Half of UK learner drivers do not feel prepared for the new driving test changes

Half of UK learner drivers do not feel prepared  for the new driving test changes

Posted by Media Team on 23 November 2017

With less than two weeks to go until the inevitable driving test changes come into place on 4th December, Marmalade – a leading provider of car insurance and cars for young drivers – has discovered that half of the UK’s learner drivers do not feel at all prepared to face the new driving test format.

In a recent Twitter poll of almost 800 people (794), Marmalade has identified that 50% (397) of all learner driver respondents felt they did not feel at all prepared for the new driving test format. This is supplemented with an additional 19% of learner drivers (151) who felt they were not prepared for all aspects of the driving test changes.

Crispin Moger, CEO of Marmalade, comments: “With less than two weeks to go until the new driving test format comes into place, it’s rather distressing to hear the majority of learner drivers do not feel prepared. The driving test changes are a positive shift which will equip the next generation of drivers with invaluable skills needed to navigate relatable driving situations throughout their lifetime.”

Adding fuel to the uncertainty is the driving test examiners themselves who are expected to stage a 48-hour walkout on the 4th December, which could potentially leave thousands of learner drivers facing delays and cancelled tests. The Government website has announced the strike is due to a new standard employment contract that the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) signed up to in 2014; not about the new layout of the driving test which has recently been reported on.

Crispin continues: “It’s a real shame that in addition to the uncertainty learner drivers are facing with the new test format that some may also have to encounter their driving test being cancelled if it is booked on either the 4th and 5th December. It’s really important learner drivers remain confident and stay focused on the journey ahead, which is ultimately gaining independence on our roads.”

For those drivers who do experience a cancellation there are two options available; acting now and changing the date of the test by contacting the local test centre; or turning up to the test as planned in the hope that the examiner is not taking part in the strike. If the test is cancelled they will be contacted within five to ten working days to rebook the test.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has confirmed the new driving test in England, Wales and Scotland will change from Monday 4th December. The changes will only apply to car driving tests and all tests after the date even if they are rescheduled from before the changes and will include the following four differences:

  • Independent driving. The independent driving part of the test currently lasts ten minutes but will be made longer to 20 minutes; roughly half of the test.
  • Sat nav directions. During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates (four in five) will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav. The examiner will provide the sat nav (a TomTom Start 52) and set it up.
  • Reversing manoeuvres. Learner drivers will not be asked to perform one of the following:
    • Parallel park at the side of the road
    • Park in a bay
    • Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for two car lengths and re-join the traffic
  • Answering a vehicle safety question whilst driving. The examiner will ask the learner driver two vehicle questions during the driving test. A ‘tell me’ question at the start of the driving test and a ‘show me’ question whilst driving.

For more information about Marmalade visit www.wearemarmalade.co.uk