The Driving Test!

The Practical Driving Test pass mark remains the same.  The Test At A Glance:
  • Independent driving will be 20 minutes approx.  (nearly half of the test time)
  • Following directions from a Sat-Nav
  • Change to the "Reversing" manoeuvre
  • Answering a "Show Me" question

The independent drive:  

Will last around 20 minutes, taking up nearly half of the test duration (currently around 40 minutes).

During the independent drive element. most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a preprogramed Sat-Nav route. Confirmation of route may be qualified with the Examiner if the test candidate is unsure of a direction. Should a candidate execute a wrong turn or direction change it will not matter, provided that a 'driving fault' is not commited in doing so.
 
One in five driving tests WILL NOT use a Sat-Nav.The candidate will be asked to follow traffic signs for around 20 minutes instead.The use of Sat-Nav will mean examiner's will not be restricted to using test routes that rely on traffic signs, meaning more choice of roads that present more risk for the driver to negotiate (national speed limit roads for example) where road traffic collisions and risk are increased.
 
The DVSA will supply the Sat-Nav pre programmed with one of the stored routes.The candidate will not be asked to physically interact with the Sat-Nav, the proposed model of Sat-Nav for use is the TomTom Start 52. Should the vehicle presented for test have an integral Sat-Nav this must be turned off. The Examiner will position the Sat-Nav appropriately and safely, in most cases it shall not be attached to the windscreen and will be powered by an external power bank NOT plugged into the test vehicle.The screen will remain on for the duration of the test, however, will NOT show directions until the part of the independent element of the driving test. 
 
The Examiner will ask the candidate to park at the roadside prior to the start of the independent drive.The brief will be "Shortly I would like you to drive for some distance independently, I would like you to follow a series of directions supplied by the Sat-Nav please,Continue to follow these directions until I inform you otherwise, do you have any questions? if not drive on when you are ready and it is safe to do so".The sound will be enabled for this task, unless the candidate asks for it to be turned off. Should the Sat-Nav fail during this period the Examiner will resume the role of directing and issue the candidate with instructions.
 
 The "Reversing manoeuvre":
 
  • Parallell Park at the roadside.
  • Park in a bay - either driving into a designated bay or reversing into the bay and either driving out or reversing out safely.
  • Pull up on the Right-hand side of the road, reversing approximately 2 car lengths and then rejoining the normal traffic flow on the left.
The manoeuvre chosen may well take place during the independent part of the test.The manoeuvres of the "Left corner reverse" and the "Turn in the road" will no longer be tested, candidates will still be taught these, as they will promote the required control and effective observational skills required for all manoeuvres.The briefings issued by the Examiner fo these elements of the test will be:
Pulling up on the right-hand side of the road:  The brief will be: "I would like you to pull up on the right-hand side of the road when it is safe to do so" (This will be asked while the candidate is driving , they will not pull up on the left first) "I would now like you to reverse back approximately two car lengths remaining reasonably close to the kerb and then rejoin the traffic flow when it is safe to do so".
Should another vehicle stop behind the candidate, the manoeuvere shall be abandoned and another exercise chosen. Should a vehicle stop in front of the candidate then the exercise will continue, however, should the view of the candidate be restricted then the Examiner will control the risk giving appropriate advice.
 
Bay Parking:   The brief will be: "I would like you to drive forward  into a convenient parking bay either to the left or right (if allowed in the car park) finishing between the lines, I would then like you to reverse out safely either to the left or right, (if allowed within the car park)".
The candidate will not be allowed to drive through bays to achieve the result or reverse through bays to exit. 
The opposite choice will be to reverse into a bay and then drive out safely, either will be chosen by the Examiner. A variety of car parks will be used for these tasks, from Supermarkets, Hotels, to Business retail parks.
 
Show me question:   
The show me question where the candidate will be asked to demonstrate a safety task while driving the vehicle, for example,
"Could you show me how you would wash the front windscreen?" A Show me Tell me question will still be asked at the test centre.