Driving News


  • Black box makes young drivers Safer

  • Young drivers taking part in insurance schemes involving in-car telematics are a third less likely to have an accident in the 12 months after their driving test according to a leading insurer

    Young Marmalade says that less than 6% of new drivers insured through its intelligent Marmalade scheme will be involved in an accident compared to the 20% of drivers who will crash according to Government statistics.

    Young Marmalade's director of marketing, Nigel Lacy said, "We are now using sophisticated telematics to monitor drivers' acceleration, braking, cornering and speed. The information we collect is reflected in the cost of a drivers' premium, but it also gives young people the opportunity to prove exacly how safe they are as drivers.

    "All the indications are that telematics significantly improves the way youngsters drive and importantly, their safety on the road," he added.

    Link to Young Marmalade

  • Toyota gives updated recall information

  • Toyota has updated its information about the build dates of vehicles affected by their February 2010 recall. The dates now cover a much shorter period.

    The Corolla and RAV4 are no longer subject to recall.

    Peugeot Citroen information from the same recall hasn't changed.

    Read the updated recall notice on Directgov

  • Cancellation of identity cards: changes to ID requirements

  • The government has passed legislation cancelling identity cards for British citizens. From 21 January 2011, those identity cards that have already been issued will no longer be legal forms of identification.

    This means you will no longer be able to use the identity card as a valid document to prove your identity for a practical driving test or for Driver CPC periodic training.

    If you do not have a photo card licence and counterpart to prove your identity but have an old-style paper one, you must bring this and a valid passport.

    For more information about the cancellation of identity cards visit direct.gov.uk/identity

  • DSA to stop publishing questions used in theory tests

  • The Driving Standards Agency is to stop publishing the multiple choice questions and answers used in theory tests, Road Safety Minister Mike Penning announced today.

    This will help to ensure that new drivers learn the principles behind driving theory rather than just learning answers.

    The move follows the introduction of independent driving into the driving test and the DSA's decision to stop publishing test routes in October 2010, to make sure the test assesses a learner's ability to drive and not their capacity to memorise routes.

    Mike Penning said:

    "The driving theory test should help to prepare drivers for real life on the road - good driving is not just about vehicle-handling skills, but also about having the knowledge and understanding of safe driving theory.

    "No longer publishing these questions and answers will mean that successful candidates will have to understand the theory rather than simply memorising answers.

    "I believe that this - along with the other changes we are making to the driving test regime - will lead to better drivers and safer roads."

    In September 2011 DSA will change the format of books and other learning materials available to help people prepare for theory tests. This will take place at the same time as more challenging case studies are introduced to car and motorcycle theory tests.

    Then, from 1 January 2012, DSA will create theory tests using questions which will not be published.

    Practice questions and answers, not used in theory tests, will still be available to help candidates with revision.

    Other companies which publish products containing DSA theory test questions will also no longer have access to the questions used in the tests.


  • Electronic parking brakes suitable for tests

  • From 1 November vehicles fitted with an electronic parking brake will be allowed to be used for practical driving tests.

    There are usually two ways of releasing an electronic parking brake:

  • using the footbrake while releasing the parking brake, then coordinating the accelerator and clutch to move away

  • coordinating the accelerator and clutch - when the electronics sense the clutch is at biting point the parking brake releases automatically

  • The parking brake will not usually release automatically if:

  • the accelerator is not used

  • the controls are not coordinated correctly

  • If there is no loss of control either method is acceptable.

    If the examiner needs to take action to stop the vehicle, and it's not fitted with dual controls , they will apply and hold the electronic parking brake - this will bring the vehicle to a controlled stop.

    Advances in technology

    To begin with, electronic parking brakes were fitted only to top of the range vehicles. DSA decided not to allow manual vehicles fitted with them to be used for driving tests.

    Electronic parking brakes are now being fitted to an increasing number of vehicles, so it's unrealistic to continue this policy.

    Useful link:

    minimum test vehicle requirements for a car and car and trailer test


  • DSA launches Facebook page for learner drivers

  • Facebook users can now get safe driving advice and keep up to date with changes to the driving test.

    The Driving Standards Agency has launched a page called 'I can't wait to pass my driving test' and wants learners to become fans.

    As well as getting advice and tips about learning to drive, fans of the page will be able to find links to:

  • detailed information about getting a driving licence, learning to drive, and the theory and practical driving tests

  • book their theory and practical tests using the only official booking service

  • read the Highway Code online

  • buy official DSA publications to help them prepare to pass their test

  • To become a fan of the page visit facebook.com/mydrivingtest.


  • Independent driving: the facts

  • Independent driving will become part of the practical driving test in Great Britain in October 2010.

    It's tasking the candidate to drive for about 10 minutes, either following a series of directions, following traffic signs, or a combination of both.

    To help the candidate be clear about where they’re going, the examiner can show them a diagram too.

    It doesn't matter if candidates don't remember every direction, or if they go the wrong way - that can happen to the most experienced drivers.

    For more information on this subject follow this link direct to the DSA Independant driving

    If you are having problems, or require more information then follow this link to the Independant driving page of the Direct Gov website.


  • Supervising C1 and D1 learner drivers

  • When we announced the results of the Consultation: Improved Services for Customers and General Fee Increases for 2008 on 19 February 2008 we explained that we intended to provide clarification within the regulations as to who may act as an accompanying driver for learners driving category C1 (medium size lorry) and D1 (minibus) vehicles.

    Those new arrangements will come into effect on 1 May 2010. From that date, it will be illegal for anyone to act as an accompanying driver in a category C1, C1+E, D1 or D1+E vehicle unless they have passed a driving test for the particular category of vehicle concerned. From 1 May, the supervising driver in category C1 or D1 Vehicles (including vehicle plus trailer combinations) must:

    a. hold a full (post 1997) licence for the same category of vehicle as that being driven by the learner.

    b. have held that entitlement for the relevant period of time – usually three years.

    The intention was that drivers holding category C1, C1+E, D1 and D1+E entitlements obtained before 1997 (on other words, implied rights), and who passed a driving test in one of those categories before 6 April 2010, would be given ‘credit’ for the time they had held the implied rights entitlement for the category concerned. The effect being that they would, from the date that the clarifying amendments to the regulations were implemented, already meet the requirements at (a) and (b) above. However, the deadline for passing the test(s) and gaining access to the concession has been extended and is now 1 May 2010.

    Drivers who pass the relevant driving test(s) after 1 May will have to wait until they have held their new entitlement for the relevant period, usually three years, before they can act as an accompanying driver in a category of vehicle covered by that entitlement.

    These new arrangements do not affect a person’s existing entitlement to drive a medium sized lorry or minibus.


    Before January 1997, drivers who passed their car driving test were also allowed to drive medium sized lorries and minibuses (with or without trailers) subject to certain restrictions. These are commonly known as ‘implied rights’ or ‘grandfather rights’. In January 1997, DVLA ceased to grant implied entitlements (categories C1, C1+E, D1 and D1+E) on passing a car (category B) test. Since that date, people who wish to obtain an entitlement to drive category C1, C1+E. D1 or D1+E vehicles must meet higher medical standards and pass separate driving tests.

    Further information about the new arrangements can be obtained from our customer service centre on 0300 200 1122.


  • Online booking system is moving

  • The online booking system for practical driving tests is moving to Directgov. That means from 9.00 am on Monday 21 March from you’ll need to visit direct.gov.uk/drivingtest to book, check, change or cancel your practical driving test.

    The move means our existing system will be unavailable from 2.00 pm on Sunday 21 March. We’re sorry for any inconvenience.

    You can find out more about the practical driving test at direct.gov.uk/practicaltest, or by visiting the Driving Standards Agency’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/dsagov and watching ‘Are you ready?: a guide for learners’.


  • Driving test cheats given jail sentences

  • Fraudsters made money by taking people’s driving tests for them
  • Pair are believed to have impersonated 43 candidates
  • DSA welcomes prison sentences
  • Two fraudsters who made cash out of taking people’s driving tests for them have both been jailed today.

    The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has welcomed the sentences handed to Ali Abdullah and Muktar Nuren, impersonators who illegally sat theory and practical driving tests for up to 43 cheat candidates in return for cash.

    Following a detailed investigation conducted by DSA investigators and Greater Manchester Police, Abdullah, 32, and Nuren, 22, were arrested at their homes in July 2008 and charged with conspiracy to defraud.

    The pair pleaded guilty to the charge and at Manchester City Crown Court today Abdullah was given a three year jail sentence and Nuren was sentenced to one year in jail.

    The pair, both from Manchester, carried out the fraudulent tests across Cheshire and elsewhere between February 2006 and June 2008. They conducted theory tests at Salford, Runcorn, Preston, Stockport, St. Helen’s and Ilford in Essex, as well as practical tests in Sale, Oldham, Bury, Cheetham Hill, Failsworth, and Redditch in Worcestershire.

    A number of driving test candidates have been arrested in connection with the investigation and received police cautions. DSA will be seeking to revoke all licences obtained by illegal means.

    DSA is committed to the prosecution of offenders in order to preserve public safety on the roads and the integrity of the driving test procedure.

    Michelle Moston, Deputy Head of DSA’s Fraud and Integrity Team, said: “We are very pleased with today’s results because they reflect the seriousness of the crime. .People like Abdullah and Nuren, who impersonate at driving tests, present a real risk to all road users, as they provide an entitlement to drive to those who have not been assessed to show that they are competent to do so.

    “In addition to obtaining the qualification to drive, many people seek possession of a full UK driving licence to establish proof of identity. Once obtained, that licence may also be used as proof of identity in a variety of other circumstances, such as obtaining state benefits and accommodation, opening bank accounts, obtaining credit cards and even undertaking domestic air travel.”

    DSA investigates all reported cases of fraud surrounding the driving test procedure and works closely with the police and criminal justice agencies to identify offenders and bring them to court.


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