Driving Test Update for Manual Gearboxes

The driving test is to be updated so future generations can drive cars with manual gearboxes. Current legislation allows people to drive manual cars only if they passed their driving test in such a vehicle, but this gets difficult as electric cars become the norm – as they will have automatic transmissions. Read our article in full to find out more about the driving test update for manual gearboxes.

Driving Test Update for Manual Gearboxes

The driving test was last updated back in 2018 when using a sat-nav was added. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has begun to look at what needs to change to reflect the introduction of electric and hybrid cars.

Sales of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in 2030, and hybrids will follow in 2035. That means every new car from 2030 will be an automatic, and as driving-school cars are typically newer models, most learners will be taught in an automatic within a decade. This would put classic cars with manual boxes off limits if the law is not changed.

DVSA data reveals that 89 per cent of driving tests are taken in manual cars, and although the number has shrunk, pass rates are lower for people sitting their test in an automatic: 39.5 per cent versus the 45.9 per cent pass rate for manual cars.

Auto vs manual: The trends

A decade ago only a quarter of new cars had automatic transmissions, but that had more than doubled by 2020. Although The vast majority of candidates do their driving test in manual cars, the proportion of automatic tests has also more than doubled  – but pass rates for people doing their tests in an automatic are lower than those driving manual cars.

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