Last Updated on November 12, 2021
The short answer is yes, you can take a driving test in your own car. You can use your own car for driving lessons, private practice and to 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. Nonetheless, you must be following these rules, as if you fail to your test will be cancelled, and you will have to pay for another test.
While many people use their driving instructor’s car, being able to drive your own vehicle or a friend or family members, means you may 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 for a driving test?
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 it is test ready.
Your car must have:
- Valid Tax – You can check if a vehicle is taxed on the government website
- Valid Insurance that covers you for a driving test (check this with your insurance company). The car you’re driving must be insured with learner insurance, whether it’s your car or a friend/family members car. That being said your friend or family member’s car must have its own valid insurance before you can add a learner policy.
- Be roadworthy and have a current MOT (if it’s over 3 years old) – You can also check if a vehicle has a valid MOT on the government website
- Have no warning lights showing, for example, the airbag warning light or engine warning light
- Have no tyre damage and the legal tread depth of 1.6mm on each tyre – you can’t have a space-saver spare tyre fitted either
- Be smoke-free – this means you can’t smoke in the vehicle, 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. there’s a handy list provided below.
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)
In order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, you now must clear and clean your car before your test. The government website states that this means you must:
• Remove any rubbish or unnecessary items from the dashboard, footwells, door pockets, cup holders and seats
• You must clean and wipe down the dashboard and car controls
When undertaking in your driving test you must have one window open on each side of your car to provide adequate airflow. You might want to pop a hoodie or jumper on to keep warm in the colder months too
Can you record the driving test in your car?
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 during a driving test. Many dash cams allow you to disable the audio whilst continuing to record, this is also good to know, as once you’ve passed your driving test you don’t start to accidently record yourself butchering your favourite song.
Check Your Vehicle for Safety Recalls
If your car has been recalled for safety reasons then you won’t be able to use the car for your driving test unless you have proof that it’s safe, and you must have this with you when you take your car to the driving test centre. The good news is that you can check online to see if your car has any outstanding recalls.
If the vehicle you intend to take your driving test in has been recalled for safety reasons, you must take an official document (from the vehicle manufacturer or car dealer) to the driving test centre that proves:
You must bring proof that says one of the following:
• The car was recalled and the recall work has been done
• The work did not need to be carried out following a recall
• The car you’re taking your driving test in wasn’t part of the recall
Don’t forget that if you fail to bring a form of valid ID to the test centre your driving test will be cancelled and you will forfeit the cost of your driving test.
Getting Home From Your Driving Test
If you are taking your driving test in your own car and you pass your test ‘Congratulations’ will be in order as you’re no longer a learner driver. However, your learner driver policy will become invalid and you will no longer be covered to drive the car.
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
If you’re learning to drive and would like to start practicing in your or another person’s car, it is a legal requirement that you have learner insurance. Here at Collingwood Insurance, our learner driver policies will cover you to drive in your own car when accompanied by a friend or family member, starting from just 70p* a day!
*Prices correct as of 28.09.21. Subject to underwriting criteria and T&C’s.