DVSA Special

DVSA Special Test
The DVSA Special Test is a 90 minute voluntary Driving test that only ADI (Approved Driving Instructors) can enter.

The normal driving test is 38 to 40 minutes long.

The test takes place at the DVSA headquarters in Cardington, Bedfordshire.

It was formally known as the Cardington Special Test.

It is a pity that only Driving Instructors can enter as if it was open to the public then maybe on passing they would want to be Driving Instructors.

There are 4 ratings: Gold, Silver, Bronze and Fail.

This is the toughest civilian driving test in the country.

You have to do all 4 manoeuvres:

1. Pull over on the right, reverse 2 car lengths and drive on again;
2. Parallel (Reverse) Park;
3. Forward Bay Park and
4. Reverse Bay Park.

On the normal driving test you have to do one manoeuvre.

You also have to do an Emergency Stop, I did this at a good 42 miles per hour on a country road, it was awesome.

To see this 42mph Emergency Stop click here.

On the normal driving test you have a 1 in 3 chance that they will ask you to do the Emergency Stop and they normally only do it at around 20 mph.

The reason why I did it was because I wanted to experience what learners go through when they do the driving test so that I can help them better.

My driving was very “passenger sympathetic”, this may have been because I have a wife and children that I want to keep comfortable in the car.

We did a parallel park and the examiner was coughing, I offered her a bottle of water from the boot, she said that we are heading back now and so I relaxed.

I was exhausted concentrating for almost 90 minutes.

As I relaxed I started making mistakes, I have analysed my learners test routes and statistically they tend to fail at the end.

This was what was happening to me and I was experiencing it first hand.

This was their comments: "Unfortunately Iain did not drive to the required standard. There were many occasions where signals were used when not necessary. There was an occasion when an incorrect position was taken to go ahead at a roundabout, whilst signalling right. There were two occasions where poor planning was demonstrated resulting in rushed late braking once at traffic lights and at a roundabout."

I realised that the nerves play a bigger part in my customers driving than I first appreciated. I thought I was getting nervous for the sake of it.

Nerves reduce performance by around 20%, this does vary and it may that it has a greater influence on me.

Obviously this is embarrassing and I need to look at what is making me nervous and how I can combat the nerves in my customers.

I have now booked another DVSA Special Test for after December 2019 and I will be aware of this.

Artwork © 2019 Kamile Ambrazunaite
Artwork © 2019 Kamile Ambrazunaite