Would you like your say on the proposed changes to the UK driving test?
In November 2015 the government (via the Department for Transport ) released a consultation about significant changes that could be made to the UK driving test.
At the moment only 21% of people who pass their driving test are taking the test for the first time. That means the majority of people are taking their test before they are ready.
This is expensive for both the pupil and the government who run the tests. It also means there is a long waiting time for driving tests.
As a result people have to book their test well in advance when they can’t possible know if they will be ready by the test date.
The low pass rate implies that most people are taking driving tests before they are properly prepared in the hope they will get lucky and pass.
Those who do get lucky are likely to be dangerous once released onto the UKs roads. Because of this the government wants to change the system so that people are incentivised to wait to take their driving test until they are fully prepared.
One of the main proposed changes is a reduction in the test fee but the learner will have to pay a refundable deposit. They will only get this deposit back when they pass their test.
The government hopes that this will make people more likely to wait until they are confident of passing rather than just chance it and hope they get lucky.
To increase the chances of this the government knows they need to make tests easier to book with shorter wait periods. They would like to offer tests from a choice of venues, in the evenings and at weekends.
Sadly it looks like they want to charge more for this additional flexibility; “We are interested to hear whether respondents would be willing to pay extra for more flexibility of driving test slots, both in terms of timing and location”.
Of course as a learner driver this all means that you need to be sure you are ready before applying for your test.
So it will become more important than ever to have a professional driving instructor who is giving you reliable and honest feedback about your performance and drilling you in areas where you are weak or lack confidence.
Have Your Say
These changes are just proposals at the moment. The government want to hear from the public – what do you think about the proposals, are there any other changes you think should be made?
If you want to have you say you can read the full proposals here. That page also explains how you can register your comments which you have to do before the 8th of January 2016.