Test Changes


The DSA have announced that April 2010 is the target date, for when examiners will start asking candidates if they would like the person accompanying them to the test centre to sit in the back whilst they are on their driving test. This initiative will be entirely voluntary, the DSA have dropped the idea of forcing ADIs to sit in the back on every driving test. 
At the start of the driving test, driving examiners will ask all candidates if they would like their driving instructor or another person, to sit in on their test. The examiner will then ask the candidate if they would like their instructor be present for the test result and de-brief.

Whether or not the candidate accepts or declines either or both offers the test will proceed as normal.

DSA believe this move will be of benefit to candidates, enabling them, they say to take advantage of instructors being there to support their ongoing learning and development, pass or fail.  The final decision will be with the instructor and pupil.

It is intended that independent driving will be introduced into all tests from October 2010 and that this part of the test will last approximately 10 minutes.
TRL research soon to be published by the DSA, suggests that young people feel independent driving  is a more realistic test of their ability to drive by themselves in the real world. Learning to drive independently should help them develop the skills to deal with real situations.

Candidates will be asked to either follow a series of road signs or a number of verbal directions or a combination of both these methods. When verbal directions are given there will only be 3 (or 4 maximum) directions given at a time.

DSA also intend to produce diagrams to support the verbal directions they will not be maps but very simple directional aids. There will be more information on these aids in  the forthcoming months prior to the new test in October.

Coinciding with the introduction of independent driving will be a new approach to testing manoeuvres . DSA have decided, following consultation, to focus less on manoeuvres and more on general driving.

Driving test routes tend to build  around the need to complete two manoeuvres that include reversing, which means that on many routes this means large parts of the test are spent on housing estates and areas with low traffic volumes whilst, in road safety terms, learning to manoeuvre is important, it is not a high risk activity. There will be no change to the type of manoeuvres. But only one manoeuvre will be tested. However, like now where DSA currently test two of the manoeuvres, the one exercise to be demonstrated will be selected at random. This means candidates will still need to have learnt them all and be ready to carry out any one of them on test.                     

New links to book your theory and practical driving tests

The online booking system for theory and practical driving tests has been relaunched bannered as Directgov.


New friendly links are available:


You can find out more about the theory and practical tests by visiting the Driving Standards Agency’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/dsagov and watching ‘Are you ready?: a guide for learners’.