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”.
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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.