The New driving test
The driving test in the United Kingdom is an assessment of competence that UK
residents take in order to obtain a full driving licence. The minimum age at which
someone can take the driving test is 17 for car drivers. Over the years the DVSA has looked
at ways to change the test to bring in line with other countries and also to make driving
safer as technology improves. Although there are lots of ideas that are still being
discussed such as changing the minimum age for learning and allowing learners to drive
on motorways, the driving test has recently been updated.
From the 4th of December 2017, Satellite Navigation systems were introduced to the test
and some of the maneuvers were changed. Until the date of the changes, a candidate
was required to complete ten minutes of independent driving where they were given road
signs to follow and they had to do one of the following reversing maneuvers.
In the new test the candidate must now complete twenty minutes of independent driving
which is either with a Sat Nav or by following road signs and then must complete one of
the following maneuvers
During the twenty minutes of independent driving the examiner may ask the candidate to
pull up on the side of the road numerous times to make sure they are signaling correctly
to other road users and able to pull away safely.
The minimum age for driving has been under discussion for several years with some
driving organisations campaigning for it to be changed from 17 to 18 and this is currently
under review by the government. Currently though you are able to start driving legally on
public roads at the age of 17.
Before you can begin driving, you must obtain a provisional driving licence. You can apply
for this at www.direct.gov.uk, or pick up an application form (D1) from your local Post
Office. You can apply for your provisional licence up to three months before your
seventeenth birthday. As it can take up to four weeks for your licence to arrive you should
ensure that you apply well in advance if you want your driving lessons to commence on
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