DVLA Aiming to Improve Driving Test

How the DVLA is aiming to improve the driving test

imagesYour driving test can be the most nerve-wracking thing that you’ll ever do. You’ve spent time (and money!) taking lesson after lesson to improve your skills, you’ve passed your theory test and now all that stands between you and the road is the dreaded practical test. Worryingly, only 21% of driving tests result in a first time pass. The DVLA knows that this statistic doesn’t exactly fill learner drivers with confidence and is working to improve the practical test. So, what exactly are they planning?

Lower the driving test fee

Under the new driving test, learner drivers would pay a deposit to take their test, which they will get back if they pass. The DVLA hopes this will assist in ensuring that learner drivers are ready to take their practical test, less likely to be involved in an accident in the months after the test. They hope that it will also encourage learners to get in contact with them, take their test when they are ready and confident that they will pass.

Incentives

The Transport Secretary has said that the Government wishes to make learning to drive more affordable. A change in test procedures would mean that drivers get money back if they pass first time, giving them an incentive to become more prepared before they take it.

A spokesperson for the RAC said that the proposed changes would encourage learners to get the driving experience that they need before they go in for their test. He added it will mean drivers pass their test with good marks, rather than just scraping a pass or failing and having to pay to do it all again.

Improving the safety of the roads

The DVLA want to improve the safety of roads overall. They’re proposing to have more test times available, such as evenings and weekends. They also hope to be able to offer tests from a range of venues. The Government will also review services provided by outside sources and may even change the providers of some of them.

A learner based experience

The transport minister said that these radical new proposals make sure that the DVLA and other motoring agencies put their users at the heart of everything that they do. They aim to modernise customer services provided by the DVLA and improve road safety, particularly for younger drivers.

The DVLA invited the public to share their views on the driving test changes and this consultation closed at the beginning of January. It’s expected that if the review into procedures was successful and the test is to be changed, that the public will be told of it in the upcoming months.

Currently, the driving test fee is £62, £75 if you wish to take it in the evening or at a weekend; though some test centres do not currently offer this. You can book your driving test online at the DVLA website or contact them, but you’ll need to have to hand your driving licence number, found on your photocard.

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Pics Aplenty: Global Chevrolet Colorado rolls out in Thailand

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General Motors has officially unveiled the company’s global 2012 Chevrolet Colorado in Thailand. The automaker says the truck is the culmination of a vehicle program that spanned five years, $ 2 billion and five continents. What did all that effort come up with? For starters, buyers in Thailand will be able to chose between a pair of new turbo-diesel four-cylinder Duramax engines. The engines are available in both 2.5-liter and 2.8-liter displacements, with the smaller lump producing 150 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

The larger, 2.8-liter turbo diesel yields 180 hp and a very impressive 346 lb-ft of torque. For reference, that’s just 20 horsepower shy of the base 4.8-liter V8 in the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, but it’s also 41 more lb-ft of torque. GM hasn’t released any fuel economy estimates on either diesel engine, but both can be mated to either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive versions of the Colorado make use of a two-speed, electronically actuated transfer case.

Will it come our way? GM isn’t saying, but recent United Auto Workers deal-related news suggests that a mid-size truck like this one is being considered for the company’s Wentzville plant near St. Louis. We’ve got our fingers crossed. Check out our high-res gallery and then hit the jump for the press release.

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