Posts Tagged ‘learner drivers’

All change for driving instructors and learner drivers

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Driving instructors will have a tough time this year. Many are sole traders and will need to start changing their record keeping to accommodate the challenges of Making Tax Digital, either April 2018 if their turnover is above the VAT registration limit (presently £85,000), or April 2019 if their turnover is below this limit.

On 4 December 2017, they will also face changes to the driving test. According to a recent press release issued by the Driver & Vehicles Standard Agency there will be four basic changes:

1. The independent driving part of the test will increase to 20 minutes – it currently lasts 10 minutes – so this will be about half of the test.

2. Following directions from a sat nav – during the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav. One in five driving tests won’t use a sat nav. You’ll need to follow traffic signs instead.

3. Reversing manoeuvres will be changed – the ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but you should still be taught them by your instructor. You’ll be asked to do one of 3 possible reversing manoeuvres:

  • parallel park at the side of the road
  • park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do)
  • pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and re-join the traffic.

4. Answering a vehicle safety question while you’re driving – the examiner will ask you 2 vehicle safety questions during your driving test – these are known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.

Ironically, this may produce a rash of activity as learner drivers attempt to pass before the December change. It may also be a window of opportunity for employers to consider supporting employees who would benefit from being able to drive as part of their work. As long as the employer directly engages the driving school, and pays for the lessons, and it can be demonstrated that passing a test is a requirement of their employment, then the cost would be a tax-free benefit to the employee.

A note for driving instructor clients E and learner drivers

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency has released its response to a consultation with the industry to “Improve the car driving test”. In their conclusion they say:

“This paper reports the outcome of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s (DVSA) consultation about changes to the car driving test. The consultation was held between 14 July and 25 August 2016. The consultation paper contained proposals for 4 changes to the way the driving test is conducted.

These are:


  • increase the independent driving section of the practical driving test from 10 to 20 minutes
  • provide the option for the directions in the independent driving section to be followed by using a sat nav, in addition to the current practice of following road signs
  • modify the way in which manoeuvres are delivered, so that they are undertaken during the natural course of the drive – the exercises undertaken would be updated for modern driving conditions
  • ask one of the 2 vehicle safety questions while on the move instead of at the start of the test.


There was broad support for the proposals. We’ve received the final presentation with the findings from a trial of the new test undertaken by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). This identifies improvements delivered by the new test. Taking into account the outcome of the consultation and the TRL research, the new test will be introduced for learner car drivers from 4 December 2017.”

This will prove to be a busy year for instructors as existing learner drivers try to pass their driving test before the 4 December. And, instructors will need to update their skills to teach drivers the new rules.

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