Taking a driving test after coronavirus lockdown

Here's everything you need to know about booking and taking your theory or practical driving test after the coronavirus lockdown.


Alex avatar

By Alex Johnson

Updated on Dec 21st, 2020

During COVID-19 Learner drivers will have been keeping an eagle eye out for when driving tests will recommence – particularly as many candidates have had their test cancelled one or more times since March! As regional lockdowns continue to be on and off, it can be pretty confusing to know when you can take a test, the best way to know is to keep up to date with the news and restrictions of your local area. You can find more information on this here. Also you can check out our guide on how to book a driving test.

This article is all about what it will be like to take a driving test after lockdown. Undoubtedly, there's been a huge backlog of candidates, so many test centres will be operating extended hours in order to deal with the volume of demand. We’re sure you’ll have some burning questions about what this will mean to provisional licence holders who are looking to take their practical driving test or theory test soon.

Booking a practical driving test - coronavirus

  • Currently those in England, Scotland, and Wales are able to book and take their driving test - however this does depend on location restrictions so it's always best to check your local guidelines before trying to book
  • Restrictions in Northern Ireland mean no tests are taking place between 27th November and 10th December
  • Remember, you need you have passed your theory test before taking your practical.
  • Anyone who had a driving test cancelled during COVID-19 lockdown will have had an email from the DVSA with instructions on how to rebook. If you haven't rescheduled a test you have already paid for, get in touch with the DVSA to discuss this.

Taking a practical driving test - coronavirus

Things will be a little different from what it was like to take a driving test before COVID-19, so we’ve highlighted what you can expect on the day:

  • The DVSA has introduced social distancing and safety precautions, including:
    • Limiting the number of people arriving at the test centre at the same time
    • Closing the waiting room and toilet facilities (although you will be able to use the toilet if you have a disability or medical condition, or you’re pregnant)
    • PPE for examiners and staff
  • You will be expected to turn up no more than 5 minutes before your appointment and you will be expected to wear a face mask (unless you have a good reason not to). You will be asked to remove the mask briefly while they check your ID.
  • You won’t be able to have your driving instructor or supervisor sit in the back of the car during the test.
  • At the end of the test, you and the examiner will get out of the car and they will share the result and feedback outside.
  • If you make a serious fault during the test that would cause you to fail, the examiner will end the test early, so as to minimise the time spent in the car.
  • You must not come for your test, and must self-isolate if:
    • you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms
    • you’ve been told by the NHS Test and Trace service that you’ve been in contact with a person who has coronavirus
    • you have entered or returned to the UK in the last 14 days, except in very limited situations

If this is the case you will be able to change your driving test date free of charge, even at late notice.

Read full details on Coronavirus and the driving test on the Government website.

Booking a theory test - coronavirus

  • Local restrictions across the UK will depend on if and when you can book a theory test, so check local guidelines to see if you can or not. Currently, you can book a driving test in England, Wales, and Scotland (depending on local restrictions). Restrictions in Northern Ireland mean you cannot book a test until after the two week circuit breaker taking place from 27th November - 10th December.

Taking the theory test - coronavirus

  • The DVSA has introduced social distancing and safety measures at test centres including spacing the computers, provision of hand sanitiser, staff PPE, and extra cleaning of the centre and equipment, etc.
  • You must come to the test centre alone and you will be asked to wear a mask (although you will be asked to remove it briefly whilst the staff check your ID).
  • You must not come for your test, and must self-isolate if:
    • you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms
    • you’ve been told by the NHS Test and Trace service that you’ve been in contact with a person who has coronavirus
    • you have entered or returned to the UK in the last 14 days, except in very limited situations

If this is the case you can change your theory test exam date free of charge, even at late notice.

Read full details on Coronavirus and the theory test on the Government website.

So, there you have it! Taking a driving or theory test at the best of times can be nerve-wracking, but at times like this, it can be more so if you don’t know what to expect. We hope you’ve found this guide useful. Now all you need to do is prepare for that magic pass – which you can do with private practice in a friend’s car or a family car with our Learner Driver Insurance!

Practice makes Perfect

Short term learner insurance allows you to practise in a parent's or friend's car and get test ready!

See how learner insurance can help you!

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Alex avatar

By Alex Johnson

I'm Alex, the Brand Manager here at Marmalade. My daughter is just starting to learn to drive - I'm excited and nervous at the same time!


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