New driving test from December 4th 2017
The new driving test starts on December 4th 2017. This page details some of the changes along with possible changes for the future.
Although the new driving test might be something new for many instructors, I’ve been taking part in forming it since 2015. Myself and my pupils were amongst the first to ever trial the test as you’ll see in the videos below which were filmed back in 2015.
These videos describe the changes, demonstrate the new manoeuvres and show me driving a full length test route. Click the menu icon at the top left of the box to choose the video you want to watch or just click play and they’ll all play one after another.
Follow a sat nav for 20 minutes
For around 20 minutes of the driving test you will be asked to follow directions given to you from a sat nav. This is being done to make the test more realistic. The sat nav will be turned on throughout the whole test so you can use it to check speed limits and see what’s coming up even when it’s not guiding you.
The sat nav will be a Tom Tom Start 52 and is provided for you by the DVSA. You don’t have to program it or set it up, the examiner does all that for you. The examiner will also be ready to step in and direct you should the sat nav have any problems.
One in five driving tests won’t use a sat nav and you’ll be asked to follow road signs instead.
Two new manoeuvres replace the old ones
Instead of doing a turn in the road (three point turn) or reversing around a corner you will be asked to complete one of two new manoeuvres or parallel parking.
- Drive into a parking bay (the examiner chooses forwards or backwards) in a public car park and then drive out
- Pull up on the right of the road, reverse a short distance and then continue driving
You can watch a video of me demonstrating these new manoeuvres in the video box above. Click the top left of the box to bring up a menu and select the video.
You can still be asked to do the old manoeuvres on the new driving test. You might go the wrong way or come across a closed road and the examiner can ask you to pull over and then turn the car around. If you are unable to do this then you can fail the test if the examiner has to help you. You should still be taught the old manoeuvres for when they are needed, it’s not just about learning what is on the test.
Show me question done on the move
You’ll be asked do the show me part of show me/tell me on the move. You could be asked to demonstrate how to wash the windscreen or operate the heater while you are driving. This is currently done at the start of the test when you are sitting still.
Possible changes for the future
Further changes were proposed to parliament in February 2014. As of August 2017 some of these things have since been confirmed but will not apply to the new driving test mentioned above.
You can see the changes below mentioned on the official government site by clicking this link https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-overhaul-young-driver-rules-in-bid-to-improve-safety-and-cut-insurance-costs
Minimum learning time
It was suggested in October 2013 that learners should take a minimum of 120 hours of driving lessons. These would be spread over at least 1 year before they are allowed to take a driving test. 100 hours would be done during daylight and 20 hours would have to be done in the dark.
Only lessons taken with a professional driving instructor would count towards your 120 hours and we will have to sign off the hours. Any driving you do with parents, friends etc. would not count.
The main problem with this is of course the cost. If the minimum time of 120 hours comes in then it would triple the amount you have to spend on driving lessons from the current average of £800 to £2400. It will also mean that instructors are booked for a year ahead so finding anyone that is available to teach would be difficult and lesson prices could rocket.
Motorway driving on lessons
In August 2017 it was announced that learners will be allowed on the motorway from 2018. Read my blog entry and watch my video about learner drivers on the motorway.
Much tougher tests for new and current driving instructors
These changes have already come in with the introduction of the standards check and other measures such as CRB checks on all driving instructors.
Younger age for driving
The age at which you can get a provisional driving licence could be reduced to 16 and then maybe 15 in the future.
Longer probation period for new drivers
The current 2 year probation period for new drivers (where you can have your licence revoked for getting 6 points instead of the usual 12) could be extended to 3 or 4 years.
The cost of insuring your first car should fall due to all the changes being made. Nobody knows how much but it’s been estimated that premiums could be cut by around 30%
Ban on night time driving for the first year
It could be made illegal to drive between 11pm and 7am for new drivers. This is when most accidents involving new drivers happen.
Ban on carrying passengers aged under 30
You will not be allowed to have anyone in the car under the age of 30. It would therefore be illegal to carry your own children in the car! This is being suggested as it’s thought that many car accidents are caused by groups of youths going out in a car and egging each other on to do stupid things.