FAQ: What is Independent Driving on the Practial Driving Test ??
Since October 2010, ‘an independent driving’ section was introduced into the Practical Driving Test. When parked up, the examiner will ask you to drive independently for a period of approximately ten minutes following road signs and directions.
They will either advise you to follow road signs to a named place, which can change several times during the section.
Another option for them to ask you to follow a series of directions (eg. take the next road on the left, then the next road on the right). They will ask you if you would like to see a map, showing the route required. The examiners will talk you through any maps that you want to view, so you can understand where to go ( this will be done when you are safely parked up). The maps are not to scale, they are just to show you where to make your turns.
It is also possible that they could start with a direction map and finish the section following road signs. At the end of the section, you will be told it has finished and that you will be directed as before to follow the examiners route directions.
Remember: You will not fail or get penalised for going the wrong way during this section, only incorrect (and therefore unsafe )driving gets marked down.
Tip: If unsure about directions just ask, examiners will be more than happy to repeat and help you further. But ask as soon as possible, so they have time to help you and you have time to prepare for the junction ahead or task ahead.