Anyone who’s learning to drive will be well aware that the practical test changes over the years. The most recent changes came into force on December 4th, 2017. They were the most extensive changes to the practical test since 2010—when independent driving was first introduced—and will posed numerous challenges to new learners.
As we covered in our comparison of the old and new practical test, there were four major changes. The most well-publicised was the introduction of sat nav directions in the majority of tests. Additionally, the aforementioned independent driving section doubled in length, and candidates are now asked one of their two ‘show me, tell me’ questions whilst driving. Finally, different manoeuvres feature in the new practical test. In this article, we’ll focus on a manoeuvre that has been part of the test since December 2017: pulling up on the right hand side of the road.
Which manoeuvres were in the driving test before December 2017?
For a number of years, the driving test included four key manoeuvres:
- Parallel parking at the side of the road
- Bay parking—either driving into a parking space and reversing out, or reversing into a space and driving out
- Reversing around a corner
- Turn in the road (commonly known as a “three-point turn”)
Before 2010, each learner driver needed to perform two of these manoeuvres during their test. However, the current driving test sees candidates having to demonstrate just one manoeuvre.
What changed in December 2017?
Two of the aforementioned manoeuvres are no longer part of the test:
- Reversing around a corner
- Turn in the road
However, please note these are still crucial manoeuvres that you’ll need to perform during everyday driving situations. As such, even though you won’t need them for your test, your instructor should still teach you how to perform them.
In place of these two manoeuvres, one new manoeuvre now forms part of the test. This involves pulling up on the right hand side of the road, reversing for two car lengths, and rejoining the traffic. You can see a driver carrying out this manoeuvre below.
Why include this manoeuvre?
In the majority of real-life situations, drivers would pull up on the left hand side of the road, rather than the right. The DVSA themselves note that “best practice is to pull on the left”. As such, many drivers may be confused about why this manoeuvre is included on the test. Indeed, many driving instructors have a negative opinion of the change—why not check out what our instructors think of the driving test changes?
However, there are many real-life examples of situations where pulling up on the left is not possible. As such, new drivers need to learn when it is appropriate to pull up on the right instead, and how to do so safely.
This is a tricky manoeuvre which will test your planning, awareness, observation, accuracy, and control. However, it is more suitable to test conditions than the two manoeuvres which are being removed from the test. This is because candidates need to be in quieter side roads to ensure they can safely reverse around a corner or turn in the road. The new manoeuvre, meanwhile, is easier to complete naturally. As such, examiners can test this skill without needing to deviate from normal test routes.
When would you pull up on the right in real life?
As previously noted, best practice in most real life situations is to pull up on the left. However, there are plenty of occasions on which pulling up on the right is the safer—or only—choice. Some examples include:
- When there are single or double-yellow lines on the left hand side of the road, and parking spaces on the right
- When parking spaces are available on both sides of the road, but those on the left are all full
- Where disability parking spaces are available on the right hand side of the road
- Where there are driveways to the left hand side of the road, and shops to the right
For more information about situations where drivers would legally pull up on the right, visit the DVSA’s Despatch blog.
How can I learn this manoeuvre?
When you book a course with PassMeFast, you’ll learn with a DVSA-approved driving instructor (ADI) with years of experience. They’ll teach you how to safely pull up on the right hand side of the road, reverse, and rejoin the traffic. By the time you take your test, you’ll be well-versed in completing all three possible manoeuvres, and will have gained the skills and confidence you need to pass. Want to banish all worries before crunch time? Read up on how to avoid test day nerves.
While it’s normal to have a few jitters before taking your test, there’s no reason to fear the new practical. That’s because studies have shown that the new driving test pass rate will be virtually identical to the old one. It gets even better, however: PassMeFast’s intensive courses can see you passing in just days. To improve your chances even further, check out the top 5 reasons people failed their test—so you know what to avoid.
Ready to get on the road? Our courses are available to tens of millions of people across the UK—check out the areas we cover to see if we have instructors near you! Then, simply book in via our website, or call the team on 0333 123 4949.