What are the benefits of using your own car for a driving test?
If you have been practising in your own car or in a parent’s car, then it might be more familiar to you. The primary advantage of using your own car for your driving test is being more comfortable in it. You may be more confident with the controls and reference points, which increases your chances of passing the test. As long as you are able to manoeuvre the vehicle successfully, it is a viable option for taking your test in. The choice is up to you and depends on which car you would find it the least stressful to drive. You do not want to get flustered and mixed up on the day.
What are the downsides of using your own car for a driving test?
You may feel like you want to take the test in the car that you’ll be driving when you pass. However, if you are used to driving in your instructor’s car, then you should stick with this. It is the most logical option to take the test in the car that you have been practising in. If you have been practising in another car without your instructor, this does not mean that you are better at driving that car. Without an expert instructor, you could be picking up some bad habits which might contribute to you failing the driving test. You also need to take the test in the type of car that you will be driving. If you want a licence for both automatic and manual cars, then you must take your test in a manual car.
What kind of vehicle do you need to use your own car for a driving test?
To be able to sit a driving test in your own car or parent’s car, the vehicle must meet the following rules. If it does not, then the instructor will cancel your test. You will not get a refund and will have to rebook and then pay again.
- appropriately taxed and insured (with a current MOT if over 3 years old)
- 4 tyres with the legal tread depth (no damage or space-saver tyres)
- MAM (Maximum Authorized Mass) of 3500 kg or less
- capable of reaching at least 62 mph (with an mph speedometer fitted)
- no warning lights showing on the dashboard (e.g. airbag warning light)
- L-plates on both the front and rear (or D plates if you are in Wales)
- an additional interior rear-view mirror (for the examiner’s use)
- a passenger seatbelt and head restraint (for the examiner’s safety)
- smoke-free (no smoking in the vehicle before or during the test)
- no in-car cameras that can record video or audio (can be turned off)
What kind of vehicle can you NOT use for a driving test?
Some cars are not valid for taking a driving test because the examiner does not have an unobstructed view. These cars include the BMW Mini convertible, the Ford KA convertible, the Toyota iQ, and the VW Beetle convertible. You may be able to use other convertible cars or a panel van for your driving test, but you need to check with the DVSA before booking the test. There are certain cars which they will not allow you to use for a driving test due to safety recalls. If your vehicle type was subject to a recall, then you must bring evidence that it is safe for you to drive. You will need an official letter or safety notice from the manufacturer or dealer proving that the work was done or that it was not necessary. If you can’t prove this, then they can cancel your test and you will lose the money that you paid.
What insurance do you need when using your own car for a driving test?
One of the most important factors is that you are correctly insured to drive the car for your driving test. Not all policies cover the actual driving test, even if they cover learner drivers. If you do pass your test, then you are no longer a learner driver and the insurance policy will not cover you. Emergency cover may allow your instructor or a parent to drive you straight home afterwards. Depending on the type and length of car insurance cover, your policy may allow you to drive yourself home after passing the test. You need to make sure that you know what your policy covers you for, and make the appropriate arrangements to get yourself home legally and safely after taking the test.