As of the 4th December 2017, major changes are being made to the UK practical driving test in an effort to modernise the examination. The driving test became mandatory in the UK 82 years ago, with changes made over the years to keep the test as relevant to everyday life as possible. With so much technological advancement in modern motoring, the test has changed once more to make sure the next generation of British motorists stay as safe as possible, with statistics motivating the change. More than a quarter of deaths of those aged 15 to 19 are the result of collisions on the road according to a study published by the AA in 2012. The changes will involve 20 minutes of independent driving of which the participant will have to follow directions from a sat-nav, however, every one-in-five tests will not use a sat-nav at all and will have drivers follow road signs instead. The cost of the test itself is still £62.
Maneuvers are being changed too, reversing around a corner and the ever so hoped for “turn in the road” will be scrapped, with learners now having to either parallel park, park in a bay (driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out, with this being up to the examiner) or pulling up on the side of the road, reversing two car lengths, before re-joining traffic again. You’ll be asked to do one of three reversing manoeuvres, with the use of parking sensors allowed.
Examiners will also now ask you two questions regarding vehicle safety while you are on the move, commonly known as the “show me, tell me” section of the test, traditionally done at the very start. This will mostly remain the same, however, “Show me” questions will now be asked whilst you are driving and “Tell me” will remain at the start of the exam. Example questions could include how to clean your front windshield, where your hazard light button is, or where the optimum position for your headrest is. In an article published in August 2017, the government announced plans to allow learner drivers to have motorway lessons from 2018. At the moment motorway lessons are only available for those that have passed their driving test, commonly taken by newly qualified drivers who opt to do the Pass Plus scheme. This will be to acclimatise learners to driving at higher speeds and to understand motorway etiquette, however until the law is changed, it will still be illegal for a learner driver to drive on a motorway.
If you are already feeling confident about passing your test, take a look at our special offers on the Volkswagen Up! and Volkswagen Polo. Small city cars such as these sit in the lower insurance groups, with insurance being one of the most costly aspects of car ownership for new drivers due to their inexperience making them more vulnerable on the road, increasing insurance premiums. Choosing a new car is a great choice especially with modern safety and driver convenience technologies to help avoid accidents, such as automatic braking or reverse cameras.