The DVSA has announced it will be introducing changes to the practical driving test, for car learners, from Monday 4 December 2017.

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”.

The changes are:

  • 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 two current manoeuvres: ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn in the road’ with ‘parallel park at the side of the road’, ‘park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out’ or ‘pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic’

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.”
Using a Sat Nav 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.

The ‘new’ test has already been trialled across 4,300 learner drivers and 860 driving instructors in 32 locations across Great Britain. The DVSA have confirmed that the practical driving test in England, Scotland and Wales will change from Monday 4 December 2017.


  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. It has taken a while for the DVSA to get around to telling everybody of the date for the new driving test.
    It has finally arrived, but the trouble is, they never actually seek out to message the people who actually need to know and advise of what, where, how, and when all this is planned. Apart from those driving instructors lucky enough to be included in all the trials, us mere mortal instructors are left feeling left out as per usual. No training offered, no online seminars offered, nothing. We just have to figure everything out ourselves as per usual. We should at least be given a listed guideline as to what is expected in the way of teaching our pups some of the new additions. rant over. I am pleased with one omission, the reverse left corner, such an outdated and waste of time manoeuvre for many years. Thanks for allowing me to have a little moan. regards, paul.

  3. My thoughts on the new test are.
    Getting rid of left reverse yes, sat nav not really necessary as you follow instructions anyway, bay parking yes but why drive in forward when to reverse out your view is restricted why not teach to go in reverse and drive out forward where you will be able to see earlier rather than have to be out of the bay quite far to be able to observe properly.

    • Apparently it’s because the parking spaces are too small now for two cars to be sitting in reverse , they are unable to get the boot open

  4. I think it falls short because there are millions of drivers who already passed their driving test. Are they going to be tested on sat nav. I NEVER. use sat nav because I would rather rely on my own brain or a map. Needless to say that good drivers pull over when reading a map. I often wonder what would happen if the world suddenly didn’t have computers. This is coming from someone who ran her own computer company and appreciates computer use. However, they shouldn’t be the only way to do something. In our area there are so many signs saying ignore sat nav and there tests my case. I think they are dangerous when giving the wrong instructions.

  5. Following a sat nav is pretty key these days. We all know that they’re not the most accurate things in the world but that’s why it’s important to try and cover what to do if something goes wrong with the device. I’ve known many drivers to panic whilst the device is recalculating the route. Sometimes pulling over when safe to do so is the best option. However, if it’s due to signal loss, proceeding to an area where the signal returns is the better option.

  6. Sat nav will and has caused accidents. A learner is distracted if they miss an instruction and they wlli then peer at the screen , trying to see where they are going to go next. It’s bad enough when a pupil takes their eyes of the road for a second or 2 to see which gear they are in. But when they look at a Sat nav it takes time to adjust exactly where they are and where they are being led. Result SERIOUS ACCIDENT. Having talked to my fellow instructors NOBODY wanted these type of changes. I suggest the DVSA fabricated the results. All the questions were loaded in the survey and all they needed was a like to their question .They did this just to justify their stupid changes. They were responsible for taking out the right reverse as it was suggested that it was dangerous due to being on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic. Now they have gone full circle and suggested the stupid manoeuvre of reversing on the wrong side of the road after parallel park on the opposite side of the road.