A Pass 4 U has spoken previously about the implementation of the new driving test, which came into force on the 4th December 2017. From this point forward sat navs are being used as part of the test but using a mobile phone for the service as a learner or passed road user can still get you into hot water with the police, as the rules surrounding this may not always be clear.

“Crown Prosecution Service guidelines state that: “A phone or device will be in use where it is making or receiving a call, or performing any other interactive communication function whether with another person or not.

“The particular use to which the mobile phone must be put is not defined as an element of the offence. The prosecution must merely prove that the phone or the other device was hand held by the person at some point during its use at a time when the person was driving a vehicle on a road.” Telegraph Newspaper

A sat nav has a very specific use and is not an item which could be mistaken as a phone by the police and a driver could not be prosecuted for using it. Picking up a mobile phone and using it whilst driving can be a dangerous objective.

Think! Is answering the phone at that moment imperative. If it is important, can you pull over somewhere safely and call the person back. With the engine switched off. Do you really need to look at social media whilst you are driving?

The sat nav which is going to be used by an examiner is a Tom Tom Start52 but you can use any model because it won’t be left to you or your driving instructor to set your route. The examiner on your test is going to do this for you. The configuration will be down to them. If there is anything you are not sure of regarding this on your test – please ask the examiner to clarify what he/she wants you to do. You need to understand what you are being asked, otherwise you may accrue a fault for this portion of your driving test.

  • Taking your own sat nav on a test, is not an option and only the DVSA supplied one can be used.

One in 5 driving tests won’t use a sat nav, so you’re not going to know if you are going to be that one. Always make sure during your driving lessons that your instructor teaches you to independently drive. You will be invited to do this for a 20 minute portion of the driving test. It will be during the independent drive that you’ll be asked to use the sat nav.

Gov.UK Handbook