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Driving test changes: making sure you have everything you need

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Driving instructors, Driving test, Learning to drive

White Toyota Carolla displaying 'L' plates

Yesterday (Monday 20 November 2017) marked 2 weeks to go until the driving test changes on 4 December 2017.

In September, we sent you a copy of a handbook about the changes. Thank you to everyone who filled in in the recent survey to let us know how prepared you feel you and your pupils are for the new test.

A double-page spread of the driving test changes handbook

I’m really pleased that most of you found the handbook we sent you useful and felt that it helped you understand the new parts of the test. It was also really positive to hear that the majority of you felt we’d given you enough information to prepare your pupils for their test.

We also asked if there was anything you needed more information on. So, I want to address these now.

If you didn’t get a handbook

You can now download a PDF version of the handbook. You’re also welcome to share this with your pupils and their parents if you think this will help them.

Download ‘Driving test changes handbook’ (PDF, 262KB)

Sign up for email alerts

I know many of you have already signed up for our email alerts, which gives essential information for all instructors.

If you haven’t, go and sign up now - it only takes a minute to do, and it will help you stay well informed.

Sign up for email alerts

Videos showing how the new test will work

Some of you asked us for videos on how the new manoeuvres will work in action.

We’ve already published a series of videos about how the changes will work. These should help you see how the new parts of the test will be carried out.

Watch the playlist on YouTube

You’re welcome to link or embed these videos on your website or Facebook page, but you're not allowed to download (either permanently or temporarily) and re-upload them to your own social media.

Bay parking

An area some of you wanted more information was the forward or reverse park into a bay. You can read the instructions examiners will give in our blog post from August.

If your candidate is asked to drive forward into a bay, they’ll need to reverse out. They can reverse straight out, or to the right or left. They can also straighten up the vehicle if they aren’t happy with the position of the vehicle in the bay, as normal.

Candidates will still need to demonstrate effective observations throughout the manoeuvre, and we’ll be assessing the manoeuvre the same as in the current test.

Pulling up on the right

Some of you had questions on how the pull up on the right manoeuvre will be conducted. We’ve explained in detail how this manoeuvre will be carried out in:

Independent driving and the sat nav

We confirmed in July that we’ll be using a TomTom Start 52 sat nav with a genius dash mat.

Some of you have asked whether we’ll be publishing the sat nav routes we’ll be using. We don’t publish routes for the current test, and we won’t be publishing the sat nav routes either.

It’s important candidates aren’t taught set routes and are prepared for driving on a variety of different roads and conditions.

If your candidate misses the turning the sat nav asks them to take, the sat nav or the examiner will help the candidate back to the chosen route. This is the same as the candidate taking a wrong turn during the current test.

What’s not changing

Some of you have also raised some concerns about whether the pass mark and driving faults will be changing. I wanted to reassure you that this isn’t the case.

Candidates will still pass their test if they get no more than 15 driving faults and they'll be assessed to the same standards as the current test. The emergency stop will still also be included in 1 in 3 tests.

New copies of the DL25 and DT1

We've published the updated versions of the driving test marking sheet (DL25) and guidance for driving examiners carrying out driving tests (DT1).

You’ll notice not a lot has changed on the DL25, and that manoeuvres like turn-in-the-road are still included. This is because we use the DL25 for other tests, like the ADI tests where you’ll still be assessed on manoeuvres like turn-in-the-road.

I hope seeing these documents helps you understand how we’ll be assessing the new manoeuvres and as always, you’re welcome to download these and use them during your lessons.

Local test centre ‘surgeries’

You also asked whether we’d be doing any local test centre ‘surgery’ sessions. We’re still holding these regularly, and you can speak to your local test centre for more information on these.

Sharing and comments

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  1. Comment by Steve Taylor posted on

    Very useful thank you - it all seems to be well thought out and I consider it a sensible to make the test more like 'real life' - progress for certain.

  2. Comment by Michael Smith posted on

    Happy with all that but I have a question about stopping on road. If the road becomes busy and it is difficult to move out is it okay to indicate left and hopefully some other kind drivers will allow us out? This is real world driving but in the past we have always encouraged learners not to do it from the left hand side of the road as it can be deemed to be affecting another road user and failed the test.

  3. Comment by Karen MacLeod posted on

    I have been very well informed about the new driving test from the DVSA and also from the MSA GB. I have been implementing the changes with my pupils and there has been very positive feedback. As a driver trainer I feel my pupils are being prepared for driving for life.

  4. Comment by Lynda Knight posted on

    I really do not understand the new driving test form. I can’t understand where the pull up on the right and the forward bay park are marked. All I can see is forward park/ taxi and the associated paragraph talks about turning the car round to face in the opposite direction.

    • Replies to Lynda Knight>

      Comment by Alan posted on

      Hi Linda
      As far as I can see the forward park is as you described with the notes for this saying to see above (no 3) where it talks about all of the manoeuvres.
      The pull up on the right would come under right/reverse.
      Hope this helps.

  5. Comment by Andrew Gill posted on

    Please can there be more information in regard to how people with learning difficulties eg. dyslexia, colour blindness and hard of hearing are expected to conduct the test has my local test manager was unable to clarify some points I raised. I have also been to two other meetings and still have not received satisfactory answers to my questions

  6. Comment by David Morgan posted on

    Thanks for the information.

    For several months I have been asking the DVSA if the 'Drivers Record' available on is to be updated to reflect the new test.

    As far as I can see this has still not been done - and with only two weeks to go..!

  7. Comment by DAVID Bell posted on

    Lynda, i thought the same but the test report is used for PDI'S as well and they will still be tested on these manoeuvres. The new manoeuvres are there on the test report, the reverses into a bay is as normal

  8. Comment by Trevor posted on

    Instructors will be leaving there sat navs on recording the routes so this could lead to teaching test routes rather than teaching to drive safe for life dangerous path to tread

  9. Comment by Gordon Mackintosh posted on

    Yes but it was ignored

  10. Comment by L. Rossi posted on

    On the independent sat nav exercise are pupils told the destination so as well as the sat nav instructions they can also back it up with road direction signs?

    • Replies to L. Rossi>

      Comment by Olivia (DVSA) posted on


      Candidates won't be told the destination. One of the benefits of using the sat nav to direct candidates is that we won't need to plan routes around traffic signs, allowing a wider range of routes so we can incorporate higher risk roads.


      • Replies to Olivia (DVSA)>

        Comment by John posted on

        Sat Nav:
        I understood that the driving test was meant to be more realistic to current day driving?
        How is holding back their destination going to do this? Surely if they pass their test they will be putting their destination in know where their final destination will be? Not going in blind? Surely any safe driving would combine road signs and Sat nav to make for a better safer drive?

  11. Comment by Tim Clayton posted on

    Altogether a well-timed and comprehensive lead-in to the changes, in a helpfully variety of formats. Thankyou.

  12. Comment by Amanda aldridge posted on

    I’ve never taught test routes but taught a variety of roads and conditions around the test areas and expanding further out. I actually don’t know the test routes in route order. I know the roads they use so I’m glad I don’t . I think that if people are taught test routes to get them through a test, They tend to go by memory and not by reality. That’s not going to help in their future driving. I love the new test changes and have adapted to them well.

  13. Comment by Hemlata Patel posted on

    Hi just wondering in reference to Pulling up on the Right, will the pupil be able to ask The Examiner if its clear of oncoming vehicles if he or she hasn’t reversed far enough or was not able too?

  14. Comment by Colin Wilkie posted on

    In your demonstration video ( pulling up on the right) I noticed the pupil did not continue to look over their left shoulder when reversing, they appeared only to be using the mirrors. Also when pulling out from the right they only checked the left blind spot. Is this acceptable practice for our pupils as we normally insist they check both blind spots before moving off and look over their left shoulder (and generally all around) when reversing.

  15. Comment by Graham Carroll posted on

    Quite clear about new test, booklet was very helpful. Can I take this opportunity to raise a point about learners practicing test routes, I dont see this a problem as the highway code and theory practice makes it very clear about the advantages of knowing your route and encourages route planning. On the driving test (new and old) you have no idea of your destination,, that situation is far removed from real life driving.

  16. Comment by Peter hughes posted on

    Hi. Everything looks clear. Just want to check a couple of things... 1. If there are no bays at the test centre (Huddersfield doesn't have any) and the routes don't go near one that has then the pupil won't be asked to do the Reverse into a bay manoeuvre in a car park elsewhere...correct? I'm still teaching it of course. 2. Reverse into a bay again.. As with Forward into a bay..can the pupil reverse into a bay either on the right or left. There's no wording in the booklet for Reverse into a Bay... Regards Pete

  17. Comment by kingsley straker posted on

    Hi, quite happy with the changes but just a query regarding the forward bay park as I'm receiving conflicting views.

    Once the pupil has parked in the bay and is reversing out, are they allowed to reverse into an empty bay that is directly behind them or not.


    • Replies to kingsley straker>

      Comment by Olivia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Kingsley,

      Yes, the candidate can reverse to the left, right or straight behind them, when exiting a bay.