How to pass a driving test – new rules explained

Whether you’re learning yourself or teaching your kids, you need understand how to pass your driving test.

In December 2017, the format of the driving test had a big shake up. It now covers more of the manoeuvres, roads and technology that we use in everyday driving.

According to the DVSA:

The changes are designed to make sure new drivers have the skills they’ll need to help them through a lifetime of safe driving. 

So, if you’re learning or teaching someone how to drive we’ve broken down all the changes so you know what to focus on.

Independent driving & directions

This section of the test checks how well a driver can drive whilst they follow either directions from a sat nav or road signs to a destination. It has doubled in length to 20 minutes.

The examiner will tell which you have to follow on the day & set up the sat nav for you. After that you’ll have 20 minutes of independent driving, without any direction from your examiner.

When you’re learning how to drive, it’s important to practice using a sat nav and following road signs so that you feel comfortable doing either on test day.

Reversing manoeuvres

Reversing round the corner and turn in the road will not be tested any more. Although, you should still make sure that you or the person you’re teaching can comfortably do these manoeuvres when learning how to drive a car.

Instead, the examiner will ask for one of 3 manoeuvres to be performed: 

  • Parallel park at the side of the road.
  • Parking in a space. You’ll either have to reverse in and drive out or visa versa. The examiner will let you know which you need to do.
  • Pulling up on the right-hand side, reversing for 2 car lengths and rejoining the traffic.

You won’t know which manoeuvre the instructor will pick so make sure all 3 are practiced well when you’re learning how to drive.

Answering safety questions while driving

These are known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions. 

Tell me questions check your safety knowledge. They might ask how you’d check the brakes, lights or steering are working. The examiner will ask these before the test and you need to explain your answer to them rather than demonstrating.

Show me questions, are where you demonstrate a safety task while you’re driving. So the examiner might ask you to show how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers

It’s fair to say these changes are the biggest shake up to the driving test in generations. If you’re helping a child practice how to pass their driving test remember these new areas they need to focus on.

Before heading out, make sure that you have the correct level of insurance in place. You may be able to add learner drivers to your existing policy (subject to conditions) call us on 0800 011 3311 or get a quote online. You must be at least 21 and have held a full driving license for at least 3 years to be able to teach someone to drive.

Above all remember that driving a car is one of the most dangerous activities your son or daughter can do. Make sure you are teaching them to be a safe, responsible and careful driver.


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