Take part in the driving test trial if you're a driving instructor

How to take part in the trial of changes that are being made to the driving test if you're an approved driving instructor (ADI).

This guidance was withdrawn on

The driving test trial has ended.

If you were taking part in the trial of the new-style test, you can still take that test. However, you won’t be asked to fill in surveys, and you won’t be entered into the prize draw.

Any decisions about changes being made to the driving test as a result of the trial will be published in response to the consultation on improving the car driving test

Applies to England, Scotland and Wales

Registration for approved driving instructors closed on 31 January 2016.

About the trial

The government is trialling changes to the driving test to make it a better test of the driver’s ability to drive safely on their own.

Taking part in the trial is voluntary.

Not everyone who takes part in the trial will take the ‘trial test’. Some will take the current test, so that the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can compare results.

Any pupils you put forward will be split roughly 50:50 between the 2 groups.

Learner drivers that pass the test will get a full driving licence in the normal way.

Overview of the process

If you want to take part you’ll need to:

  1. Register to take part.

  2. Recruit pupils to take part in the trial.

  3. Ask your pupils to register for the trial.

  4. Book the driving test for the pupil when they’re ready - you need to do this by phone.

You might be asked to take part in a focus group later in the year.

Payments and prize draws

You and your candidates taking part in the trial will be entered into prize draws to win:

  • a car
  • an iPad
  • £100 in shopping vouchers

You’ll be entered when 2 of your candidates who are taking part in the research pass their tests.

Summary of test differences

Two new manoeuvres will, for the purpose of the trial, replace the current ‘turn in the road’ and ‘left reverse’ manoeuvres. You should still teach these, though.

Everything else stays the same as the current test, and the standard of assessment is the same for both tests.

Which learner drivers can take part

DVSA needs you to encourage your pupils to take part in the research.

They can take part if they’re at a reasonably early stage of their learning and have not:

  • reached a point in their training that would prevent you from preparing them equally well for either test
  • taken and failed the driving test

The driving test centres taking part are:

  • Basildon
  • Bedford
  • Birmingham Kings Heath
  • Bishopbriggs (Glasgow)
  • Blackpool
  • Bournemouth
  • Bristol (Southmead)
  • Burgess Hill
  • Cardiff
  • Cheetham Hill
  • Edinburgh (Musselburgh)
  • Enfield
  • Farnborough
  • Folkestone
  • Herne Bay
  • Goodmayes
  • Ipswich
  • Lincoln
  • Lower Gornal
  • Mitcham (London)
  • Northampton
  • Norwich
  • Oxford
  • Plymouth
  • Sheffield Handsworth
  • Southampton (Maybush)
  • St Helens
  • Sunderland
  • Swansea
  • West Didsbury
  • Weston-super-mare
  • York

Register for the trial

Registration for approved driving instructors closed on 31 January 2016.

Learner drivers registering for the trial

Your pupils will need to:

They can’t register unless you’re registered.

TRL will then contact both you and your pupil to tell you whether to prepare for the current test or the trial test.

Book tests for the trial

You can book tests at the appropriate stage of the candidate’s development.

You need to book tests by phone, using a number that’s been set up for the trial. This will let you get through quickly to make a booking.

You’ll get the number from TRL when you’re registered.

You’ll need your:

Your pupil won’t be able to book their test themselves. If you need them to pay the test fee, you can call DVSA with them present so they can make the payment.

You can’t book tests online for candidates taking part in the trial.

If your pupil fails the test

If the candidate fails their first test within the research they can either:

  • stay in the trial and take another attempt at the type of test they were allocated to (ie current or trial)
  • leave the trial and take their next attempt using the current test

Leaving the trial

You or your candidate can withdraw from research at any time. If they have a test booked, you’d need to give 3 clear working days’ notice to cancel as normal.

You should email if:

  • a candidate chooses to leave the trial
  • you want to leave the trial yourself

Contact DVSA during the trial

You can contact DVSA and use the usual complaints procedure during the trial. However, taking part in the research isn’t a valid reason to complain about failing a test.

How your personal information will be used

TRL is managing the research. They will need your contact details and ADI number so that they are able to contact you:

  • confirm which test your learners will be taking
  • tell you about focus groups you can go to
  • tell you if you win a prize in the prize draw

Your data and responses to surveys will be confidential and stored securely. They will not be:

  • part of any published results
  • passed to any other organisation
  • used for anything other than this trial

You’ll never be identified to anyone outside of TRL’s research team.

At the end of the trial, all your data will be destroyed securely.

You can contact TRL if you’ve any questions about the trial or want to leave it.

Driving test trial

Su Buttress, Project Manager
Driving Test Research
Crowthorne House
Nine Mile Ride
RG40 3GA

Published 26 February 2015
Last updated 1 February 2016 + show all updates
  1. Updated with details of close of registration for the driving test trial.

  2. Added Burgess Hill, Cardiff, Goodmayes, Northampton, Plymouth and West Didsbury driving test centres to the list of centres carrying out the trial.

  3. Added Bristol (Southmead), Herne Bay and Southampton (Maybush) driving test centres to the list of centres carrying out the trial.

  4. First published.