Using A Sat Nav During Your Test

Using A Sat Nav During Your Test

Back on 4th December 2017, the UK standard practical driving test changed its terms, with one of the biggest changes being a section that includes following the instructions of a satellite navigation system.

From this date forward, all drivers are expected to complete a section of independent driving where they follow directions and instructions from a satellite navigation unit, commonly known as a sat nav.

The specific sat nav used throughout driving tests is the TomTom Start 52. This model has a large 5” screen, meaning that learners can easily see the map without having to focus too long on the screen, and it has a loud, clear voice, meaning that directions can easily be heard.

What you must remember

Regardless of what point in your test your examiner asks you to use the sat nav, there are a few rules you must stick to.

  1. Pull over first
    If you have to enter a destination or use the touchscreen on the device, pull over safely to do this. Everything you do on your test has to be legal and safe; your examiner is unlikely to feel safe if you have your hands off the wheel and are typing in an address while still attempting to drive!
  2. Don’t focus on the screen

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    Look at the screen when it is safe to do so. Sat navs are not televisions, and you should only glance at the screen briefly when your attention does not need to be elsewhere. Once you have looked at the screen and understood the instruction, immediately look back at the road conditions to check that nothing has changed. Remember that sat navs give directions audibly too, so you can listen to the instructions and follow the guidance without even needing to look at the screen.

  3. Sat navs are just an aid
    While sat navs can be extremely helpful, it is important to remember that they are not always accurate, and in no way should be followed over and above the conditions in front of you. Always be aware of the changing road conditions, and use your normal judgement to navigate the roads safely.You won’t be penalised for taking a wrong turn, and if you are unsure at any point in the test, ask the examiner for confirmation. They are there to help you as well as examine your driving skills.



Not everyone passes first time, and there is no shame in failing and retaking your test. However, one of the best ways to pass is to prepare and practice, so ensure that you feel 100% confident on everything that will be in the test before sitting it.



What’s Covered In The New Driving Test

Whats Covered In The New Driving Test

How many of you experienced drivers believe they would pass their driving test first time if they took it now? Although the basic skills of driving a car haven’t changed – possibly just your bad habits – the whole driving test process is different to what it was 15 or 20 years ago.

The new driving test that was introduced at the end of 2017 is designed to reflect the modern age, with an increased amount of time focused on learners driving without guidance. Drivers are now required to follow directions from a sat nav or risk failing their test.

The new driving test also takes learners on busier roads, as opposed to quiet roads.

What does the new driving test involve?

Driving Test

Independent driving is a huge focus of the new test. This is where an examiner will give a destination, but will not provide further directions.

This is intended to replicate a real driving experience. Learners are required to undertake independent driving for 20 minutes during the test.

The increase to 20 minutes of independent driving, rather than 10 minutes in the old test has been introduced to give examiners more time to check for bad habits and faults.

While drivers are undertaking the independent driving part of the test, most learner drivers will be required to follow a route on a sat nav, which is provided.

The examiner will set the route and it doesn’t matter if a wrong turn is taken. One important consideration to note is that not every driving test will make use of a sat nav, and candidates will be expected to follow road signs instead.

With the introduction of the new driving test, the DVSA dropped the reverse around a corner and turn in the road manoeuvres.

Drivers are now required to perform one parking manoeuvre from a possible list of three. These are parallel parking at the side of the road, driving in and reversing out of a bay and pulling up on the right-hand side, reversing for two car lengths before joining the traffic again.

Tell me and show me

Before the driving test begins, examiners will ask a ‘tell me’ question. It’s expected that learners are able to tell examiners how to carry out a safety task on the vehicle. As well as this, during the driving test, examiners will also ask a ‘show me’ question.

Tell me and show me

This requires learners to show the examiner how a specific task should be carried out while they’re driving.

The new driving test is aimed at ensuring the safety of new drivers on the road and has been developed to replicate the world we now live in, making use of technology, as is the case in everyday life for drivers.

The new driving test has built on the content that was previously required.