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Taking the driving test in your own car

Private cars on driving test

A driving test candidate is perfectly entitled to take their driving test in their own car, or any car that they have the owners permission to use.  Providing that you or the person driving is insured to drive the vehicle, the vehicle is taxed and has a valid MOT then you can legally use that vehicle for your test.

It is also important to check that the car you are using is not subject to any manufacturers recall notice, if this is the case you will not be able to use that vehicle unless you can provide evidence that the manufactures recall has been completed. 

What is the benefit?

There are some benefits that a candite will find in using their own car for their driving test.  It is possible that if you have your own car you may have spent a considerable amount of time driving and practising in that vehicle.  It could also be true that you may have spent more time in your own car than you have in your driving instructors car. Therefore you may feel more confident in your own car.  Confidence is everything when it comes to passing the driving test!

At the moment there is an extended wait for driving tests caused by the lockdown and Coronavirus. The waiting time at the moment for a test in Basingstoke is more than 6 months – unless the DVSA are quickly able to add more tests onto the booking system.

Finding another test centre

A possible solution to this problem is that you use your own vehicle and book a driving test at a location that has availability quicker than your instructor’s local test centre.  If you were to take this course of action it would be recommendable to check out the area to familiarise yourself with that location as much as possible.

Short notice tests

It is highly likely that once driving lessons resume your driving instructor will be busier than ever.  Finding a driving test at short notice is quite likely as people do cancel driving tests from time to time and the DVSA will immediately add them back onto the booking system.  There is nothing more annoying than finding a driving test, only to find out that your driving instructor is already booked at that time.  However, if you are able to take the test in your own car – then any short notice tests are less of a problem, providing you can still find a full licence holder to accompany you to and from the test centre.

What are the drawbacks? 

Taking your driving test in a private car will mean that you will not have the benefit of being in a dual controlled vehicle.   This could become an issue if you were to make a mistake!  In a dual controlled car, you do have the advantage that if something untoward were to happen that the examiner could always stop you using the dual controls. If you were nervous on the test, which most people are, then this could possible affect your confidence and concentration. 

Insurance could also be an issue, as learner driver insurance can be costly and not everyone has the advantage of having a private car to use.  It is also important to note that if you were successful in passing your driving test, that you would no longer be insured to drive the car home again after the test (as you would no longer be a learner). So you must therefore ensure that your accompanying driver is also insured to drive you home again after the test.

Make sure you are ready

In times like these when we have all been in lockdown for so long, the demand on the DVSA for driving tests is unprecedented.  Waiting times have never been so high.  The DVSA has appealed to driving instructors to only take students to tests who are highly likely to pass.  The pass rate at driving test centres is around 50%, so the more experienced the candidates are the better, as this will mean more people will pass the first time – reducing the demand for retests. 

Here are a few useful links

Book your driving test – https://www.gov.uk/book-driving-test
Change your driving test – https://www.gov.uk/change-driving-test
Find a driving test centre – https://www.gov.uk/find-driving-test-centre
Highway code online – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code
Know your traffic signs – click here

If you require information on automatic driving lessons in Basingstoke,  please see our main website


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