In June 2011, the then DSA (now DVSA) introduced independent driving into the practical test and it is less daunting than what most learners think.
It only makes up 10 minutes of the test and is not a test of orientation and navigation. Rather, it is a test of the ability to make your own decisions, in particular, deciding when it is safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation of where you’re going.
The learner will have to drive independently by following traffic signs, a series of directions or a combination of both. If the independent drive consists of a series of verbal directions, the examiner will show you a diagram to illustrate.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember every direction, or if you go the wrong way. The examiner will confirm the directions if you ask for a reminder of them. If you go the wrong way, don’t worry, the examiner will help you get back on the route and your test result won’t be affected unless you make a driving fault.
Where there are poor or obscured traffic signs, the examiner will give you directions; you won’t need to have a detailed knowledge of the area.
So, the independent driving is actually quite easy and not something to dread!
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