new practical driving test

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The 'New' Practical Driving Test format
started on 4th December 2017.

new driving test The UK practical driving test format last changed in late 2017. gives you all the information you need to know about the test as well as what you need to know and do to pass the driving test.

Over 50,000 people visited during the summer of 2010 to find information on the driving test changes then and thousands more in 2017 about the latest changes. Future changes will be reported here well in advance of them happening so check back regularly.

What are the Driving Test Changes?

The new (from December 2017) driving test has three major changes from the 'old' / previous practical test.

  • The candidate using a satellite navigation system in the Independent driving section.

  • Driving examiners will provide their own pre-programmed Satnav device (TomTom Start 52) for each driving test and the candidate will follow the given route from the satnav for the independant drive portion of the test. The candidate will not need to touch or program the satnav- just follow the directions. The independent portion of the test will increase from around 10 minutes to around 20 minutes.

    Around 80 percent of tests will use the satnav directions for the independent drive, the remaining 20 percent will follow traffic signs. The candidate will no longer be shown 'map' diagrams to follow.

    During the Independent drive the candidate must still drive correctly as per the rest of the driving test including using correct observations, using mirrors correctly, obeying speed limits, road markings and signs etc etc, but completely independently, unaided and unprompted.

  • Different manoeuvres

  • There will still only be one manouevre on the test.

    The reverse around a corner and turn in the road ('3 point turn') manoeuvres have been replaced by a more 'real world' scenario such as driving into and reversing out of a parking bay'. Another 'new' manoeuvre that the candidate may be asked to perform is to pull up and park on the right hand side of the road, reverse for a couple of car lengths and then drive away safely joining traffic on the left hand side of the road.

    The candidate may still be asked to perform the parallel park manoeuvre.

  • The candidate answering or demonstrating responses to the 'show me tell me' questions during the drive.

  • Whilst a 'tell me' question will still be asked at the start of the test E.G 'tell me how you would test your brake lights', the 'show me' question will be asked whilst the candidate is driving. This is likely to involve a physical response such as turning on the windcreen demister fan or heated rear window demister.
    The latest and original Show me tell me questions and answers are available here:

    The New (from December 2017)
    Practical Driving Test Procedure

    Below is what happens in the Practical Driving Test.

    1) Your driving licence (plastic card) is checked by the driving examiner.

    2) Your eyesight is checked by reading a number plate of a car in the vacinity of the test centre.

    3) You will be asked one 'tell me' question relating to your car's maintenance/ safety/ minor controls. An example question is "Tell how you would check the oil level on this car". For a full list of the lateset show me tell me questions, answers, explanations and under bonnet pictures of tuition vehicles please visit WWW.SHOWMETELL.ME - Questions and answers.

    4) You will be asked to make yourself confortable in the driving seat and then the examiner will explain how the test will be conducted, and you will be told to drive up to speed limits, and to follow the road straight ahead unless told otherwise.

    5) You will be asked to start the engine and either drive away/ out of the carpark or to possibly carry out a reversing manoeuvre into a parking bay in the test centre carpark. The bay parking manoeuvre may now also be carried out during the test in a different carpark- E.G at a local supermarket.

    6) You will drive along a test route where your examiner will give you clear instructions such as "Take the next turning on the left please".

    The test route will involve minor roads and more major roads where the speed limit may be up to the national limit of 70mph. Dual carriageways may be used where they are available. You will NOT be asked to drive on motorways.

    You will be asked to park on a number of occassions on test, often before a manouevre etc.

    7) If you DID NOT carry out the reverse/ forward bay park at the start of the test, you will be asked to carry out ONE driving manouevre. The manouevres are:

  • Pull up on the RIGHT hand side of the road safely, reverse back two car lengths and drive away again rejoining the traffic safely.
  • Reverse / Parallel Park using a parked car.
  • Reverse or forward Bay Park at start, during or end of the test. You could be asked to drive into the bay from the left or right in a forwards direction and then reverse out either way or vice versa- reverse in from the left or right and drive out forwards to the left or right.

  • 8) INDEPENDENT DRIVING- This can be carried out at ANY time during the test- including from the very start- and will last upto 20 minutes.

    The examiner will ask you to pull up and park at a safe and convenient location. You will then be asked to either drive independently to a location such as 'Newtown' following road signs and markings, or be asked to follow the examiners satnav directions.

    If you go the wrong way don't panic! The examiner will get you back on course and you will not receive a fault if your driving has been correct and safe. So if you turn left instead of right it is fine if you have signalled left, positioned correctly for a left turn, and the road to the left is not a no entry road etc etc.

    If you get lost or can't remember where you were supposed to go don't panic! You can ask where you need to go at any stage, but this is best done in good time so you can select the correct signal and lane etc where necessary. So if you are approaching a roundabout, you could ask the examiner which way to turn and he or she will tell you, and you will not receive a fault for asking. The same would be true for a crossroads or T junction situation etc.

    The examiner is not judging your navigation skills, but your ability to drive, position, signal etc independently.

    9) You MAY be asked to carry out an Emergency Stop.

    10) You will be asked a 'show me' question whilst on the move which will involve a simple physical response such as opperating the front or rear wiper/screenwash.

    11) You will return to the test centre and be asked to park and switch off the engine.

    12) You will then be told the result and given a de-brief. During your test the examiner will have noted down any MINOR, SERIOUS or DANGEROUS driving faults. You will fail if you commit one or more serious or dangerous faults, or more than 15 minor faults.

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