They say the key to many things in life is preparation.
Whether you’re studying for school or university exams, getting ready for a job interview or planning a route for your first ever road trip, preparation is crucial. It can increase your chance of success while simultaneously decreasing the desire to throw your hands up and say I quit! The same is true for your driving lessons. When that long-awaited day of your practical driving test finally arrives, you’ll be very grateful for all those hours of preparation you put in.
Now that you’ve decided to learn to drive, it’s an easy bet you’re eager to pass your practical driving test as quickly as possible. You’ve seen those L-plates, browsed the internet for your favourite car and probably spent hours daydreaming about what you will do when you finally pass. So, we want to help you prepare for this journey, by clueing you in on what to expect.
In December 2017, the format of the practical driving test was changed to reflect real life, modern day driving. This is great because it means we can all feel safer on the roads and more confident when we are finally left to our own devices!
The DVSA Practical Driving Test Changes
This part of the test requires learners to drive for around 20 minutes, instead of 10, with minimal guidance from examiners. Rather than telling you what turns to take and what lane to be in, you will be expected to figure this out by yourself, using either road signs or a sat-nav.
- You can still ask the examiner for confirmation if you are unsure
- The examiners are more concerned whether you can do this safely, with no faults, than if you are able to go the right way the whole time
In turn, this is excellent preparation for that road trip! Head over and watch our YouTube video if you’d like to get more information on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDp_31fouts
Goodbye to everyone’s favourite test manoeuvre, the ‘turn in the road’ or ‘3 point turn’ and hello to bay parking! You will still be taught each manoeuvre during your driving lessons but the test will only include one of the following 3 reversing manoeuvres:
- Parking in a bay – this can vary between driving or reversing into the bay. We have a brilliant video explaining this on our YouTube channel if you would like to see this for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lLt_G82Uso
- Parallel parking at the side of the road
- Pulling up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and re-join the traffic. Again, you can click here if you want extra help with this manoeuvre: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXVHAZvoEwQ
I know many people who were worried about these additions and longed for the return of that good old turn in the road. But trust me when I say, these will be invaluable when you start driving on your own, especially if you live somewhere with difficult parking!
Show Me, Tell Me Questions
You will also be asked 2 safety questions to test your knowledge and understanding during your practical driving test. Previously, both questions were asked before you began.
Tell Me questions still occur at the start of the test, before you start driving. You will need to explain how to perform a safety task, examples of these include:
- Tell me how you’d check the direction indicators are working
- Tell me how you’d check the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey.
Whereas Show Me questions happen during the driving test and require you to show the examiner how to do something, such as:
- Show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights
- Show me how you’d demist the front windscreen
Again, don’t worry! You’re driving instructor will be fully aware of all these changes and will guide you throughout your lessons.
Well there you have it! These are the main test changes over the past year and you’re fully up to speed. All that’s left to do now is book some lessons, you can follow this link if you would like to do this now: https://www.bsm.co.uk/learner-driver/ and don’t forget to enjoy the journey!
By Casey Seaborne