Driving examiners are striking for 48 hours against major changes to the practical test.
Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union will picket test centres across the country today and tomorrow.
The driving test changes have come into force today and are the most significant since the written theory exam was introduced in 1996.
Learners will now have to follow sat nav directions, while rare manoeuvres such as reversing around a corner have been scrapped altogether.
The union said examiners in the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will have to work longer, harder and for no extra pay.
The main changes
- Reversing round a corner and turn in the road will be scrapped
- Learners will have to follow sat nav directions
- Independent driving will increase form 10 to 20 minutes
- Answer questions about vehicle safety while driving
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: ‘PCS members in the DVSA have tried to negotiate around their concerns but the door has been slammed shut in their face.
‘They now feel they have no alternative but to take industrial action to bring home to the public how damaging the DVSA proposals are.
‘No one takes strike action lightly and we acknowledge the disruption to the driving tests for learner drivers keen to pass their test.’
The DVSA said the new test offered a more realistic assessment of driving skills.
Adrian Long, DVSA director of people, communications and engagement, said: ‘PCS’s desperate claim that changes to the driving test will cause examiners to work longer and harder is simply not true.
‘In the last year we’ve recruited more than 320 extra driving examiners, reducing waiting times to an average of seven weeks across the country.’
He added: ‘DVSA has met with PCS more than 40 times to try to solve this dispute but, despite our best efforts, including an offer of mediation, PCS has stuck to its unreasonable demands.’
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said in a letter to the union that most of the issues in the dispute had been resolved and negotiations could continue if industrial action was called off.
Union members voted by 84% in favour of strikes on a 70% turnout.