There’s been a huge change to one of the exams that people have to pass if they want to earn their driving licence. While the multiple choice theory section will remain the same, alterations have been made to the practical test.
These changes were first announced in April before the new rules officially came into force on December 4.
The biggest difference that people will notice is that the independent driving element has now increased from 10 minutes to 20 minutes. But why is this and how will it affect your driving in London and Surrey?
Here’s all the information you need to know.
What exactly is the change?
Until the new test was introduced, those taking their test were asked to complete 10 minutes of independent driving. This meant that they would drive to a destination following road signs rather than the instructions of the examiner. This section has now doubled in length to 20 minutes.
Why have the changes been made?
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) conducted research into what elements of the practical test new drivers found most beneficial – and the results urged them to act. Meanwhile, a later consultation revealed that 88.2% agreed with the idea of increasing the length of the independent driving section.
Are there any other changes to this section?
Yes. While until now those being tested have had to navigate around test routes using road signs, the majority of people will now be following the directions on a sat nav during the independent driving section. In fact, four in five learners will have to successfully use a sat nav to be able to pass their test.
Will the sat nav element make things harder?
The sat nav – which will be a TomTom Start 52 model – will be set up by the examiner before the independent driving section of the test begins. Anyone who’s unsure about the directions is fine to double check with the examiner. In the event of a wrong turn while driving around areas such as London or Surrey, the sat nav will simply re-direct the route.
Is the pass mark still the same?
The pass mark won’t be changing even though the independent driving section has doubled in length. This means that you’ll still be allowed up to 15 minors as long as you don’t incur any serious or dangerous faults. The overall exam will continue to take around 40 minutes.
The best way to look at the new test is that it will better prepare you for life on the road once you have your licence and are driving around London and Surrey. This should mean that you’ll remain accident-free and safe at all times.