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Learning to drive

Can I take the practical test in my own car?

You can take your practical test in any car you like as long as it doesn't break any of the rules. It could be a parent's car, the car you learned to drive in with your instructor, or the car you'll be driving once you've passed.

However, you must check your insurance company covers your test. You'll also need to take along your driving partner for after the test - you may have passed but you're not insured as a qualified driver.

Is my car suitable for the test?

To be in test condition, your chosen car must:

  • have 4 wheels - no Reliant Robins!
  • be roadworthy and have a current MOT
  • be properly insured and have a valid tax disc
  • be checked and fixed if you know of any safety faults
  • be able to reach at least 62mph
  • have a speedometer measuring speed in mph
  • have no warning lights showing - for example, the airbag warning light
  • have L-plates (D-plates in Wales) on the front and rear
  • have a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500 kilograms - as an example, a Vauxhall Corsa weighs less than half that

To be safe for an examiner, your chosen car must:

  • have a seatbelt for the examiner
  • have an interior rear-view mirror for the examiner (you can get these in shops like Halfords)
  • have a proper passenger headrest
  • be a smoke-free environment - no last-minute cigarette before your test!

If your car isn't suitable, you will have to rebook your test.
Get more information on GOV.UK.


By

Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .

  • Hi Danni,

    Sorry we missed you! That was actually my first car (love it) but unfortunately, we don’t insure convertibles. Sorry!

    Honor

  • Hey Lara – Connecticut? I’m afraid I’m in the UK so I can’t advise you 🙁

  • Hi there – in the UK you can take your test in any car as long as it’s safe and meets the rules in this article. Good luck!

  • Christopher Mazhindu

    hi I have a Daihatsu Sirion 2006 is it suitable for a driving test

    • Hi Christopher,

      It just had to reach the standards in the list on this page and you’re OK.

      Thanks,

      Honor

  • Soniah Lilley

    How do we know if the insurance we have covers the test?

    • Hey Soniah,

      If you have insurance on the car with your provisional licence, you’ll probably be covered – but give your insurer a ring to check the details. You’ll also need to call them straight after if you pass, BEFORE you drive the car.

      Good luck!

      Honor

  • Aminah

    i have toyota carolla do i drive up on my own to the test centre as a provisional holder or take my dad with me or someone who holds a licence over 3 years how does it work and also the insurance is not on my name and its my husbands car?

    • Hi Aminah,

      If you’re driving the car, you must be insured on it – either with your own learner insurance or as an additional driver on your husband’s policy.

      For your test, you’ll need to take someone with you who is insured on the car (and has been driving more than 2 years) because if you pass, you’ll no longer be insured to get home again! You have to call your insurer to tell them you’ve passed before you can drive.

      It’s also a bad idea to drive back from a test because you’ll be quite shaky whether you pass or not.

      Good luck!

      Honor

  • Jack Pearlman

    I have a mark 5 golf with alloys and tinted windows, these came with the car. Any ideas?

  • Ognen Velkovski

    I already have a license from another country and i can rent a car with that one but i want to take the driving test for the UK driving license. Can i go by myself? Also i read somewhere that the car needs to have dual controls?

    • Hi Ognen,

      You can take your test in any car but you have to have insurance for it. I’m not sure if rental companies let you use their cars for driving tests – I’d probably assume not.

      The car you use doesn’t need to have dual controls but you’d need provisional insurance on it. You wouldn’t be able to then drive it home because you’ll have passed your test and so need to update the insurance. Taking someone with you is a good bet but their insurance will need to cover them to drive the car.

      Hope that helps!

      Honor