How the UK Driving Test Has Changed Over the Years


The UK driving test is something many young adults will undertake on their path to independence. However, whilst the underlying principle of learning to drive safely has remained the same, the driving test has had to adapt constantly to accommodate the country’s ever-changing roads, which means that it is more difficult to pass now than it was even just a few years ago.

Below are just a handful of the things which may have changed since you passed your driving test.

The Practical Driving Test

The practical driving test has understandably gone through many changes since it was introduced in 1934. It needs to adapt to reflect the wide range of road conditions that today’s drivers face. Some of the more recent changes include:

Manoeuvres – In 1999 the three-point-turn, reverse parking manoeuvre, emergency stop and right-hand reverse manoeuvres were changed so that one or two are now picked at random.

Minor Faults – 1999 was also the year that the practical driving test was extended and a new rule added that fails drivers who make more than 16 minor faults.

Independent Driving – In 2010 independent driving was added to the practical driving test. During this section of the test, an examiner will show the learner the route on a basic map and the learner has to demonstrate how to negotiate the journey by following these instructions along with the road signs.

The Driving Theory Test

The UK’s driving theory test has was established back in 1996 and since then, it has undergone various changes. According to Government statistics, the pass rate for driving theory tests nationwide was just 49.5% in 2017/18, compared to 65.4% in 2007/08.

Theory Test Questions – Changes that have been implemented to the driving theory test include the rephrasing of the questions into plain English for better accessibility and understanding, and the Driving Standards Agency’s rule on not publishing the theory test questions, so that learner drivers will need to learn all of the Highway Code, rather than just particular questions.

Show Me Tell Me Questions – The “Show Me Tell Me” questions were introduced to the theory test in 2003. The questions are intended to increase a learner driver’s basic knowledge of vehicle safety and they are usually asked following the standard eyesight test. The questions include how to identify problems with a car engine and some basic car maintenance questions, such as how to fill your screenwash.

The Hazard Perception Test – The Hazard Perception test was established in 2002, as part of the driving theory test, with the aim of encouraging an early reading of the road ahead. The test involves studying a series of videos from the perspective of the driver and being asked to identify the hazard as soon as possible. Most recently, in 2015, CGI video clips have been added to the hazard perception part of the theory test.

For help and advice on how to pass your driving test, contact APass4U driving school.

The following two tabs change content below.

Hayley

Hayley is the editor of a popular motoring blog and a massive petrol head. She has been driving for over 20 years and writes regular content for a range of commercial automotive websites.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *