Changes to the driving test came into effect last week across England, Scotland and Wales.
There are four main changes that have been introduced, with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency saying they have been brought in to reduce the number of young drivers killed in road accidents.
The first change is extending the independent driving part of the test to 20 minutes from 10 minutes. Here, the student will have to drive without turn-by-turn instructions from the examiner.
The majority of students will also now be required to follow directions from a TomTom Start 52 sat nav unit. This will be provided and set up by the examiner. One-fifth of driving tests will not use a sat nav, though, with students being required to follow traffic signs instead.
The DVSA has also altered the reversing manoeuvres that will be examined. Students will no longer have to perform “reverse around a corner” or “turn-in-the-road” manoeuvres, and will instead be asked to either parallel park at the side of the road, park in a bay, or pull up on the right-hand-side of the road, reverse for two car lengths and then rejoin the traffic.
The final change is that the examiner will now ask students two vehicle safety questions, known as “show me, tell me” questions.
The “tell me” question will be asked before the driving starts, and will require the student to explain to the examiner how they would carry out a specific safety task.
The “show me” question will be asked during driving, when the student will have to demonstrate how to carry out a safety task, such as demisting the windscreen.
These changes will apply to all driving tests without exception.
The marking criteria is the same, which means a pass will be awarded if no more than 15 faults are made, as well as no serious or dangerous faults. Costs will stay the same, with a regular driving test costing £62 on a weekday and £75 in the evenings, at weekends and on bank holidays.
Transport minister Andrew Jones said: “Our roads are among the safest in the world. However, road collisions are the biggest killer of young people.
“These changes will help us to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roadsand equip new drivers with the skills they need to use our roads safely.”
The RAC has said it supports the changes, as they should “reflect the way driving has changed over the years”.
However, examiners who are members of the Public and Commercial Services Union staged a 48-hour strike, saying some of the changes are dangerous.
Protesters said the new reversing manoeuvre that requires candidates to pull up on the right-hand-side of the road and reverse two car lengths contravenes the Highway Code, putting safety at risk.