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Driving age ‘effectively raised to 18’

Tougher practical test will take a year, Mail says

Hands on car steering wheel

The driving age could effectively be raised to 18 in a major overhaul of the way driving licences are granted, it was reported today.

The Daily Mail reports that provisional licences will still be issued from the age of 17, but it will take a year to pass a much tougher practical test.

The newspaper says it would means the minimum age that a new driver could realistically drive on the roads without supervision would be 18.

New driving test

It says the new structure of the test will encourage drivers to avoid failings such as over-confidence, emphasise avoiding reckless behaviour and aim to improve hazard perception.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said a consultation document on young drivers was announced in February and it will not be published until the new year.

He said nothing has been ruled in or out and no-one knows what the document will say.

Tougher test

February’s consultation document announced that tougher driving tests were being considered, as well as measures such as lessons on public roads from the age of 16 and the inclusion of safe driving principles in the school curriculum.

At the time the government said the new-style test could see the current 40-minute practical test expanded to two stages and include a broader range of skills such as driving at night and on motorways or dual carriageways.

The Mail says candidates will have to spend up to 500 hours on driving practice – compared with roughly 100 hours at present – before they are able to take the new test.

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