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Its fair to say that using your own vehicle for the driving test is an option that many people enjoy. In fact on average around 60,000 driving tests are conducted each year using non-driving school vehicles. They make up for around 5% of the overall tests being taken in private vehicles. Many of which would have taken professional driving lessons. It allows the instructor more time to work on the emotional side of driving as many students don't fail driving tests because of their lack of skills. Its important to note at this time. The driving test does not change in any way whether you use your own vehicle or driving school vehicle. Of course the driving instructor will make checks before the test that will remove some of the pressure. Also, if your own vehicle develops a problem and the driving test is cancelled you cannot claim anything back. However, if you use your instructors vehicle and for example he has a puncture on route to the test centre, they will be obliged to cover some of your loses. There are some very simple rules: Using my own vehicle for driving test

Your car must:

  • be taxed

  • be insured for a driving test (check with your insurance company)

  • be roadworthy and have a current MOT (if it’s over 3 years old)

  • have no warning lights showing, for example, the airbag warning light

  • have no tyre damage and the legal tread depth on each tyre - you cannot have a space-saver spare tyre fitted

  • be smoke-free - this means you cannot smoke in it just before or during the test

  • be able to reach at least 62mph and have an mph speedometer

  • have 4 wheels and a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500 kg

The MAM is the limit on how much the car can weigh when it’s loaded. It’ll be in the car’s handbook.

Cleaning your car

You should tidy your car before your test. This includes removing any rubbish or unnecessary items from the dashboard, footwells, door pockets, cup holders and seats.

Things that must be fitted

The car must have:

  • an extra interior rear-view mirror for the examiner

  • L-plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear

  • a passenger seatbelt for the examiner and a proper passenger head restraint (not a slip-on type)

Dashcams and other cameras

You can use a camera fitted for insurance purposes, as long as it:

  • faces outside of the car and does not film the inside

  • does not record audio from inside the car

Vehicle features

You can use a car with:

  • an electronic parking brake

  • hill-start assist

Manual and automatic cars

You can take the test in a:

  • manual car - these have 3 pedals

  • automatic or semi-automatic car - these have 2 pedals

If you take your test in a semi-automatic car you’ll only be able to drive automatic and semi-automatic cars once you’ve passed your test.

Hire cars

You can take your test in a hire car if it’s fitted with dual controls and meets all the other rules.

Cars you cannot use

Some cars cannot be used in the test because they do not give the examiner all-round vision.

You cannot use any of the following:

  • BMW Mini convertible

  • Ford KA convertible

  • Smart Fortwo (2-door)

  • Toyota iQ

  • VW Beetle convertible

There might be other cars that you cannot use. This is because not every model has been used in a test before, and some may not give the examiner all-round vision.

Check if your car can be used before booking a test

You can check if your car can be used by contacting the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

Always check if you want to use a:

  • convertible car

  • panel van

  • coupe (a car with a fixed roof, two doors and a sloping rear)

DVSA driving test enquiries Telephone: 0300 200 1122 Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm


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