The independent driving section of the UK driving test was introduced to give learners a chance to experience what it will be like driving after they pass their test. There will not be a driving instructor sat next to you telling you to “take the next right” or “take the second road on the left”once you pass.
If you are driving in an unfamiliar area and aren’t sure where to go, pull up in a safe place and ask someone for directions. It is safer to pull up and ask for directions rather than drive on. Do not slow down and cause a blockage. Drive normally and pull up to check a map or ask for directions when you get a chance.
Independent Driving On The Driving Test
On the driving test your examiner will ask you to pull up at the side of the road. They will then explain that you need to drive independently , for about ten minutes, either by
- following a set of verbal directions, accompanied by a simple drawing
- or following the road signs and marking to a certain destination
- follow satellite navigation directions (SAT NAV) [From 4th December 2017]
The Sat nav the the driving examiners use is the Tom Tom Start 52
The examiner may pull you up and show you a picture similar to the picture below and ask you to Drive to the end of the road and turn left. At the end of that road turn right. At the roundabout turn right.
You will need to drive that route safely. If you forget, it is OK to ask the examiner to repeat the directions.
The examiner could instead ask you to follow the signs to any destination. The picture below is the sort of sign you may need to look out for if the examiner for instance asks you to follow the signs to Halifax until he says otherwise.
This is a test to see if you can drive safely when no one is directing you. You should plan well ahead and look for thesigns or roads that you can identify the road you may need to take.
Once you have identified the route you should betaking, use the MSPSL (Mirrors Signal Position Speed Look) routine.You should signal in good time and make sure you do not confuse other road users.
If you realise you are in the wrong lane, or you are about to miss the turn you were supposed to take, don’t panic. If there is time, use the MSPSL (Mirrors Signal Position Speed Look)routine and decide whether it is safe to change lanes or make the turn. If it is not safe, then do not make the manoeuvre. Carry on and the driving examiner will guide you back to the route they want you on.
You will not fail your test for taking the wrong route safely. You will fail for taking the correct route, unsafely.