Money Expert > Car Insurance > Taking Your Driving Test in Your Own Car

Taking Your Driving Test in Your Own Car

Last updated: 12/10/2023 | Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

If you’ve been practising for your driving test in your own car, or the car of a close friend or family member, you may be wondering if you can use it for your driving test. While your driving instructor will have a car for you to use, slight differences could throw you off in a high-stress environment, causing you to make mistakes you wouldn’t ordinarily. But is it possible to use your own car for your driving test? This blog will walk you through the process, so that you can feel as comfortable as possible on the day of your test.

In This Guide:

Can I Take My Driving Test in My Own Car?

Yes, most of the time you will be able to take your driving test in your own car. However, you will need to follow a set of guidelines to make sure your car is suitable. This will ensure that both you and your instructor are safe during the test and that they can properly carry out the examination.

While many learner drivers choose to have their test in a car provided for them by their driving school, there is nothing to stop you from using your own car, a friend or family member's car, or even a hire car if you prefer.

Guidelines for Taking a Driving Test in Your Own Car

In order to take your practical driving test in your own car, you’ll need to make sure you meet the following guidelines. Failing to meet even one of these guidelines will mean your driving test will be cancelled on the day.

  • Car Tax: You must have valid and in-date car tax when taking your driving test
  • Driving Test Insurance: Your car insurance must cover driving tests. Speak to your insurance provider to check whether this is already included or take out a learner driver insurance policy.
  • Roadworthy: Your car needs to be completely safe to drive on the road and, if it’s over three years old, must have an MOT certificate. Make sure your car has no obvious signs of damage or warning lights showing.
  • Suitable Tyres: Your car tyres must not have any type of damage, including slow punctures, and need to have the legal tread depth. Your tyres must also be regular tyres, not space-saver spare tyres, which are only designed to help you get to a safe location when you break down
  • Smoke-Free: Do not smoke in your car before your test. If you often smoke in your car, try to air it out to be on the safe side. You also must not smoke during your driving test.
  • Tidiness: Your car needs to be clean and tidy before your test, so make sure you remove any rubbish or unnecessary items. It’s also a good idea to hoover up any dried mud or crumbs as well.
  • 62mph Speed: You need to be able to drive at a minimum of 62mph, which is just over the national speed limit. Your speedometer will also need to be in mph, so make sure you check this in advance.
  • Four Wheels: Your car must have four wheels for your driving test!
  • Weight: Your car’s maximum authorised mass must be 3,500kg

Extra Requirements Your Car Must Have

Not every car is suitable for a driving test, even if it meets the conditions above. Your carmust also have a complete, all-round view from the passenger side, otherwise, your examiner won’t be able to accurately assess your driving ability. Cars that offer a limited view from the passenger side include:

  • BMW Mini convertible
  • Ford KA convertible
  • FSmart Fortwo (2-door)
  • Toyota iQ
  • VW Beetle convertible

This list isn’t exhaustive, however, so check your car before your test to make sure the person in the passenger seat has all-round vision.

Some extra requirements that you can control, and are also necessary, include:

  • An additional rear-view mirror needs to be installed for your examiner to use. These can be removable and don’t need to be permanently fitted into your car.
  • L plates on both the front and back of your car
  • A fixed head rest and working passenger seatbelt for your examiner to use.
  • No cameras or audio-recording equipment that collect footage of the inside of the car. Dashcams that only record the road are permitted.

Please note, these guidelines aren’t exhaustive and individual driving schools may have their own requirements. Always call ahead and obtain a full list of requirements from your test centre before booking your driving test.

Is My Car Insured for a Driving Test?

Some car insurance policies won’t cover a driving test, so you will need to speak to your insurance company before your test to find out if your car is insured. If it’s not, you may need to take out temporary learner driver insurance until you pass your test. Learner car insurance will provide you with temporary cover if you get into an accident while learning how to drive. This type of insurance is usually only valid if you have a full driving license holder with you in the car, but it may also have additional conditions you have to meet. Again, it’s important to check this insurance will extend to your driving test and doesn’t just cover you while you’re having lessons or practising.

If you’re learning to drive in someone else’s car, you will need to take out learner driver insurance yourself. While they may be able to add you to their existing policy, this is often more complicated and can cost more as well. You won’t need to take out learner driver insurance if you’re learning in your instructor’s car, however, as this should already be taken care of by them.

Should You Take Your Driving Test in Your Own Car?

Deciding to take your driving test in your own car is a personal decision, so there’s no right or wrong answer to this question. One of the most common reasons someone might decide to take their driving test in their own car is simply because they feel more comfortable. If you’ve been learning to drive in your own car, it’s only natural to want to take your test in that same car.

Every car has a slightly different feel and size, so driving in an unfamiliar car could make you feel nervous or slip up. And if your car has special features, such as parking sensors, you may prefer to make the most of them during your test. However, if your car is an automatic or semi-automatic, you will only be able to drive these types of cars after passing your test. If you want to drive a manual car in the future, it’s best to take your test in one.

Is it Better to Take a Driving Test in Your Instructor’s Car?

Taking your test in your driving instructor’s car does have some advantages. For one, you won’t have to worry about making sure your car meets all the guidelines outlined above. Your car also won’t have dual controls, which means should something go wrong, your driving instructor won’t be able to step in and help you. Finally, if you’ve been having driving lessons in your instructor’s car, it makes sense to stick with this car, as it will be more familiar to you.

It’s also worth noting that temporary learner insurance may expire once you’ve passed your test, so you’ll need to think about how you’re going to get home afterwards. You could either ask someone to drive you home or find a temporary car insurance policy that lasts just a few hours.

Get Learner Driver Insurance Before Your Test

Finding driving test insurance is really important if you’ve decided to use your own car instead of your instructor’s. Whether you decide to take out a general learner driver insurance policy or temporary car insurance for driving tests specifically, we can help you explore your options. Here at Money Expert, our team can help you find a quote for a policy that suits your needs.

Car Insurance,

easier than ever.