Motorists want motorway driving and basic vehicle maintenance on UK driving test

Monday, February 25, 2019

A recent survey of 1,000 UK motorists has revealed what drivers think should be included on the UK theory and practical driving tests. 


GAP insurers conducted the survey to investigate how fit-for-purpose people think the current system is. They asked drivers what they thought should be assessed during the theory and practical elements of the driving test. 


The theory test

The elements currently included in the UK theory test are still important to those surveyed. There are also some new elements they think should be included. 43% think learners should be tested on basic identification of car parts and 43% want to see identification of basic issues with a vehicle. Better understandng of vehicles and basic maintenance could help a lot of simple issues on the road, for new and experienced drivers. 


The practical test

When asked what should be assessed during the practical test, the most popular elements included:

  • Motorway driving (51%) 

  • Roundabouts (49%)

  • Eyesight test (49%)

  • Parallel parking (47%)

  • Emergency stops (46%)

Over half of respondents wanted to see motorway driving included in the practical test. Motorways were deregulated for learner drivers last June, but motorway driving is not yet a part of the practical test. 45% also wanted to see a night-time driving element included in the practical test.


Some of the driving skills currently on the practical test were actually rated less important by respondents. 26% thought it was important to be tested on following a sat nav, an element only introduced to the test in 2017.  ‘Show me, tell me’ questions also scored low, with only 29% of those surveyed thinking they are necessary to the practical test, and only 30% saying they think independent driving should be tested. 

The survey also revealed other requirements people think should be in place for drivers. 77% want learner drivers to complete a mandatory number of hours behind the wheel before they are eligible to take their test. 


84% think new drivers should be subject to a probationary period once they pass their test, where their licence could be revoked if they are commit a driving offence or have an accident where they are at fault.


87% want drivers to be retested again under certain circumstances. The most popular reasons for retesting include disqualification (55%), a certain number of ‘at fault’ accidents (50%), on reaching a certain age (49%) and after a break from driving of four or more years (32%). said that the research, “highlights what people think should be included in the UK driving test and tuition process in order to create the best drivers. 


“There are significant changes suggested by these survey results, perhaps indicating that it’s time to reassess the current system we have in place for testing and monitoring drivers.”


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