FOUR key changes to the driving test in England, Scotland and Wales will come into effect from Monday, December 4.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency yesterday confirmed the revisions to the test, which include following directions from a sat nav and testing different manoeuvres.

According to the agency, the changes are 'designed to make sure new drivers have the skills they’ll need to help them through a lifetime of safe driving'.

The changes are:

1. Independent driving will increase to 20 minutes

The independent driving part of the test currently lasts around 10 minutes. During this part of the test, you have to drive without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner.

This part of the test will be made longer so it will last around 20 minutes - about half the test.

2. Following directions from a sat nav

During the independent driving part of the test most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav.

The examiner will provide a sat nav and set it up, and input the route.

Participants will be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where they are going if not sure.

About one in five driving tests will not use a sat nav. Those driving will need to follow road signs instead.

3. Reversing manoeuvres will be changed

The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but drivers should still be taught them by their instructor.

Participants will be asked to do one of 3 reversing manoeuvres:

  • Parallel park at the side of the road
  • Park in a bay
  • Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for two car lengths and rejoin the traffic

4. Answering a vehicle safety question while driving

The examiner will ask two vehicle safety questions during the driving test - known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.

Participants will be asked:

  • A ‘tell me’ question explaining how a safety task would be carried out at the start of the test
  • A ‘show me’ question where drivers carry out a safety task while driving, such  showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers