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Learning to drive

Can I take the practical test in my own car?

It makes TOTAL sense to practise and take your driving test in the car you're going to be driving afterwards. Very smart.

What's a bit harder to get your head around is the rules. If you're intending to take your driving test in your own car, there's a whole list of things you need to check before you turn up.

Car insurance for taking the driving test in your own car

When you buy insurance as a learner driver, you'd probably assume the insurer would cover your driving test, too. Most will but you'll need to ring up to check, just in case.

What happens to your learner insurance when you pass your test

BIG LOUD KLAXON: you're ONLY covered to drive the car as a learner until you pass your test. The minute you pass, you're not a learner anymore and you can't drive until your insurance is updated.

Although it may only take a few minutes to get your insurance updated, it's not wise to drive right after your test anyway. Your instructor or parent can drive the car home as long as their insurance lets them drive other cars.

Get a quote for learning in your own car - with 21% off your insurance if you drive well!

Car insurance for taking the driving test in someone else's car

Just because the car's insured for your mum or dad, doesn't mean you're covered.

You can either get your own learner insurance policy that covers you whenever you're driving the car or get yourself added to their insurance policy as an additional driver. Having your own cover is great for the car owner as it means their insurance and no claims discount isn't affected if you need to make a claim.

If you buy learner cover with ingenie you'll be covered for taking your test in that car as well as for practising. Just remember if you pass you can't drive home afterwards as you'll no longer be a learner and won't be covered!

More about learning in another car - get a quick quote!
Getting your own learner insurance is often cheaper than being a named driver on Mum or Dad's

Check your car is suitable for the driving test

To be in driving test condition, the car must:

  • Have 4 wheels - no Reliant Robins!
  • Be roadworthy and have a current MOT
  • Be properly insured for a driving test (ring your insurer) and have a valid tax
  • 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 - check the owner's manual

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'll have to rebook your test. Get more information on GOV.UK.