Driving licences were first handed out in the UK in 1903 – but it wasn’t until 1935 that the official driving test came into force. It’s been through a few changes since then (there are a few of the older members of our team here at Big Motoring World who remember when hand signals were still a part of the test!).
It wasn’t until the 90s that reverse parking became a part of the test, and 1996 before the theory test came in. A new raft of changes are now due – and they’re all set to come into force in December. Here’s a quick overview.
Even more independent driving
It’s been a part of the test since 2010, but from December you’ll be asked to drive for 20 minutes without turn-by-turn instructions from your examiner.
As part of the extended independent driving section, you’ll also now have to follow a sat nav’s instructions as well.
You’ll now be tested on a few different ways of reversing – a parallel park, a reverse in a bay and a manoeuvre that requires you to pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for two car lengths and then re-join the traffic
New safety questions
Your examiner will ask you two vehicle safety questions while during the test – one ‘tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) and another question where you’ll show how you’d carry out a safety task while you’re driving.
There won’t be any changes to the pass mark you need to get or the cost – and the test will still take around 40 minutes.
Many of the changes have been made in response to research that shows that younger drivers find the independent driving section invaluable – all with the aim of reducing the number of fatal collisions on our roads.
So, the new changes are all set to make the standards we expect from the UK’s drivers even higher – and here at Big Motoring World we think that can only be a good thing.