Independent driving on your driving test.

Following a diagram or road signs.

October 2010 is when the Driving Standards Agency brought in the Independent Driving part of the driving test.

This is a chance for the examiner to be able to assess how you would drive if you were to follow road signs or a diagram to a destination by yourself without any verbal help.

The idea of Independent Driving on your driving test sounds very difficult and scary. In reality it is very simple and straight forward. There's no need for knowledge of the local area, a Sat-Nav or map book. In fact, you can even ask the examiner for help and remind you where you're going if you forget.

Following a diagram.

During your driving test, the examiner will ask you to stop at the side of the road in a safe and convenient place. 

They will then, either show you a basic diagram (as shown on the left and video above) for you to remember or ask you to follow road signs to a destination (more information on this below).

The examiner will ask you to do this approximately three times and it will normally consist of around three turns for you to remember and lasting up to ten minutes.

Although, it's not as independent as it first seems. If you forget where you are going, then you can just ask the examiner and you will not get penalised. Take the wrong turn and again it's not a big problem, and you also won't get penalised as long you drive correctly.

Following road signs.

Again, the examiner will ask you to stop on the left in a safe and convenient place. As part of the independent driving they will then ask you to follow road signs to a destination.

Sounds scary, but in practice it can be quite straight forward. It will last for approximately three turns and the signs should be clear to see. If not, then the examiner will give you directions.

If you forget where you're going, then just ask the examiner. They won't mind reminding you where to go and you won't get penalised for asking or taking the wrong turn as long you drive correctly and safely.