Approved driving instructor (ADI) part 3 test

3. Rules for the car you use

The car you use must:

  • be taxed, insured and have a valid MOT if it needs one
  • be a saloon, hatchback or estate car with a rigid roof
  • be in a roadworthy and clean condition
  • have working seat belts
  • have right-hand drive
  • have an easily adjustable driving seat
  • have a forward-facing front passenger seat
  • have head restraints for both front seats
  • have an internal rear-view mirror that the examiner can use when sitting in the driving seat
  • not be fitted with any ‘space saver’ tyres
  • be fitted with L-plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear

Your test will be cancelled and you’ll lose your fee if your car doesn’t meet the rules.

Manual and automatic cars

You can take the test in either a manual or automatic car if you have a manual licence.

You must take the test in an automatic car if you have an automatic licence. You’ll only be able to train people in an automatic car when you’ve qualified.


The examiner will be driving your car, so the car insurance must cover:

  • the examiner’s liability for all third-party and damage risks
  • liability to all passengers
  • any Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) examiner

DVSA will not normally give out personal information for your insurance. In rare situations, on the day of the test the examiner will:

  • give you their full name
  • confirm they are over 25 years old

DVSA isn’t responsible for risks that aren’t covered by insurance, eg the loss of any no claims bonus.