Successfully teaching to drive in Bath & surrounding areas for over 45 years
The driving test will change from Monday 4th December 2017. The changes are designed to make sure new drivers have the skills they need to help them through a lifetime of safe driving.
All car driving tests taken from 4th December 2017 will follow the new format. This includes if:
. a pupil fails a test before then, and retakes if from the 4th December 2017
. a pupil's test is cancelled or moved for any reason, and their new test date is from 4th December 2017
1. INDEPENDENT DRIVING WILL INCREASE TO 20 MINUTES
The independent driving part of the test currently lasts around 10 minutes. This part of the test will be made longer, so it'll last around 20 minutes - roughly half of the test.
2. FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS FROM A SAT NAV
During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav.
The candidate will be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where they're going if they're not sure.
It won't matter if they go the wrong way, unless thay make a fault while doing it.
One in 5 driving tests won't use a sat nav. The pupil will need to follow traffic signs for around 20 minutes instead.
3. REVERSING MANOEUVRES WILL BE CHANGED
The pupil will be asked to do one of the following:
. parallel park at the side of the road
. park in a bay - either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out ( the examiner will tell them which)
. pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic
The manoeuvre can be done during the independent driving part of the test.
The 'reverse around a corner' and 'turn-in-the-road' manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but you should still be taught them. The slow control and accuracy skills will then transfer to learning the revised manoeuvres.
4. ANSWERING THE 'SHOW ME' QUESTION WHILE DRIVING
The examiner will ask the 'show me' question (where the pupil shows how they'd carry out a safety task) while the pupil is driving.
For example, the examiner may ask the pupil to show how they'd wash the windscreen using car controls and wipers.
The 'show me' question can be asked during the independent driving part of the test.
The 'tell me' question (where the pupil explains how they'd carry out a safety task) will still be asked at the start of the test, before the pupil starts driving.
PASS MARK, LENGTH OF TEST AND COST NOT CHANGING
The pass mark is staying the same. So, the pupils will pass if they make no more than 15 driving faults and no serious or dangerous faults.
The examiner will still assess the test in the same way, and the same things will still count as faults.
The overall time of the driving test won't change. It will still take around 40 minutes.
The driving test cost will also stay the same.
WHY ARE THE CHANGES BEING MADE
Road collisions are the biggest killer of young people. They account for over a quarter of all deaths of those aged between 15 and 19.
Most fatal collisions happen on rural or high-speed roads (not including motorways). We want the pupil to spend more time driving on these roads with an instructor, and during the test. This will better prepare them for driving on their own.
Changing the manoeuvres we test means we won't need to spend a disproportionate amount of time in quieter side roads. The revised manoeuvres can be carried out more naturally during the test.
Using a sat nav will also help us to use better test routes with different types of roads. We currently rely on areas with suitable traffic signs - which are often urban and built-up areas.
Using a sat nav means we won't be restricted to using test routes that rely on traffic signs - so routes can include more of the types of roads where most fatal collisions happen.
Research shows that 52% of car drivers have some form of sat nav. We want new drivers trained to use them safely, so they always act on the basis of what's in front of them, and don't just rely on the sat nav.
An essential part of driving is the ability to park safely. It can sometimes be more convenient to drive forward into a parking bay, such as in a supermarket car park when you need to load shopping.
It's sometimes necessary to pull up on the right of the road, for example, if there are double-yellow lines to the left, with a layby and shops on the right.
While it's not best practise to park on the right, it is a legal manoeuvre during daylight. New drivers need to know when it's appropriate to use it, and be trained to do it safely in appropriate situtaions. It's an exercise that will assess these essential skills:
. awareness of road users from behind and oncoming
. effective use of mirrors
. accuracy and control
SAT NAV: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The examiner will provide the sat nav and set it up using one of the stored test routes. The candidate won't need to touch it.
A TomTom Start 52 will be used for the test, but it doesn't matter which sat nav you are taught with. It could be an in-built sat nav, a mobile phone app, or any model of standalone sat nav.
It will help the pupil's test run smoothly if the built-in sat nav is turned off, or standalone sat nav removed before the their test.
The examiner will position the sat nav appropriately and safely. In most cases, we won't fix it to the windscreen - it will be on a special dash-mat so it doesn't move or fall off. However, due to the design of some vehicles, there will be some cases where we need to mount it to the windscreen.
POWERING THE SAT NAV
The sat nav will be plugged into an external powerbank - not plugged into the vehicle.
THE SCREEN AND SOUND
The screen will be on throughout the test, but won't show directions until the independent driving part.
The screen will display the car's speed, and the speed limit for the road. However, the pupil should use the car's speedometer and follow speed limit signs. The examiner will only use the car's speedometer reading.
The sound will be turned on for the independent driving part, unless the pupil asks for it to be turned off.
We don't expect the sat nav to stop working. But if it does, the examiner will step in and give verbal directions for the rest of the independent driving part.
HOW EACH PART OF THE TEST WILL WORK
To help prepare for the changes, this section will give more details about the instructions examiners will give for each part of the test.
PRE-BRIEFING AT THE START OF THE TEST
Here's the new explanation driving examiners will give at the start of the test.
"The test will last about 38 to 40 minutes and will include about 20 minutes of independent driving and various roads and traffic conditions. I will ask you to complete one manoeuvre and we may carry out an emergency stop. The sort of things you've been practising with instructor or accompanying driver."
THE 'TELL ME' SAFETY QUESTION
This question will still be asked at the test centre, before the pupil starts driving. Here's the new explanation that will be used.
"Now I'd like to ask you one question about your vehicle and other matters relating to vehicle safety. The second question will be a 'show me' question on the move.
"If you'd like to make yourself comfortable in your car now please, I'll join you in a moment."
The full set of possible 'tell me' questions can be found on GOV.UK.
The pupil will still need to open the bonnet for some of these questions.
THE 'SHOW ME' SAFETY QUESTION
This question will be asked while the pupil is driving.
It can be asked at any time during the test, including during the independent driving part.
The examiner will ask the question in a location which gives the pupil enough chance to demonstrate the safety check. Here's the instruction they'll give.
"When it's safe, could you show me ....."
If the pupil isn't sure how to do it, the examiner will ask them to pull in when it's safe and appropriate, and then ask them to find the control.
The examiner will be able to ask pupils with special needs to pull in before asking the question so they can explain what they need to do.
The full set of 'show me' questions can be found on GOV.UK.
The examiner will ask the pupil to pull over before starting the independent driving part of the test. At this point, the examiner will select and start the route if using the sat nav.
Here's the instruction examiners will give when starting the independent driving part of the test with a sat nav.
"Shortly I'd like you to drive for some distance independently. I'd like you to follow a series of directions from the sat nav please. Continue to follow the sat nav until I tell you otherwise. Drive on when you're ready."
One in 5 test will be following traffic signs, and not directions from a sat nav. The instruction given for these will still be as follows.
"Shortly, I'd like you to drive for some distance independently. I'd like you to follow the traffic signs for [location] please. Continue to follow the signs until I tell you otherwise. Drive on when you're ready."
PULL UP ON THE RIGHT AND REVERSE
Here's the instruction examiners will give the pupil while they are driving (they won't pull over first to give the instruction).
"Pull up on the right when it is safe to do so, please.
"I'd now like you to reverse back for about 2 car lengths, keeping reasonably close to the kerb."
If another vehicle pulls up behind the car and stops the pupil from reversing back, the manoeuvre won't be completed. The examiner will ask the pupil to drive on, and another exercise will be carried out later in the test.
If a vehicle pulls up in front, the exercise will continue. If the vehicle blocks the pupi's view, the examiner will control the situation and give them appropriate advice.
PARKING IN A BAY
We'll use a wide variety of car parks for the bay parking exercise, such as hotels, retail parks and supermarkets. We're finding suitable car parks for each test centre.
The examiner will ask the pupil to park in a bay - either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell them which).
Here's the instrcution they'll give to drive forward into a parking bay.
"I'd like you to drive forward into a convenient parking bay finishing within the lines, either to the left or the right (if the car park allows it).
"Now, I'd like you to reverse out either to the left or the right ( if the car park allows it)."
The pupil doesn't need to park in a bay where there are vehicles in adjacent bays.
The pupil can't drive through a first parking bay, and then park in a bay directly in front of that. When they reverse out, they can't go into any bays behind them.
IF YOU WISH TO FIND OUT MORE ON THIS SUBJECT PLEASE GO TO www.gov.uk/dvsa/driving-standards