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The new changes to the practical driving test will be going live on Monday 4th December 2017. With the aim of reducing the number of young drivers involved in fatal collisions.

We recently ran a survey to see what people thought towards the upcoming changes. Surprisingly, only 64% said that the changes are a good addition to the current driving test. With a driving instructor saying that the changes are “going in the right direction to produce better drivers.”

Not all driving instructors are welcoming the changes, however,  with one driving instructor stating that “They are a step backwards and actually make the test easier. Which is crazy considering it was too easy to start with!”.

So, what are the changes?

  • Learners will need to follow directions from a sat nav during the ‘independent driving’ part of the test, which will be increased from 10 minutes to 20 minutes.
  • One show me tell me question will be asked inside the car, such as demonstrating the use of the rear heated screen.
  • Replace current manoeuvres such as ‘reverse around a corner’ with more real-life scenarios, for example, driving into and reversing out of a parking bay.

Here’s a quick video that explains how the test will work from Monday 4th December.

A spokesperson for the DVSA has said “using a satnav goes some way to addressing concerns that inexperienced drivers are easily distracted, which is one of the main causes of crashes. We’re moving with technology and the technology that new drivers will be using.”

A driving instructor we spoke with felt that including the satnav “detracts from route planning, removes awareness of surroundings and potentially becomes another bit of technology to be used whilst on the move.” Not everyone is against the satnav, 75% of driving instructors we spoke to think it’s a positive change.

Using a satnav must be done with care and attention to the road ahead, with 1 in 14 drivers admitting having a ‘near-miss’ caused by the distraction of a sat nav. Examiners will be testing a pupils ability to listen to a sat nav without being distracted.

DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said: “Great Britain’s roads are among the safest in the world. But there is scope to do more to keep road users safe – particularly newly qualified drivers. Making sure the test better assesses a driver’s ability to drive safely and independently is part of our strategy to help every driver through a lifetime of safe driving”.

What do you think to the changes? Have your say!

Come and join us on Monday 4th December when we’ll be hosting live chats on Twitter and our website on to answer any of your questions and tackle any of your concerns surrounding the new changes!

25 COMMENTS

  1. Changes for the better are good. Change for change sake isn’t. The driving test should be that. A driving test. More time spent being tested on driving in all environments including motorways and Satnav can only be good.

  2. When we use a Satnav we know the area we are going to. Will the students get this help NO.
    Satnav – 400 yards enter roundabout (what lane?)
    Driver – 300 yards reads sign and moves to the right lane.
    Student – will stay in the left lane.
    Satnav – (@ 100 yards) Enter roundabout and take the 3rd exit.
    Driver – Expecting this L.A.D.A. Moves onto the roundabout and takes the 3rg exit.
    Student – Buy the time the student has heard and processed this instruction 50 yards or less from the roundabout far too late to move to the right safely.
    SATNAVS are for DRIVERS not for STUDENTS ON TEST.

    • I strongly agree with you because not all
      students will know how to use the satnavs or tomtoms or whatever you call it basically navigation systems.

  3. I strongly believe that satnav is a good approach and it is meant to test the concentration as well as attention abilities. A student on a test will be a driver on the roads therefore safe driving it is something we should all think about very seriously. I am a learner so when I will be on the roads I want to be safe for me and for the rest of the “world” as well …so I think using the satnav can make a difference and show which student is trully ready and which one isn’t. It is a good assessment “tool” and I plan to be ready for it

    • A roundabout painted on the road typically only has 1 lane on the approach to it so whether or not it states turn left or right u assume straight ahead

  4. Russel all that what you’ve said. Driving instructors will use sat have in lessons now so students will learn how to use them. So by the time they take there test they will be able to use them then they will be drivsrs. I can see you’re point but its better to learn as a student then use them for first time on there own and have an accident

  5. Yes, I agree with Russell on the opinion that SATNAV are meant for drivers who had already passed their test, not for student drivers, it will be a waste of money and time. Let the DVSA Chief Executive use the rest of the money budgeted in their department on something else.

  6. From a passenger experience, satnav can be very confusing and often provide inacurate and misleading directions.

    Sadly to remember, I’ve been to important events, job interviews, church… late because taxi/cab drivers trusted the so call satnav.

    Also, Old school drivers etc are struggling with satnav. I believe, that the introduction of satnav as part of a driving test should have a second thought inrespective of the outcome of various survey(s) on this issue.

    #SatnavShouldNotBePartOfADrivingTest

  7. Im sh***ing myself tbh!
    Ive always not approved of sat navs, (from a passenger perspective)
    I think their a waste of money!
    Now the very same sat nav is navigating my Driving Test which is in 4weeeks:( grrr

  8. The council are removing more and more roundabouts and replacing them with traffic lights. The satnav still tells you it’s a roundabout and not traffic lights..how confusing will this be for a student…

  9. It’s not a good idea it’s waste of time and energy no matter what if accident have to happen it will happen no matter how safe u drive

  10. Yes it is a good idea the satnav on ur practical test but what about drivers that have all ready passed ur talking about young drivers have accidents so can drivers that have passed they don’t pay attention to the satnav as well

  11. Whatever the public or driving instructors or examiners agree or disagree with the changes to the New Test it will still go ahead whether we like it or not. Every instructor will be helping their students with the new changes to make sure they are fully prepared for it.

  12. Is the Satav the instructor are going to use for students special design for that purposes because satnav instructions are not completed for certain instruction eg bus lane suspended or not after a junctions or road work directions etc. There will be to many to deal with as learner. I suggest this should be included in pass+ or make a pass+ mandatory within 6month of initial driving test pass.

  13. just something elst to add to a list of things to fail you and keep revenues flying in for government . A sat nav is an electronic device you can be prosecuted for using it whilst car is in motion . Its another bit of trickery to fail you . As for that theory test and questions with double barrelled trick questions and first aid at scenes of accidents etc . we are wanting to drive not become a paramedic ???? . if you did some of those suggested answers in first aid in America you could and would likely be sued . chest compressions man treating an unconscious woman alone at the roadside the next thing she screams sexual assault for touching her chest . this is becoming a joke this test . you will now have to work a satnav and they are about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike , you will need a vast knowledge of medical procedures to pass a theory test et . we only want to drive a car not become technology whizz kids and paramedics doctors etc . most people attempting cpr learned by theory test will screw it up or further injure someone then what manslaughter charges ? . its getting beyond the joke this driving test/theory test money making racket .

  14. I think the changes will be good. I drove in the U.S for over 20 years before moving to the UK I can count on one hand the number of times I reversed around a corner in all that time but one thing I really need help with is driving into a parking bay. Also SatNavs are among us in many vehicles. Some are accurate and some are not but it’s better we get accustomed to them during driver training when we an instructor there with us to help us safely get used to them then on our own after we pass the test. If your instructor isn’t good with them get a better instructor.

  15. I agree that using Satnav is ludicrous also the fact that a learner driver now has to pull up on the wrong side of the road when safe to do so then reversing back 2 car lengths before making sure it’s safe to rejoin your own lane of traffic!!!!!

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