From 4th October 2010 learner drivers will be tested on independent driving as part of their practical driving test. This will involve driving for around ten minutes following a series of directions or following traffic signs or a combination of both. Examiners may use a diagram to help explain the intended route.
It will not matter if candidates do not remember every direction or go the wrong way as this could happen to an experienced driver.
It is not now expected that there will be any significant reduction in the pass rate as a result of this change. It is hoped that independent driving will better prepare candidates for following a route when they are driving on their own.
The cost and duration of the test will be unchanged when these changes are introduced.
From the 4th October 2010 with the introduction of independent driving the practical test will only require the successful completion of one manoeuvre instead of two. The manoeuvres, which may be required, will not be changed. This is to accommodate the time taken by the independent driving.