How to book a driving test

There's lots of confusion as to when and how you can book a driving test in the UK at the moment - check out our guide for the answers to your questions!

Chloe Profile Picture

By Chloe Martell

Updated on Apr 16th, 2021

You’re finally feeling confident behind the wheel and your driving instructor is making positive noises about booking your driving test. Great news! If you’re a young driver in the UK, you’re probably wondering “How do I book my driving test?”. Well, fear not, we’ve got the ultimate guide.

At the moment the driving test differs throughout the UK – so we’ve highlighted what you can expect when booking a practical car driving test. We’ll keep this blog updated as and when things change until they’re back to normal.

In this blog we've also highlighted what you can expect when booking a driving test using the new queuing system put in place when you're able to get on and book.

When will driving tests start again?

You are now able to book a driving test in England, Scotland & Wales for when lockdown restrictions should be lifted.

In England and Wales, restrictions on Theory Tests were lifted on the 12th April, and Practical Tests on the 22nd April. In Scotland, Theory tests are likely to resume on the 26th April, and practical driving tests are likely to re-start on 6th May. In Northern Ireland, driving lessons and tests are resuming on the 23rd April.

For further information and advice for learners drivers during lockdown, please see our dedicated blog.

Can I book a driving test?

Currently drivers are unable to book a driving test - the following information is for when tests are resumed. We will keep this blog up to date with more information when we have it. 

Who can book a driving test?

Although there is huge demand for driving tests after the lockdown in the spring, fortunately, any learner driver (who is test ready) can book a driving test online in most parts of the UK once they are able to do so. 

Whether you’ve got your test booked, or you’re waiting to get one booked, getting insured on a family car for extra practice in the meantime could help you get prepped to pass first time when the date finally comes!

How do I book a driving test?

Booking a driving test is super simple and is all done online.

Before you start you’ll need:

  • UK driving licence number
  • Credit or debit card (the cost of the test is £62 on a weekday or £75 on a weekend), and your theory test reference number.
  • Your instructor’s personal reference number if you want to check they’re available, unless you’re choosing to take the test in your own car.

Remember – you’ll be required to wear a face covering for your test unless you have a valid reason not to, which must be stated when you apply for your test. Wearing glasses does not count as a valid reason.

The new driving test booking system

Due to overwhelming demand to book driving tests, there is a new booking system in place on the DVSA website. Here is what you can expect when booking your test:

  • Head to the GOV website to book your driving test
  • When you choose 'start now' on the booking page, you will be put into a queue
  • You must remain in the queue (not close your browser) or you will lose your place
  • When you're told it's your turn - you will have 10 minutes to start your booking
  • You will be shown driving test appointments within the next 6 weeks only, there is no waiting list or cancellation list - you can only book what you see online
  • If your local test centre is fully booked, you will be shown availability at your other nearest centre
  • All available appointments are shown online - the DVSA customer service centre does not have access to any other appointments

It is vital that you only book your test when you and your instructor feel you're ready to take it. Tests could be at short notice so it's important you feel confident in your driving ability to pass. The DVSA is only making appointments for tests within 6 weeks so they can react to any changes in government guidance about Coronavirus. New appointments will be available each week, on a rolling 6-week period.

What does the queue look like?

Here is what you can expect to see when you start your driving test booking – you will see how many people are ahead of you in the queue as well as information on what to do if you are timed out.

queue system driving test booking

Do I have to re-take my theory test if it expired during lockdown?

Unfortunately, if you’re a resident in England, Wales or Scotland, and your Theory Test Certificate expired during lockdown you will be required to pass the Theory Test again before you book a new driving test. However, for Northern Ireland residents, theory test certificates which were due to expire between March 1 and October 31 this year will be extended by eight months.

We’d recently petitioned for the extension of theory test certificates for those who have seen them expire during lockdown, after learning how much lockdown has cost learner drivers. The government announced they would not be extending any certificates so to help, we're giving you the money back for the cost of your theory test!

Can I book a Theory test?

The good news is that you can book your theory test if you’re a learner driver, and it can be done fairly painlessly online.

Theory tests are currently going ahead, depending on your local restrictions. If you have a theory test booked, you will be contacted should it not be going ahead.

How do I book my theory test?

Head over to the GOV. website to book your Theory Test online. To save yourself time, make sure you have the following to hand before you apply:

  • UK driving licence number
  • Email address – you have to book by phone if you do not have one
  • Credit or debit card

The cost of the Car Theory test is £23.

If you’re looking to get your practical or theory test booked in soon, we’ve written a guide to what to expect in the practical driving test or the theory driving test with the new COVID-19 rules to help you be prepared!

Practice makes Perfect

Short term learner insurance allows you to practise in a parent's or friend's car and get test ready!
Get a quote in seconds and get covered in minutes - with no risk to the car owner's No Claims Discount
Chloe Profile Picture

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!

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