The Driving Test has Changed!

How it will affect you! by

CB's Driving School

On the 4th October 2010 the DSA changed the Driving Test.

It included the introduction of Independent Driving.

You may have seen articles in the newspapers describing:

  • Being briefed on a journey you have to remember
  • Increased difficulty on test routes
  • Pass rates dropping from the current 42% to as little as 18%!
  • In Response the DVSA Issued the Following:

  • Independent driving: the facts

    Independent driving will become part of the practical driving test in Great Britain in October 2010.

    It's tasking the candidate to drive for about 10 minutes, either following a series of directions, following traffic signs, or a combination of both.

    To help the candidate be clear about where they’re going, the examiner can show them a diagram too.

    It doesn't matter if candidates don't remember every direction, or if they go the wrong way - that can happen to the most experienced drivers.

    Newspaper reports

    The claim in some newspapers that independent driving would lead to a fall in the driving test pass rate is based on early research where conditions did not reflect the eventual design of the new element of the test.

    Subsequent trials with a larger number of participants and more closely reflecting the conditions in the planned new test showed no significant fall in the pass rate.

    Video shows independent driving

    DVSA has published a short video on its YouTube channel explaining more about independent driving. (See below)

  • Prepared for the Test

    Cars must be equipped with a second mirror for the Examiner, Head restraints must be fitted, Seatbelts working and L-plates must be on display.

    You should have your complete Provisional Licence -Both parts, Paper and Plastic - Theory Test certificate and Confirmation Letter or Email.

    It is always recommended that you use a fully qualified ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) to make taking the test easy and dramatically increase your chance of passing. To make sure you get the right Instructor for you check out our advice on Choosing a Driving Instructor. If you do take your test without an Instructor make sure you know the routine at your local test centre so you can park without causing obstruction (It might be your Examiner that you upset!)

    If there are any Instructors in the waiting room they will always be happy to advise you. (If you don't have an Instructor, and they seem nice, why not ask for a card to do some Pass Plus training after your test.)

    After completing the paperwork you will be asked if you would like to have your Instructor in the car with you. This is your choice, but recommended by the DVSA. You will also be asked if you would like them present at the debrief. Also recommended, as they can help you understand any faults. You will then be asked to lead the way to the car.

    The test will start with an eyesight check. Your Driving Examiner will ask you to read the number plate on a stationary vehicle. The distance requirement for the eyesight test using old style number plates is 20.5 metres or 20 metres if the new-style number plate is used. (If you can't speak English or have difficulty reading, you may copy down what you see)

    You then have to answer TWO of the Show Me/Tell Me Questions. The Questions and Answers are available here. Make the effort, It is your first chance to make a good impression. CB's Top Tip: Make sure you know how to open the bonnet!!!

    On to the practical part of the test. You will be given a series of directions. Unless advised otherwise you should plan to drive straight ahead. You will be stopped along the route, asked to carry out a manoeuvre and possibly a controlled stop.

    The BIG test Changes!:

  • Independent Driving - As detailed in the video above. You will be given a series of directions, asked to follow road signs or a combination of both. Visual aids may be used to detail the route. You WILL NOT fail if you go the wrong way or have to ask a question.
  • Reversing Manoeuvres - There will be only ONE manoeuvre tested out of the Turning in the Road, Reverse Corner or Reverse Park, instead of the TWO tested previously.
  • Test routes will focus more on high risk driving -like faster rural roads, turning right across traffic and using slip roads.
  • The DVSA have confirmed to CB's directly that "Length of tests and test prices won't change when independent driving is introduced."
  • What about my Insurance? Am I covered?

    Insurance for a test is a little different to that required to learn or practice. Make sure you have called your Insurance company to check that you are Insured for the test. On the day of the test you are essentially driving unaccompanied. The examiner is an observer and is not there to react for you except at the last minute to prevent incident. Driving School cars will generally be covered as standard. But if you plan to take it in your own car it may be worth requesting written confirmation from your Insurance company to prevent being turned away at the test centre. (Additional: Ensure your car is clean, road legal, and not on the list of cars unsuitable for the test check both here AND here)

    Provisional Marmalade offer you excellent rates of Provisional insurance as well as an alternative to that expensive 1st car purchase - Check out CB's Insurance advice here

    CB's Driving School are able to offer you a deal through Collingwood Insurance - Even if you are not a CB's pupil! They offer 7, 28 or 82 day policies, and quoting CB's code will get you up to £30 off these already low prices! The benefit of Insuring in this way is that once you pass you are not already committed to an Insurance Company and can find the best deal for you as a FULL licence holder after your test! Click the link below and quote "368082" for CB's discount.

    Collingwood Learner Driver Insurance

    Driving Lessons With

    CB's Driving School:


    CB's Driving School are experts in the field of driving instruction. Covering the Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells areas is Kent you will be fully trained, not only to pass the test but in safe driving for life.

    Knowledge of a local Driving Instructor can often be the key to passing the test. Learn from other peoples mistakes and make sure you succeed.

    Test Candidates Trained

    by CB's Are Much More

    Likely To Pass Than Those

    Privately Trained by

    Friends or Family

    Learners which have been trained by a qualified Driving Instructor (ADI) have a huge advantage over those not receiving professional training. Making use of an Instructors experience and training gives you the best chance at passing first time.

    Do you know where to practice?

    As professional Driving Instructors we know where the most common errors occur. Which junctions are worth a closer look. Problem areas for:
    Parallel Parks
    Reverse Corners
    Turning in the Road

    Do you know:
    When to check your mirrors?
    When it is safe to emerge?
    Where you most challenged?

    We do! Our combination of experience and understanding of human nature combine with information sent to us DIRECTLY from the DVSA to give you the best chance to pass your test.

    Using both conventional and customised techniques we will give you the confidence to succeed, the guidelines to make the decisions, and inside test knowledge to pass your test.

    Do you know about the changes to the Driving Test?
    The test is changing in October 2010 and without inside knowledge it will prove a lot harder to pass. With the latest information from the DSA sent directly to us we are best suited to help you succeed!

    Worried about the cost? We will work with you to create a combination of Private Practice and Professional Tuition designed to keep your costs down. We will also provide FREE support and guidance to your accompanying driver to get you the best from your private practice.

    The key is to get a balance - Professional Instruction from CB's gives you a speedy route to pass your test and a safe future on the road.
    Private Practice gives you time to absorb techniques, develop good habits and get experience of different road conditions and situations.

    Need Learner Driver Insurance? CB's great Short-Term Low-Cost Insurance available from

    Never Driven Before? That's our specialty. We will teach you more than most driving schools, giving you a better understanding of the car, clutch control and the ability to control your own safety. We take the nervous anticipation of a new driver and mould it into the confident, safe approaches of a driver able to cope with modern roads and driving. Get in touch now to explore the best path for you? Contact CB's Driving School

    Want to know the best thing about CB's? Checkout our References or Give our 5 hour Taster Session a try - We guarantee you will learn enough in the 5 hours to increase your chances of passing the test.

    Visit CB's Campaign for Safer Roads for Safer Drivers - We have a 10 Downing Street Petition to make Britain's roads Safer. Check out why we feel there needs to be a change in the law!

    Show me / Tell me Questions


    Theory Test Advice


    Choosing a Driving Instructor


    Pass Plus


    Short Term Learner Driver Insurance

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