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Learning to drive

The new driving test 2017 – are you ready?

As the roads change and technologies change, the driving test has to change.

This is everything you need to know about the new driving test that you'll take if your test is booked from 4 December 2017.

What's in the new driving test?

  1. Eyesight check
  2. Show me, tell me questions - updated
  3. General driving ability
  4. Reversing your car - updated
  5. Independent driving - updated

This is the same sort of format as the old driving test but there are a few changes and additions.

Exactly what happens in the new driving test

You'll drive for about 40 minutes (which FLIES by, I promise!) and the driving test is the same whether you're getting a manual or automatic licence.

  1. Your eyesight check

    This hasn't changed for the new driving test. You'll still be asked to stand about 20 metres from a car and read the number plate to the examiner.

    If you don't pass this bit, that's the end of the test. Make sure you remember your glasses if you need them!

  2. The show me, tell me questions

  3. You'll need to answer 2 questions about car safety to show you know how your car works and how to keep everyone safe. The bit that's changed is that now one will be asked WHILE you're driving...eek!

    1. Tell me: this one happens before your driving test starts and before you've done any driving
    2. Show me: you'll be asked to do something like use your demister or windscreen wipers while you're driving, so you'll have to multi-task
    Check out the full set of show me, tell me questions so you're prepped for driving test day.
     
  4. Your driving ability

  5. How good you drive, innit?

    Your driving test examiner will give you directions to follow on a variety of road types but NOT on motorways (yet).

    How your driving ability is tested:
    • Pulling over to the side of the road
    • Pulling out from behind a parked car
    • A hill start
    • Possibly an emergency stop
    You can find the full driving test syllabus that your examiner will be assessing you on here.
     
  6. Reversing your car

  7. Some of the manouevres in the driving test have changed. This is to try to make them more like stuff you'll actually do in the real world once you've passed your test.

    You'll have to do ONE of these manouevres in your test.

    The driving test manouevres:
    • Parallel park at the side of the road
    • A bay park - either driving in and reversing out or reversing in and driving out (the examiner gets to choose, I'm afraid)
    • Pulling up on the right-hand side of the road, reversing for around 2 car lengths, and rejoining the traffic

    These make SO much more sense than the old manouevres so hopefully you won't feel too bad about them.

     
  8. Independent driving

  9. By this point, you'll be nearly done. The independent driving bit of the test is now 20 minutes (up from 10) and you'll be following directions from a satnav and any road signs.

    The satnav in the driving test:
    1. You can't use your own satnav
    2. The examiner will set the satnav up for you
    3. If you go wrong, you won't fail as long as you're safe
    4. If you go off route at any point, the examiner will help you

    If there's any problem on the route (like you can't see a sign because of trees), the examiner will give you directions to keep you on the route or get you back on it.

DON'T EVER GIVE UP

The new test makes a lot more sense than the old test and there are no tricks to try to catch you out. If you think you've made a mistake, just keep going.

You won't fail your test if you make a small mistake as long as you deal with it safely. Safety is the number one thing your examiner is looking for.

Get up to speed on your show me, tell me questions.


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Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .