As we gear up for the changes to the driving test on Monday 4 December 2017, we want to give you some more detailed information so you know what your pupils can expect.
We’re now starting to train our driving examiners on the changes to the test – including the new instructions they’ll give to your pupils.
I want to share these with you, along with some short videos showing some of the changes in action.
Pre-briefing at the start of the test
Here’s the new explanation that driving examiners will give at the start of the test.
The test will last about 38 to 40 minutes and will include about 20 minutes of independent driving and various roads and traffic conditions. I will ask you to complete one manoeuvre and we may carry out an emergency stop. The sort of things you’ve been practising with your instructor or accompanying driver.
The ‘tell me’ safety question
This question will still be asked at the test centre, before your pupil starts driving. Here’s the new explanation that will be used.
Now I’d like to ask you one question about your vehicle and other matters relating to vehicle safety. The second question will be a ‘show me’ question on the move.
If you’d like to make yourself comfortable in your car now please, I will join you in a moment.
The full set of possible ‘tell me’ questions is on GOV.UK.
I want to emphasise that your pupil will still need to open the bonnet if they’re asked question 12, 13 or 14.
In September, we’ll publish a video about the ‘tell me’ questions so your pupils know:
• how to carry out the checks
• why it’s important that they do them regularly
The ‘show me’ safety question
This question will be asked while your pupil is driving.
It can be asked at any time during the test, including during the independent driving part.
The examiner will ask the question in a location which gives your pupil enough chance to demonstrate the safety check. Here’s the instruction they’ll give.
When it’s safe, could you show me…
If your pupil isn’t sure how to do it, the examiner will ask them to pull in when it’s safe and appropriate, and then ask them to find the control.
The examiner will be able to ask any of your pupils with special needs to pull in before asking the question, so they can explain what they need to do.
We’ll publish a video about the ‘show me’ questions in September, too.
The examiner will ask your pupil to pull over before starting the independent driving part of the test. At this point, the examiner will select and start the route, if it’s using a sat nav.
Here’s the instruction that examiners will give when using a sat nav.
Shortly I’d like you to drive for some distance independently. I’d like you to follow a series of directions from the sat nav please. Continue to follow the sat nav until I tell you otherwise. Drive on when you’re ready.
Remember, 1 in 5 tests will be following traffic signs, and not directions from a sat nav. The instruction given for these will be as follows.
Shortly, I’d like you to drive for some distance independently. I’d like you to follow the traffic signs for [location] please. Continue to follow the signs until I tell you otherwise. Drive on when you’re ready.
Pull up on the right and reverse
Here’s the instruction that examiners will give to your pupil while they’re driving (they won’t pull over first to give the instruction).
Pull up on the right when it is safe to do so, please.
I’d now like you to reverse back for about 2 car lengths, keeping reasonably close to the kerb.
If another vehicle pulls up behind the car and stops your pupil from reversing back, the manoeuvre won’t be completed. The examiner will ask your pupil to drive on, and another exercise will be carried out later in the test.
If a vehicle pulls up in front, the exercise will continue.
Parking in a bay
The examiner will ask your pupil to park in a bay. They’ll ask them to either:
• reverse in and drive out (only in a driving test centre car park)
• drive in and reverse out (in any car park – including a driving test centre car park)
Here’s the instruction they’ll give to drive forward into a parking bay.
I’d like you to drive forward into a convenient parking bay finishing within the lines, either to the left or the right (if the car park allows it).
Now, I’d like you to reverse out either to the left or the right (if the car park allows it).
Your pupil doesn’t need to park in a bay where there are vehicles in adjacent bays.
Your pupil can’t drive through a first parking bay, and then park in a bay directly in front of that. When they reverse out, they can’t go into any bays behind them.
The time the test takes
As we mentioned in our original announcement back in April 2017, the length of the test won’t change as a result of the changes. We’ve designed it to fit into the current appointment time.
If you took part in the trials of the test, you might have noticed it took a couple of minutes longer than the current test. However, we expect that to reduce as examiners become more familiar with the process. We’ll also be using a different sat nav to the trial, and dash-mats, which should speed up fitting the sat nav.
We’ll keep a close eye on this and carry out a timing study in March 2018, once the new test has had time to settle in.