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How to take a driving test in your own car

How to take a driving test in your own car

As a learner driver, if you spend a lot of time practising in your own car, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use it on your driving test.  
Comfort and familiarity are key to a calm drive. Why not, then, give yourself the best chance of passing by using your own car when you go for your driving test? 

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
minute read
posted 27 FEBRUARY 2020

Why use your own car for the driving test? 

While some learner drivers only ever get behind the wheel of their instructor’s car, others are lucky enough to get extra practice in their own, or in a parent’s vehicle. 
If you feel more at ease in your own car than your instructor’s car, it makes sense to use your own car for your test.  
Sitting your driving test can be a nerve-wracking experience. Anything that makes you feel more relaxed on the day, could put you in a better position to pass. 

Is my car suitable for the driving test? 

If you’re planning to take your driving test in your own car, you’ll need to make sure it’s suitable. 
Here are some of the things you’ll need to think about, before taking your car into your test:  

  • Tax: Your car tax will need to be valid and in date at the time of your test. 
  • Insurance: Your car will need to be insured for a driving test – check this with your insurance provider.
  • Roadworthy: Your car must have a valid MOT if it’s over three years old; no warning lights should be showing; and all its tyres must have the legal tyre tread depth.
  • Smoke-free: You’re not allowed to smoke in your car before or during your test. 
  • Be able to reach 62mph: Your car must be able to go slightly faster than the national speed limit on single carriageway roads (which is 60mph). 
  • Have four wheels: Cars will also have a maximum authorised mass of 3,500kg. 

Are some cars not allowed for the driving test? 

There are a few car models you can’t use for a driving test. That’s because they don’t provide the examiner with all-round vision from the passenger seat.  
They include: 

  • BMW Mini convertible 
  • Ford KA convertible 
  • Toyota iQ 
  • VW Beetle convertible 

If you’re planning to use any convertible car or panel van for your test, you should check with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) first.  

What are the downsides of using my own car for my driving test? 

If you’ve been learning in an instructor’s car and using your own car for extra practice, you may have picked up some bad habits that your instructor hasn’t noticed and corrected. This could go against you in your driving test.  
It’s also worth remembering that your own car won’t have dual controls. If you were to slip up at the wheel, you’d be the only one in control of the car.  

What insurance do I need to take my driving test in my own car? 

You’ll need to have valid insurance for the car you’re taking your test in. Learner driver insurance gives you cover to practise in a friend’s or family member’s vehicle while you learn. It should also cover you for a driving test, but make sure you check the terms and conditions before you book. 
If you’re only planning to drive with a professional driving instructor, or are taking your test through a driving school programme, you won’t need to worry about car insurance until after you pass your test.

Compare car insurance for learner drivers 

A good learner driver policy will provide you with cover for third party damage or injury, and protect you against vehicle fire and theft. Start comparing Learner Driver Insurance with Compare the Market today, to find the cover that’s right for you.  

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