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RAC responds to publication of motoring services strategy

News   •   May 12, 2016 11:48 BST

Following the publication today of the Government's motoring services strategy for the the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA); the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA):

RAC head of external affairs Pete Williams said: “The nature of driving in the UK is changing at a tremendous pace so we are pleased to see the Government is finally responding by comprehensively reviewing the driving test, with the aim of ensuring the next generation of motorists are as well prepared as possible.”

Driving test standards and booking

“The RAC welcomes efforts to modernise the practical driving test and improve the service offered to motorists who are starting their motoring careers. This includes plans to drive down waiting times for practical tests; data collected by the RAC shows average waiting times to take a practical rose through 2015. New drivers will also welcome the greater flexibility associated with proposals for tests to be offered outside normal weekday hours.”

Who delivers the driving test

“The UK’s testing standards must not be compromised by any change to the way driving tests are delivered. However, it is vital that any private sector involvement in delivering the test is scrutinised thoroughly to ensure quality levels remain consistently high and that there is no conflict of interest for those organisations seeking to take part in the delivery of the practical test.”

Better reflecting real world driving

“The intention to evolve the practical driving test to more closely reflect real world driving, including increasing vehicle automation, is also welcome. Data from the RAC shows 35% of young motorists aged 17 to 24 believe the practical driving test does not cover all the skills required to cope with the demands of driving today.

“The changes could mean a new generation of drivers learn to use technology such as sat-navs, which are increasingly standard in modern vehicles, in a safe and appropriate way. With further driver assistance technology on the horizon as we move towards driverless cars, the RAC would like to see a commitment to more regular reviews of the driving test so that it keeps pace with future technology.”

Motorway driving lessons

“The commitment to look at the law regarding motorway driving lessons is good news as RAC research has found more than half (53%) of young drivers would have liked supervised driving practice on a motorway while learning to drive.”

Services moving online

“The majority of motorists will welcome the Government's commitment to make many more services digital; however it is important to remember that there are still a substantial number of motorists who do not have access to digital services or feel uncomfortable using them and their needs must continue to be serviced effectively.”

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