7. Using your own car for your test

You can take your driving test in your own car rather than your driving instructor’s if it meets certain rules.

Your test will be cancelled and you’ll have to pay again if your car doesn’t meet the rules.

Rules about the car

Your car must:

  • be taxed
  • be insured for a driving test (check with your insurance company)
  • be roadworthy and have a current MOT (if it’s over 3 years old)
  • have no warning lights showing, for example, the airbag warning light
  • have no tyre damage and the legal tread depth on each tyre - you can’t have a space-saver spare tyre fitted
  • be smoke-free - this means you can’t smoke in it just before or during the test
  • be able to reach at least 62mph and have an mph speedometer
  • have 4 wheels and a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500 kg

The MAM is the limit on how much the car can weigh when it’s loaded. It’ll be in the car’s handbook.

Things that must be fitted

The car must have:

  • an extra interior rear-view mirror for the examiner
  • L-plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear
  • a passenger seatbelt for the examiner and a proper passenger head restraint (not a slip-on type)

Manual and automatic cars

You can take the test in a:

  • manual car - these have 3 pedals
  • automatic or semi-automatic car - these have 2 pedals

You’ll only be able to drive automatic or semi-automatic cars if you take your test in one.

Hire cars

You can take your test in a hire car if it’s fitted with dual controls and meets all the other rules.

Vehicle features

You can use a car with:

  • an electronic parking brake
  • hill-start assist

Cars you can’t use

Some cars can’t be used in the test because they don’t give the examiner all-round vision.

You can’t use any of the following:

  • BMW Mini convertible
  • Ford KA convertible
  • Toyota iQ
  • VW Beetle convertible

Check with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) before you book your test if you want to use a:

  • convertible car
  • panel van

DVSA driving test enquiries
customerservices@dvsa.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 200 1122
Monday to Friday, 8am to midday
Find out about call charges

Cars with known safety faults

You can’t use one of the cars shown in the table unless you have proof that it’s safe. This is because these cars have been recalled for a safety reason.

You must bring the proof that it’s safe with you when you take your test.

Model Reason for recall Vehicles affected Recall issue date
Citroen C1 Steering failure Build dates between 09/09/2014 and 15/10/2014, with vehicle identification numbers (VINs) between wF7xxxxxxER516105 and VF7xxxxxxER523367 28 June 2016
Peugeot 108 Steering failure Build dates between 09/06/2014 and 15/10/2014 , with VINs between VF3xxxxxxER256527 and F3xxxxxxER017078 28 June 2016
Toyota Aygo Steering failure Build dates between 09/09/2014 and 15/10/2014, with VINs between JTDJGNEC#0N022080 and 0N026438, JTDJPNEC#0N002099 and 0N002100, JTDKGNEC#0N022186 and 0N031372, and JTDKPNEC#0N002083 and 0N002102 28 June 2016
Toyota Yaris Potentially defective seat rail track and/or steering column mounting Some models built between Jun 2005 and May 2010 (‘05’ to ‘10’ registration plates) 9 Apr 2014
Vauxhall Corsa, Corsavan and ADAM Potential steering problem Some models built from 6 Feb 2014 29 Sept 2014

Proof you need to bring to your test

You must bring proof that says one of the following:

  • the car was recalled and the recall work has been done
  • the car was recalled but didn’t need any work to be done
  • the car wasn’t part of the recall

The proof must be either:

  • the recall letter or safety notice, stamped by the manufacturer or dealer
  • on official or headed notepaper from the manufacturer or a dealer

Your test will be cancelled and you could lose your fee if you don’t bring the right proof.