New Driving Test Trialled and its Hard
Despite driving instructors up and down the UK staging a mass walk out on the same day as the new driving test being rolled out, 220,000 learner drivers took the exam. Their verdict? It’s hard! The introduction of sat nav led driving, and a 20-minute stint at driving independently, are just some of the new test features.
An article published by The Metro, tracked the fortunes of two of their own staff who took the new look driving test to find out just how hard it is. The Metro’s news editor, Richard Hartley-Parkinson, and lifestyle reporter, Hattie Gladwell, took on the challenge, and the two drivers could not be more different!
Richard took two attempts to pass his practical driving test back in 1999, having learned the driving basics as a boy while zipping around his family’s farm in Lancashire. Meanwhile, Hattie failed the old-style exam a whopping nine times, before tasting success in January, 2017. Hattie spent £600 on tests a total of two years taking driving lessons.
Here’s how they got on…
Richard’s new driving test results
Richard took on the mean streets of London, backed by 18 years of driving experience, he was pretty confident the new test wouldn’t faze him. However, just minutes into the exam and without even having to contend with any of the new elements, he found the driving basics failing him – finding himself getting confused over what gear he should be in.
Richard admits that he found the sat nav element of the new driving test, hard. He said: “I was overthinking it, and wondered if I was looking at the screen too much, not enough, or if I’d just ignored what I was being told to do and missed the junction.”
Richard was faced with a new manoeuvre too – pulling up on the right and reversing in a straight line. Richard said: “Thankfully, the road was quiet and there was plenty of space, so I was able to do this one fairly confidently.”
However, Richard failed the exam! Recording three serious faults and 15 minors. Ouch!
Hattie’s new driving test results
Meanwhile, on the roads of Chichester, Hattie was reminiscing about all the times her nerves had got the better of her when failing the old test nine times. However, she said she wasn’t as nervous about taking the new look test, and confessed that getting used to a new car (a Mini) was a challenge. “I drive a Nissan Micra,” Hattie said.
Hattie said she found the test ‘relatively straightforward’ and she was able to follow the sat nav. She did fairly well on the ‘reverse in a straight line’ manoeuvre, but admitted that she scraped the kerb. Despite this faux pas, Hattie was confident that she had ‘sailed through the test.’
Unfortunately, she failed too. However, Hattie only scored four minors and one serious fault. Not bad considering she’s only been on the road for a little under a year.
When asked if they think they would pass if they attempted the test again, both said no!
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