Taking your driving test can be up there with one of the scariest moments of your life, but the most
momentous when you’re handed that pale blue certificate. Unfortunately, it is the last time that the
majority of drivers are assessed on their ability to drive, something we curse when we see drivers
that cannot follow the rules of the road – what is so hard about using your indicators!? With that in
mind, we should rejoice the introduction of modernised driving test – or should we?
The first change to driving tests in the UK since the introduction of Independent Driving in 2010, and
arguably the biggest uphaul since the 1999 changes (which extended the length of time to 40
minutes, added the limit for minors and introduced plastic photocard licences), the new driving test
which started on December 4th is definitely a revamp. So what are the changes this time round?
Change One: Reversing Manoeuvres
The new test’s changes include the removal of turn on the road and reverse round a corner (when
do we ever use that anyway?) to make way for more common scenarios relating to reversing your
park in a parking bay – either by driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out
(the examiner will tell you which you have to do)
pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for around 2 car lengths, and rejoin the
And the arguably most useful manoeuvre for those who live in or regularly visit Glasgow, parallel
parking, lives on.
Change Two: Independent Drive
The infamous independent drive will still take up around 20 minutes of the 40 minute test time and
is only going to change for some, as whilst you may be asked to follow traffic signs as normal there is
a new alternative…following directions from a sat nav.
Fear not, they’ll set the sat nav up for you! And I think we can all agree after multiple fights over
where the sat nav is telling you to go with your partner/passenger, it’s a useful skill to have.
Change Three: ‘Show me, tell me’ Questions
Once again, the test is monderisning the way in which it assesses your abilities. ‘Show me, tell me’
questions were previously asked before the test began – just after you had to screw your eyes up to
see someone’s registration plate across the street, remember now? Standing over the bonnet
explaining how you would check the oil (the dip stick check – don’t forget, dip stick) is still part of the
new test. However, the tell me question will be asked whilst you drive.
Again, good practice for when you have your mum or partner nagging in your ear as you try to work
out where you’re going.
Apart from these three changes the test remains the same: you’ll be failed before entering the car if
you can’t read a registration plate around 20 metres away, you will not be asked to drive on a
motorway but you will be asked to do a hill start, pull out from behind a parked car and you could
even be asked to complete an emergency stop (also very handy in rush hour).
The most important thing to remember however, is that if you make a mistake carry on with driving,
and if you go off route you will not be penalised as long as you continue to drive safely and your
examiner will help you get back on track. In our opinion, these changes are for the better and will
prepare drivers for common situations – keeping themselves, their passengers and other road users
Good luck to everyone planning on taking the new driving test! Let us know your opinions of the
new driving test by commenting on our Facebook post.