Changes to practical driving tests are on the way

UK Driving Licence

Keen to pass your driving test and hit the road?

The impact of the pandemic has left many drivers waiting for a test date, but this isn’t the only obstacle being put in their way.

Several changes are now also being made to the practical driving test, making it harder to pass.

More independent driving

The new rules – which could be enforced in the next few months – will include one basic car knowledge question being asked before you start driving, and then another while you’re on the road. At the moment two questions are asked before you start the drive.

The period of time for independent driving is increasing from 10 minutes to 20 minutes and you will have to follow a series of directions from either a sat nav provided by the instructor or from road signs.

The test will still include one reversing manoeuvre. However, the exact type of manoeuvre will change, so you might have to parallel park, park in a bay or reverse park into a bay.

Along with these changes, drivers who fail might also have to wait 28 days before rebooking, compared to the 10 days’ current wait. According to the DVSA, this is an attempt to stop under-prepared drivers from taking their tests too early.

The DVSA says all these changes are in order to prepare new drivers for a ‘lifetime of safe driving’.

Eyesight check changes

At the moment, examiners carry out eyesight checks before you start driving to make you can see the road ahead. The check involves reading a registration plate on a parked vehicle up to 20 metres away in daylight.

However, under new changes, the DVSA wants to be able to carry out the eyesight checks in any level of light – not just good daylight – and to be able to use other methods of checking eyesight.

They say this would mean providing driving tests at more times, and having more flexibility to test eyesight if there are not many parked vehicles nearby.

Nearly one in three drivers believe older people should resit their driving test.

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