executive. "Making sure the test better assesses a driver's ability to drive safely and independently is part of our strategy to help every driver through a lifetime of safe driving."

man holding steering wheel driving© Photo: iStock

Here are the four main changes that will be made to the driving test on 4 December 2017:

1. The independent driving part of the test will increase to 20 minutes

The independent driving section of your test is set to double from ten minutes to 20 minutes – meaning it will now take up roughly half of the 40 minute exam. The DVSA explains that during this part of the test, you have to drive "without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner".

2. You may have to follow directions from a sat nav

Most candidates will now be asked to follow directions from a sat nav during the independent driving part of the test. It won't matter if you go the wrong way unless you make a fault while doing it. One in five driving tests won't use a sat nav and you'll need to follow traffic signs instead.

woman taking driving test© Photo: iStock

3. Reversing manoeuvres are changing

The dreaded 'reverse around a corner' and 'turn-in-the-road' manoeuvres will no longer be tested, although you will still be taught them by your instructor. Instead, you'll be asked to do one of three possible reversing manoeuvres. This could be to 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 to pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for two car lengths and rejoin the traffic.

MORE: All you need to know about children's car seat changes

4. You'll have to answer two safety questions while you're driving

Get ready to multi-task! You'll be asked two vehicle safety questions while you're driving, which the DVSA says are known as the 'show me, tell me' questions. You'll be asked the 'tell me' question at the start of your test, before you start driving, and the 'show me' question while you're driving – for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers.

Not everything is changing though; the test will still last around 40 minutes and the pass mark will remain the same, with no more than 15 minor driving faults and no major faults securing you with a pass.

See the latest travel news and inspiration here.

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More Travel

See more