Driving test to change later this year

The driving test is set to change later this year.

Learners prepare to set off on their driving test, which is set to include four new parts. Picture: Simon Hulme
Learners prepare to set off on their driving test, which is set to include four new parts. Picture: Simon Hulme

The Government wants to alter the way we learn to drive in a bid to improve road safety.

Road collisions are the biggest killer of young people. They account for more than a quarter of all deaths of those aged between 15 and 19.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) wants to make sure that training and the driving test helps to reduce the fatalities.

DVSA Chief Driving Examiner, Lesley Young, said: ”DVSA Chief Driving Examiner, Lesley Young, added: “Candidates will be given more responsibility for making decisions during the test.

"We want them to show they can cope with distractions and assess risk without the intervention of their instructor or examiner.”

There are four main changes to the practical driving test: the independent driving part of the test to increase from 10 minutes to 20 minutes; following Sat-Nav directions is to be part of independent driving section; Reversing around a corner and turn in the road manoeuvres is to be replaced with more real-life scenarios, One of two vehicle safety questions is to be asked while the candidate is driving.

The updates have been analysed by comparison site carkeys.co.uk.

A spokesman said: “The new changes are essentially a variation on a theme, which means the layout of the test won’t change dramatically. Some things to be aware of however is that you will be asked a theory question, commonly called the ‘show me, tell me’ questions while driving, as opposed to just being asked when you are stationary.

"You will also be required to drive independently - with prior guidance from your examiner - for 20 minutes not 10 minutes."

Being able to read a sat-nav display whilst driving will also be a requirement.

“The biggest change comes in the form of the types of manoeuvres you will have to execute.”

Why is the driving test changing?

Price comparison website carkeys.co.uk has analysed the reasons behind changing the driving test.

A spokesman said: “According to figures, road collisions are the leading cause of death for young drivers aged between 15 and 24 – and the most fatal accidents occur on high-speed rural roads.

"A massive 52 per cent of drivers now use sat-nav devices while driving as well. The DVSA were keen to modernise the driving test and make it more relevant, acknowledging key areas that clearly need greater attention. One of the big focus points is the independent driving section, which younger drivers have said is especially useful.”