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Can you take your driving test in your own car?

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

November 9, 2020

Driving test Learning to drive Owning a car 6 min read

Whilst lots of people decide to use their driving instructor’s car on their test, there is nothing stopping you from using your own car to take your driving test. If you’ve got your own set of wheels, or you’re using a friends or family member’s car for extra driving practice outside of your lessons, you may find that you lean towards this car over your instructor’s car! If you are looking to use your own car for your driving test, there are a few rules that it will need to meet. We’ve also pointed out a few things to keep in mind before deciding which car to take with you on your test!

Coronavirus update:

As well as all the rules you need to stick to below to take the driving test in your own car, due to COVID-19 – there’s a few additional ones you need to be aware of. 

  • Do you arrive for your driving test more than 5 minutes before your appointment time 
  • There is no waiting room – but toilets are open! 
  • You must clean the inside for your car before the test including: 
    – Tidying any unnecessary items away from the dashboard, footwells, door pockets, cup holders and seats 
    – Wiping down the dashboard and car controls

The examiner will also do some additional cleaning of the surfaces before the test starts. You also need to be aware that two windows in the car will need to be open (any combination of windows is fine i.e both front, one front one back etc). Make sure you dress appropriately, because it’s probably going to get a bit chilly in the car on your test! 

To take your own car on your driving test, you will need to make sure it is:

  • Taxed
  • Insured for a driving test. You will need to check this with your insurance company! You will have to sign a declaration at the beginning of your test stating that your insurance covers you for your test.
  • Roadworthy and have a valid MOT certificate if it is over 3 years old.
  • Have no warning lights showing.
  • Have no tyre damage, and have the legal tread depth (You can’t have a space-saver spare tyre fitted).
  • Smoke-Free. No smoking in your car before or during your test!
  • Be able to reach at least 62 mph, and have a mph speedometer.
  • Have 4 wheels! (No Reliant Robins I’m afraid)

via GIPHY

Unfortunately, there are some cars that you cannot take your test in! These are:

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

There are also some cars that have been affected by faults and recalled. If you have one of these, you will need to have proof that work has been carried out on your car so it is safe to drive (this can be a receipt for the work taken place). You can find the full list of recalled cars on the Gov website.

You will also need to add some extra measures to your car to make sure you can use it for your test. We’ve listed this below – but we would also recommend checking with your local test centre to be doubly sure your car meets the requirements!

  • An extra interior rear-view mirror must be added for the examiner
  • L Plates (obviously)
  • A passenger seatbelt and proper head restraint for the examiner!
  • Remove or turn off any in-car cameras that record audio

Which car to choose?

For those who have had driving lessons as well as private practice, you’re probably used to driving two very different cars. Of course, it’s up to you which one you use on the test (providing they both meet the above criteria) but there are a few things to think about before deciding.

via GIPHY

Which have you practised the most in?

You may have a preference of which car you want to use, but which one do you know the best? If you’re used to and confident in one over the other, it may be a good idea to use this one on test day!

Manoeuvres

Whichever car you choose, you should be confident with your manoeuvres in it. This means knowing the reference points of your reversing manoeuvres in this car – as they will differ depending on what you’re driving!

Getting home

You need to make sure that whichever car you take your test in, you’re able to get home again when you pass! Once you’ve passed your test you may no longer be insured if you only hold a provisional insurance policy, so you may need someone to get you home until you can sort new insurance out!


Whether you take your test in your own car or your instructors, we wish you all the luck in your test!

Chloe Martell profile

By Chloe Martell

'As a new driver, I'm so eager to share my driving journey with you all - from when I was a learner, going through my test and all the aspects of my driving life now, including my love of cars!'  See more posts by Chloe

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