The DVSA has announced it will be introducing changes to the practical driving test in 2017 with the aim of reducing the number of young drivers involved in fatal collisions.

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 include:

  • 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

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 4,500 learner drivers and 850 driving instructors in 32 locations across Great Britain. Subject to the outcome of research and consultation feedback the changes will be introduced in early 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. 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.

  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


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