Like a lot of things throughout history, the driving test has gone through its fair share of amendments, alterations and updates. What we're used to now certainly looks a lot different to when compulsory driving tests were introduced back in 1935.
Now, with a pandemic to deal with and new measures to adhere to, driving tests have once again undergone further changes. Alongside social distancing measures, a range of new updates have come into effect, which could mean an early end for exams for some drivers.
Here, we'll take a look at what the new changes are in more detail, and what this could mean for future approaches. We’ll also explore how the driving test has changed throughout history to get to where we are today.
As of July 2020, the new driving test rules are as follows:
Even though we've been driving cars since the 19th century in this country, it wasn't until 1903 that driving tests were introduced, and even then, they weren't made compulsory for another 30 years! But how else has the driving test changed over the years? We'll take a look at the key moments below:
The first person to pass their driving test is a Mr J Beene, which he did so for the princely sum of seven shillings and sixpence, or £22 in today's money. Of the 246,000 candidates that apply, 63% of them are passes. And because test centres don't exist yet, candidates have to meet at pre-arranged locations such as car parks or railway stations.
Road safety campaigners, Brake, have been calling for a Graduated Driver Licensing programme to be introduced in the UK. Effectively, this would mean that learner drivers might eventually have to pass two practical driving tests before they can hold a full licence. They propose a two-year "novice" period should be introduced, in which newly qualified drivers are unable to carry passengers under the age of 25, with parents and carers being the exception.
With the advent of autonomous vehicles set to take place – 10 million driverless cars are expected to be on the roads by 2025 – it's likely that this will affect the driving test too. While we won't know for sure if any qualifications or procedures will play a role in driving in such vehicles, it's worth suggesting that driving tests and licences could well soon become a relic in the near future.