Over 11m motorists think driving tests should be retaken every five years to improve road safety and to cope with new automotive technologies, new research revealed today. 

The study of 2,000 motorists revealed those who accept the change may have to take the test at least 12 times during their lifetime* – with that number increasing with every failed exam.

The research for Continental Tyres is released as a new driving test comes in to force. The changes include increased independent driving time, taking directions from a sat nav and different driving manoeuvres.

This has caused safety concerns for driving examiners – resulting in their first-ever strike on 4th December to dispute the changes.

When asked by researchers, almost half of people agree that the driving test should be frequently updated to reflect new automotive technologies and changing driving practices.

The exam changes marks just the eighth revision to the practical test since it was introduced in 1935**.

Mark Griffiths, safety expert at Continental Tyres, said: “It is interesting that people would accept sitting their practical driving test every five years. It’s good to see people recognise safety is important and that they understand there are a lot of automotive technologies to keep up with.”

The research unveiled that drivers want to see revisions that are more safety-focused like including better understanding laws around mobile phones (64 per cent), as well as how to do routine safety checks like tyre tread depth and tyre pressures (57 per cent).

Checking oil and other fluid levels were also rated as important.

Mark Griffiths continued: “The findings are at odds with the confirmed changes to the driving test. Clearly people want safety prioritised – like knowing more about the legal use of mobile phones when driving as well as other issues around driving practice.”

The study for Continental Tyres also found that six in ten people are unaware that the driving test is about to change.

*Based on passing the UK driving test around the age of 20 up until the average UK life expectancy of 81 years old.

**Information from AutoExpress.