Following the Sat Nav on the Practical Driving Test

Since the 4th December 2017 the DVSA introduced some changes to the practical driving test. One of the changes was the introduction of the sat nav. At some point during your driving test you may be asked to follow the satellite navigation system. The examiner will select the route on the sat nav that he or she wants you to follow and it’s up to you to follow it.

Do not fret if you have a missed a turn or two as the sat nav will usually readjust and guide you back on track. If you are approaching a turn that you should make but there is insufficient time to make the turn safely then you are far better off missing the turn rather than turning dangerously. Do remember that the examiner will not fail you if you miss a turn but can fail you if you take the turn dangerously.

The sat nav part of the test lasts around twenty minutes. Try to glance at the sat nav frequently to gain understanding of which route to take but make sure that you are not staring at it as the road needs your eyes far more than the sat nav does. Also try to listen out for the sat nav as the sat nav usually gives instructions in advance allowing you to plan ahead. When you know you will need to turn, try to get into the correct lane in good time, signalling if necessary and approach the junction with the correct speed.

If when you are following the sat nav and you are still unsure of its instructions then you can ask the examiner for clarification, the examiner will be happy to help and this will not affect your test result. It’s always best not to miss a turn as this will take you off test route and may mean that you’ll be driving longer than the usual test time.

There is a four out of five chance that you will get the sat nav on your test which means one in every five test candidates will not get to experience this and will have to follow traffic signs instead.

It’s always a good idea to practice some sat nav driving with your driving instructor as this will not only give you some experience but will also give you more confidence in how to follow a sat nav safely.