The much talked about new driving test (practical test) has been introduced into the UK this week, with the main change being the inclusion of an independent driving assessment for learner drivers.

The new ‘independent driving’ assessment requires pupils to spend 10 minutes or so demonstrating their ability to drive safely without step-by-step directions from their examiner.

Rather than the examiner giving specific directions during the practical test, the independent driving assessment section requires the pupil to follow traffic signs or a short series of verbal directions, or a combination of the two.

When following verbal directions, the pupil will be shown a diagram from the examiner, while they can also ask the examiner for reminders as they drive.

Commenting on the new driving test, the DSA’s Chief Driving Examiner, Trevor Wedge, said: “The aim of independent driving is to assess the candidate’s ability to drive safely whilst making decisions independently. It’s not a test of navigation and candidates won’t be failed for going off route”.
Wedge continued: “The test is being improved to help produce safer drivers, but that doesn’t mean it’s getting any harder. We know many instructors are already teaching independent driving”.

The other change to the British car driving test sees pupils only having to complete one of the three reversing manoeuvres, instead of the current two.

Despite the changes, the good news is that the price of the UK driving test remains the same at £62, while its duration also stays the same at circa 35-40 minutes.

Have you completed your driving lessons and taken the new driving test yet? If so, please share your experience and views on it here and let us know how you got on. Thank you.

A learner driver from Oxfordshire has had his driving test cancelled after the examiner claimed that his VW Golf car was too dirty.

18 year-old Jack Hyde said, “The examiner told me he came to work in suit trousers and expected to sit on a tidy seat”.

Jack contined, “There were a few croissant crumbs on the seat and a dog biscuit in the footwell, but he wouldn’t even give me 5 minutes to clean it”.

The cancellation means the learner driver has lost his £62 driving test fee and now must wait 6 weeks for a retest.
Mr Hyde has made a complaint to the Driving Standards Agency who said they would look into it.

A spokesperson for Driving School Lessons, the owners of this news site said, “I feel for Jack as the examiner’s reaction does seem a bit excessive”.

They continued, “I wish Jack all the best for his test in a few weeks time and would encourage all pupils and instructors to make sure their vehicles are thorougly clean and tidy on test day”.

English actress Sienna Miller has been celebrating after successfully passing her UK driving test.

The 27 year-old BAFTA nominated actress, best known for her roles in Alfie, Factory Girl and The Edge Of Love had already passed a European driving test over 5 months ago.

Miller took her driving test in the West end of London and was reported to have hugged the examiner on hearing that she had passed. She also leapt out of the car and gave a big hug to her instructor.

A source for the said “Sienna had been so nervous before. She’s an accomplished driver but was desperate to be able to drive here”.

The source continued, “When the examiner told her she’d passed she hugged him and leapt out of the car to bear-hug her instructor. She is thrilled to pieces to be on the road”.

Stuart Vaughan of Driving School Lessons, said, “Congratulations to Sienna on passing her driving test. We wish her all the best in her driving and acting career and should she wish to take any Pass Plus driving lessons in Southampton, rather than London we’d be happy to offer them”.

A 24-year old woman learner driver from Norwich has become one of the rare few people who have passed their driving test with no driving faults at all.

Learner drivers can make up to 15 faults during their practical driving test and still pass, with the average number of faults made by drivers being 9.

Commenting on her achievement, Kim Murton said, “I was always quite scared about driving and it took me years to pluck up the courage to have a lesson. It took me a long while to pick up even the basics”.

Kim continued, “I was shaking and nervous but I just knew I had to get through it. I am shocked but so pleased that I passed with no faults. I was told that was very rare and it is unbelievable how far I came really.”

Kim took her driving lessons over a nine month period with Stephen Lelievre, a driving instructor with 33 years experience, who runs the Popular Driving School in Thorpe Marriott.

Stephen said, “I talked to other driving instructors when this happened and they all said they had hardly ever heard of this happening before”.

Stephen continued, “I know people have come close but no errors at all is amazing. I am really proud of Kim because she was so nervous at first. She has come such a long way”.

Trevor Wedge, Great Britain’s Chief Driving Examiner at the DSA, said: “We congratulate Kim Murton on her result and wish her all the best for her driving career”.

Stuart Vaughan of Driving School Lessons, the driving school franchise specialist that helps instructors source new pupils, said, “This is a magnificent achievement. We pass on our congratulations to both Kim and Stephen”.

The practical part of the UK driving test is failed by 40% of people at least once.

A learner driver in Croydon has made the news after finally passing her driving test 15 years after her first driving lesson.

According to This Is Local London, Andrea Whyte took her first lesson in 1994 and has since spent nearly £1,600 on 85 hours of driving lessons over the years.

Commenting on her success, Mrs Whyte said she had years of “poor driving instruction” with instructors who would “talk incessantly about home life and family issues, or regularly cancel lessons at the last minute”.

That was before she started lessons with instructor Andrew Bare, who, in 6 months, developed Mrs Whyte’s driving skills & confidence culminating in her pass.

Mr Bare said: “The moment Andrea got in the car with me she told me about her previous experience. “I asked her to show me her driving and I identified the main issue was with her confidence in her driving ability due to so many years of instruction, yet never being put forward for her test.”

Mrs Whyte is now looking forward to having the freedom to visit her friends and family without relying on the need for public transport.