Further information on the new driving test

You will recall a couple of months ago we covered the new driving test that is came into force on Monday the 4th of December. For a quick recap, here is the previous blog entry. At the time there was a limited amount of information available on how the new test would be run and there was little detail on the specifics and only headline information on what it would entail. The Department of Vehicle Standards Agency has released further information, which will be helpful to both instructors and learners ready to take their test. We have compiled a short summary for this month’s article.

Before the test starts

Instructors will introduce the test and give some information on what it is going to entail. This will include how long it will take and what will be tested, including an independent driving section and manoeuvres.

Safety questions

There are two safety questions in the test, the ‘tell me’ and ‘show me’ questions. The ‘tell me’ question will be covered at the test centre and will include any one of fourteen questions. The full list is available on the DVSA website and includes questions covering: brakes, tyres, lights, indicators, steering, and crash protection. There are also three possible questions that involve opening the bonnet and demonstrating knowledge of how to check various fluid levels.

The ‘show me’ question will be asked during the test itself. This will give the student the opportunity to demonstrate that they can safely operate controls such as front and rear windscreen wipers, demisters, lights, and windows.

The independent driving section

This could take one of two forms:

  • Using a sat nav
  • Following road signs

If using a sat nav, the instructor will select and set it up. It will be placed on a mat on the dashboard allowing the student to have clear sight of it without obstructing their view of the road. If following road signs, the instructor will select a destination and ask the student to head towards it using road signs only. It’s worth keeping in mind that only 1 in 5 tests will use a sat nav so students should prepare for and practise both.

Pulling up and reversing

This will involve asking the student to pull up on the right and reversing two car lengths, keeping as close to the kerb as possible. Should another car pull up behind before this manoeuvre begins then the examiner will instruct the student to move on and carry out a different test later on. Where a car pulls up in front though, the test can continue.


The parking test will take one of two forms:

  • Reverse in and then drive out
  • Drive in and then reverse out

The first will only take place at the test centre while the second can take place in any location which could also include the test centre.

Instructors have now received full training for the new test including the operation of the sat nav and its set up and the feedback is that they are confident with the new procedures and happy that they are not too complex or time consuming. In fact, the new test will have the same duration as the old one.

If you have any questions regarding the new test or would like to find out more about learning to drive, our instructors at Lanes Driving School are ideally placed to help. With over 100 years of keeping drivers safe on the road we can help you too. Call us on 020 8166 5678 for details on any of our courses or for any information on safe driving.