Independent Driving

This section of the driving test was introduced the 4th of October 2010 and updated the 4th of December 2017 with the introduction of the sat nav. For about 20 minutes you will be asked to drive without directions from your examiner.

You will be asked to pull over and from that point to drive independently by either following:

  • Directions from a sat nav
  • Traffic signs (from now on follow the
    signs to the town centre)

One in five driving tests won’t use a sat nav.

Remember – this section of the driving test is not designed to test your navigation skills or your memory but rather how you make your own decisions and your ability to drive safely without constant directions from someone else.

If you go off route or don’t remember the directions that is not a problem, the examiner will confirm the directions to you or will help you to go back on route, going off route does not constitute a fault.

If you approach a junction and signs are absent or obscured by an overhanging tree, the examiner will give you directions until you see the next sign.

Sat nav: what you need to know

The examiner will provide the sat nav and set it up using one of the stored test routes. The examiner will position the sat nav appropriately and safely, normally on a special dash-mat. However due to the design of some vehicles they will need to mount it on the windscreen.

The screen will be on throughout the test, but will not show directions until the independent driving part. The screen will display the car’s speed and the speed limit for the road, however at times the sat nav could be incorrect so you should rely only on speed limit signs.

In case the sat nav stops working the examiner will step in and give verbal directions.

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