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New driving test changes October 2010

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As we all know every year there is the same discussion and threat that the practical driving test is set to get harder. So every year younger and older drivers want to get it over and done with as soon as possible while it's still relatively easy to maximise their chances of getting their driving licence.

How much has the driving test changed in recent years?

20 years ago learners got off easy; all they had to do when they took a practical driving test was to show that they were competent in driving and doing an emergency stop and that was it. Nowadays you have to perform 2 manoeuvres such as parallel parking, reversing round a corner and a turn in the road or the many others that are taught. In addition to this, they introduced 'show me, tell me' questions that were asked just before examiners started the driving test where learner drivers would need to know things about the vehicle. Sounds hard right? If you have a good teacher and family members that can guide you, then on the day of the practical driving test, it will be very straight forward if you are a confident driver.

What changes are being introduced to the driving test in October 2010?

There will be two new changes to be introduced to the driving test for all new learners sitting the practical part of the test from October 4th 2010. The first change will be that only one manoeuvre will need to be demonstrated instead of the current two. The biggest change to the current driving test will be a new Independent Driving portion to the test. You will be asked to drive without instruction whilst driving; the examiner may draw a map with directions or tell you beforehand where you will be going.

The Independent Driving part of the test has probably been introduced due to new technology such as satellite navigation being widely used. Drivers will need to show examiners that they are able to follow signs on their own and retain information in regards to having directions before setting out to drive.

It is a good idea for learner drivers to be able to read road signs and drive at the same time but there are also other implications to these new changes. Driving test fees are currently £75 and with the new changes it is set to rise to £100. More people will want to get their licence before this change comes into affect so there will be an influx of new learner drivers on the road and rogue driving instructors wanting to make some fraudulent money.

UPDATE: The test fees are not going to change, they will stay at £62 for weekdays and £75 for evening and weekends.

gices Published 07 Apr 2010
I'm a Software Developer and the founder of Clever Dodo. I encourage people to practice MAM (Movement/Arts/Meditation) for a well-balanced and happy life. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.


Driver SOS (UK)

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Driver SOS (UK)

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2898 members . 1217 topics . 2221 posts
Steve_14 30 Nov 2010

I decided to get my pilot's licence and driving licence at the same time. Have now had my pilot's licence for eighteen months, but am still not considered fit to drive a car! The driving test is ridiculous in this country. I passed my test in California first time, and drove there for ten years. If I haven't learned to drive a car safely by now, I don't think I ever will.

Me 15 Nov 2010

its a money making scam

Masuma 15 Nov 2010

Oh thats Gr8 then New Driving tests is not bad afterall!!!!!! Happy dayz im Book my tests soon as and Hopefully Pass with flying Colurs lol :D.

KamalJalil 12 Nov 2010

Haha I been doing driving lessons for only 3 months and I am confident in going for it! I love DSA, the new test looooooooks so much easier hahahah!!!!!!!!! cant wait!!!!

Sneki 17 Oct 2010

Not problem when you pass you will driving....but it is problem how to pass when all examiner failing you for nothing... i fail 5 times,i'm foreigner and im driving first time (I'm 39 age)...the questions is how to need do take eyes from the are learner..many people following the sign and making mistake but they not on test,they won't fail..but you one mistake...learner no experienceand no signaling and they fail how to pass is question?

Millet 07 Oct 2010

The UK driving test is a big money earner for the govt. In the US, an examinee does not have to pay for his driving test until and only after he/she has passed the test. A small administration fee of something like 5 dollars is all that is required. I don't mind paying 100 pounds for as long as I pay it only once, when I have passed the practical test. This driving exam is a major source of anxiety for learners and impoverishment on the matter of finances.

Masuma 28 Sep 2010

I totally i agree with you joan you ask a baby to walk when they havent crawled thats the same phrase to use in Driving too!!!

Joan 27 Sep 2010

I think it's ok but pupils have nerves and might not be able to remember what they have been told i think with experience they will be able to read road signs and not on the test date DSA be realistic.. you can't ask a baby to walk whe they haven't crawled

Dave_7 27 Sep 2010

Personally i think most faults would be made on the indpendant driving part becauce you are more trying to remember the directions the examiner has given you than to fully be able to concentrate on your driving that's when the slipups happen .if you have a bit of a bad memory like me remember the first two directions they have given you when you reach that destination then ask for the next two might make it that little bit easier to concentrate cause let's face it it's hard enough when you know the examiner is watching your every move.

Addy_1 16 Sep 2010

Im a driving instructor and i do think the new change is a good idea as it's more awareness to road signs and will improve your genral awareness and planning. I see where a lot of learners are coming from with changes after changes and the prices going up and up!

Laura_2 14 Sep 2010

What worries me about this is that after failing my test about a week ago (only one major that I didn't quite understand, but never mind), I've managed to get another date for 6th October, two days after this scheme has been introduced. So I now have only a few weeks in order to get to grips with it. I'm also dyslexic and dyspraxic and really struggle with short term memory recall ie remembering 'left/right/right/left/right/3rd exit' AND concentrating on driving, not to mention reading and following roadsigns under extra stress - I'm worried this independent driving will actually be the reason I fail this time. I guess the upside is only having to do one manouevre though (not that I struggle with these, but it's one less worry).

Grrrrr 13 Sep 2010

This is absolutely ridiculous. Maybe 20 years ago this would work. But this is the 21st Century and there are SAT NAVS to help us with such problems with having to look at pointless direction signs when it is not necessary. Actually, more poeple are going to start driving illegally as it is just going to cost them so much more, meaning the roads in the long term are going to be unsafer. I don't think they have thought this through!

Liz_2 09 Sep 2010

I dont know what the problem is with independent driving. When you pass your test you are going to be independently driving then so what's the problem with doing it for the test. At least this way you are more prepared for driving alone when the happy day comes.

Masuma 08 Sep 2010

HEY, Malcolm thanks for the breif description but I'm Perfectly clear of signs and i can react as soon as possible and do it Correctly thanks. i do read the High Way Code and all the signs im preety capabale of Understanding thank you very much!!!!!

malcolm 07 Sep 2010

Hey Masuma. if you have been driving 3 years you should be able to read road signs,ask yourself would you cross a busy road with your eyes closed ?... I assume the answer is no !!! but if you arrive at a junction not knowing where you are going it is just the same. The old saying is failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Most of my pupils pass having had 35 to 40 lessons and they are all able to read road signs and plan routes, sat navs are not the most reliable things in the world AND THEY DO NOT TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE IN THE WRONG LANE AND ABOUT TO BE CRUSHED BY A HGV WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO GET IN THE CORRECT LANE, nor can they tell you when there are road works or any other hazard is present, YOU NEED TO USE YOUR EYES,ie independant driving!!!!!!

Masuma 07 Sep 2010

I totally agree with you Jay, but this New System is Driving me NUTS!!! why have a New System out when it's not going to work. Maybe we all should quit the tests saves us money then. Then ending up wasting it on the examiners, tests fees, and Instructors. lol more people won't do the New tests this mean no money for them!!!!! :)

malcolm 06 Sep 2010

I am sure that most Learners who are ready for their test are quite able to cope with the new test,It is in my opinion esential that any driver is able to plan a route,There is nothing worse than arriving at a major junction having not read the direction signs on aproach and then not having a clue where to go or what lane to be in,Believe me it is scary stuff,I teach in wales and my fees are a modest £19.00 per hour, with the ever rising cost of fuel and repairs and the cost of the purchase of the tuiton vehicle I have to take almost £300.00 per week before I start to earn any money, I do the job because it gives me satisfaction when pupils pass,I have taught independant driving for over 3 years so ALL my pupils have no problem,My advise is don't worry it is not as bad as you may think is is good luck to you all, Malcolm

Rob_3 06 Sep 2010

The driving test is about being able to drive anywhere so the new rules will help someone navigate where they are going. As when they have passed test, remember that you can go on a motorway and drive wherever you wish once you have past. The new test teaches you to stay calm and read signs and lanes as to where you are going. I understand that people find learning to drive expensive but is it not more important that the parents/family that you leave at home when you go out know that you are safe on the roads? I know that we can still have an accident but if you are safe on the roads it's less likely that you will.

Jay_4 04 Sep 2010

I don't understand why they would do this when it's hard to get a license anyway because they fail you on anything. If it's a case of sat nav then why give a stupid test to follow signs when nobody does why not just give a sat nav.. It's ridiculous

Masuma 03 Sep 2010

This whole new idea of 2010 driving tests is beyond a joke now! I've been driving for 3 years now in order to pass my driving tests but however, I feel confident now as I am ready to pass. I agree with others saying it's expensive Damn rigte it's expensive and a lot of money is wasted on lessons as well as paying for the tests fees, which is ridiculous. I've been with 3 examiners all they cared about is MONEY!!! They totally robbed me away. I haven't got long till I got my driving tests but on the other hand if they require us to this STUPID NEW DRIVING TESTS THING I will do it to show them we learners can PASS BUT AIN'T FAILING. I know as it states saying this and that, follow signs I don't give A TOSS because I will study hard on signs road markings in order to pass. I'm already confident in my driving ability and now I'm ready to PASS.

Anon_3 02 Sep 2010

I can't believe how expensive the new test will be. I am a student and failed my test on Tuesday, now I have to prepare to fork out alot more money, and get used to a different test layout, one I haven't been familiar with. I think it is ridiculous, we are learner drivers trying to pass our DRIVING test, not a test on how we get from one place to another, it's about how we drive the vehicle. the new test is STUPID.

Anon_2 16 Aug 2010

The new test sounds better! It will be a relief to be doing proper driving not pootling around estates, reversing round corners (who does that in real life!) playing dodgems with the other learners cribbing up on all the test routes. £25 per hr ain't cheap, but then neither is running a car!

Hayley_2 03 Aug 2010

I dont think this is fair at all. I am now on my 4th instructor as I have been mucked around quite abit, I have not had the tuiton that I was paying for. I now have two months to pass my test, we already have alot of nerves and stress on the day without now worrying about getting it done on time. It should be scrapped for people who are learning the system before october as it costs more money and hassle learning the new system.

Cathy(learner) 12 Jul 2010

This new test is very unfair. I find it hard to find the £25 a week for my lessons whereas some people have their parents pay. I think this new test is silly especially as they are only allowed to pass a certain amount of people which is just taking our money!? I dont think that this new scheme is much to do with road saftey, so many people fail on silly reasons such as not indicating. the goverment just want money to help with their debt!

DrivingInstructor 28 Jun 2010

Driving lessons aren't expensive. Driving instroctors do a very brave and very expensive job. If lesson prices would have increased like the price of the driving test has increased in the least 20 years, then you'd be paying £70 per hour! Driving lessons are not expensive.

Anonymous_3 05 May 2010

Fair enough with that, that seems kool with only doing one manoeuvre and driving independently. Cause I've seen some drivers on the road and they are crap drivers. My only concern is the price £100 to take a test. Imagine failing 5 times that £500, a lot of money. Driving lessons are expensive as it is.