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 Apr 16th, 2021

During the year of lockdown due to COVID-19, learner drivers have been keeping an eagle eye out for when driving tests will recommence – particularly as 48% of learner drivers have had their test cancelled one or more times since March 2020!* Finally, there is light at the end of the very gloomy tunnel and driving tests resume in England and Wales on 22nd April, and from the 6th May in Scotland at the earliest. This article is all about what it will be like to take a driving test once you're able, as there's a few things that will differ now we're heading out of lockdown. Keep reading below to see what your driving test will entail. Also you can check out our guide here on how to book a driving test.

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 driving test - coronavirus

  • Currently those in England, Scotland, and Wales are able to book their driving test for when tests resume. They resume on the 22nd April in England and Wales, and from the 6th May at the earliest in Scotland
  • Driving lessons and tests in Northern Ireland will resume on Friday 23rd April
  • Remember, you need you have passed your theory test before taking your practical driving test
  • 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 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

  • Currently, you can book a driving test in England & Wales to take place on or after the 22nd April, Scotland from the 26th April, and Northern Ireland from the 23rd April

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!
semi-circlesemi-circle
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!


Related Blogs


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!

When will I pass my driving test?

Want to know the perfect time and place to book your driving test? Check out our Pass Probability Calculator and let it figure it out for you.

Win a Brand New Car!

Sign up to our newsletter for a chance to win a brand new car!

Become a Marmalade blogger!

Get involved, share your stories and earn shopping vouchers