Guidance

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

Guidance for learner drivers taking part in the trial. Registration has now closed.

This guidance was withdrawn on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.

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.

When you pass your test you’ll:

  • get a full driving licence
  • be paid to fill in 2 surveys
  • be entered into prize draws

Overview of the process

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

  1. Register to take part.

  2. Train with your driving instructor for the current test or the trial - you’ll be told which to train for when you’ve registered.

  3. Pass the driving test - you’ll get a full licence

  4. Fill in a survey shortly after you pass your test - you’ll be paid £10 to do this.

  5. Fill in a survey 6 months after you pass your test - you’ll be paid £30 to do this and be entered into a prize draw.

Other than that, you’ll learn to drive just like anyone else.

The prize draw

When you complete the final survey you’ll be entered into prize draws to win:

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

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 be taught these, though.

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

Who can take part

Your driving instructor will judge whether it’s right for you to take part in the research based on your progress.

You can only take part if you:

  • haven’t yet taken an attempt at the driving test
  • use one of the 32 driving test centres doing the trial

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
  • Goodmayes
  • Herne Bay
  • Ipswich
  • Lincoln
  • Lower Gornal
  • Mitcham (London)
  • Northampton
  • Norwich
  • Oxford
  • Plymouth
  • Sheffield Handsworth
  • Southampton (Maybush)
  • St Helens
  • Sunderland
  • Swansea
  • West Didsbury
  • Weston-super-mare
  • York

Book your test

Your driving instructor will need to book your test for you – they’ll tell you more about this.

This means that you won’t be able to book your own test online.

Failing your test

If you fail your first test in the trial you can either:

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

Leave the trial

You or your driving instructor can leave the research at any time. If you have a test booked, your instructor needs to give 3 clear working days’ notice to cancel, otherwise you’ll lose your fee.

Your driving instructor will tell DVSA if you choose to leave the trial or if you change your driving instructor.

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 so that they are able to contact you:

  • when the surveys are ready to be filled in
  • to pay you for filling in the surveys
  • if you win a prize in the prize draw

Your driving licence number will be used so TRL can:

  • tell DVSA which driving test you will be taking
  • gather your test results from DVSA when you pass your test

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
TRL
Crowthorne House
Nine Mile Ride

Wokingham
Berkshire
RG40 3GA

Published 26 February 2015
Last updated 25 August 2015 + show all updates
  1. Added Burgess Hill, Cardiff, Goodmayes, Northampton, Plymouth and West Didsbury driving test centres to the list of centres carrying out the trial.
  2. Added Bristol (Southmead), Herne Bay and Southampton (Maybush) driving test centres to the list of centres carrying out the trial.
  3. First published.