The short answer is yes, you can. You can use your car for driving lessons, private practice and take your practical driving test. Extra practice in your own car means that you will feel more familiar with the vehicle, which may increase your chances of passing.
While many people use their driving instructor’s car, being able to drive your own vehicle or a friend or family members, means you’ll feel more confident controlling the car, making manoeuvers and the reference points, which all helps to make your practical test less stressful.
What you need to know about using your own car
In order to use your own car to take your driving test, there are some things you need to check. Many of them may seem obvious, but it’s worth familiarising yourself with what is required of your vehicle to ensure its test ready.
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 or engine warning light
- have no tyre damage and the legal tread depth on each tyre – you can’t have a space-saver spare tyre fitted
- be smoke-free – this means you can’t smoke in it just before or during the test
- be able to reach at least 62mph and have an mph speedometer (which shouldn’t be a problem for pretty much every car on the road)
- have 4 wheels and a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500 kg
In addition to the above, you must also ensure you get the right equipment and accessories fitted to your vehicle.
The following must be fitted to the car:
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)
Can you record the test?
You can have a dash cam fitted to your car (for insurance purposes), as long as it records externally and you may not film or record audio inside the car. Many dash cams allow you to disable the audio. This is also good to know, so once you’ve passed your test you don’t record accidently record yourself butchering your favourite song on the radio.
Check for safety recalls
If your car has been recalled for safety reasons then you won’t be able to use the car for your test unless you have proof that it’s safe, and you must have this with you when you take your test. The good news is that you can check online to see if your car has any outstanding recalls.
You must bring proof that says one of the following:
the car was recalled and the recall work has been done
the car was recalled but didn’t need any work to be done
the car wasn’t part of the recall
If you are taking your driving test in your own car and you pass your test, your learner driver policy will become invalid and you will no longer be covered to drive the car. ‘Congratulations’ will be in order as you’re no longer a learner driver.
So how do you get the car home? Have a friend or family member insured to drive the car on standby to drive you home. Alternatively, many insurance policies allow your instructor to have instructor emergency cover, which insures your instructor or supervisor to drive you directly home after the test. No stopping for Champagne though, they are only covered to drive you straight home.
Getting Insured to learn in Your Own Car
Collingwood Insurance learner driver policies will cover you to drive in your own car when accompanied by a friend or family member.