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In line with the 2015 trials of the updated practical test, the DTSA have announced further plans to update the practical driving test. Trials for the new style driving test will begin in May 2016 across 15 test centres.

A spokesperson has said “New drivers need to be prepared for driving on their own, and not just passing the driving test.

The driving test needs to be reviewed so that instructors can better assess whether new drivers can drive safely and competently on their own on our busy modern roads, and our research suggests the new manoeuvres are the best way to achieve this.”

Changes that are being trialled

The new manoeuvres will replace the current ‘turn in the road’ and ‘left reverse’ manoeuvres, so these will not have to be taught on the current Driving Lesson syllabus between May 2016-Jan 2017.
The table below shows the proposed changes:

Current test

Trial test

‘Show me’ and ‘tell me’ question at the beginning of the test

‘Tell me’ question at the beginning of the test and in winter months to defrost the test car at beginning of the test.

10 minutes independent driving using traffic signs or verbal directions

20 minutes independent driving using a satnav or traffic signs with radio turned on high.

One of the following manoeuvres - turn in the road, reverse around a corner or reverse parking (either into a parking bay, or parallel parking at the side of the road)

Two of the following manoeuvres - drive into and reverse out of a parking bay, manoeuvre through a fast food drive thru lane or automated car wash, pull up on the right, reverse and re-join the traffic or reverse parking (either into a parking bay, or parallel parking at the side of the road)


Adam Grains from Grains Driving School, Surrey has said “when I teach my pupils I sometimes feel like i’m just preparing them for their test and not for real life driving; the new proposals sound a great idea to me. Almost all of my pupils are looking forward to their first McDonalds pickup, and I’m not sure they’re ready from what I teach them in lessons”.


The driving test centres being used:

The research and trials are being done at 15 driving test centres. They’re a mix of both rural and urban locations which have the highest pass rates:

Dorchester, Hyde (Manchester), Bolton (Manchester), Hereford, Aberystwyth, Swindon, Newbury (Hambridge Lane), Crewe, Norwich, Sutton (London), Warrington, Swansea, Chertsey (London), Tolworth (London), Isle of Mull

At the end of the trial the DTSA will make recommendations and hold a public consultation before any changes are rolled out across the UK, which is likely to be May 2017.

Do you welcome the changes? Or think it’ll make the pass rate drop even further? Discuss on our Facebook page.

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