How to use your own car for a driving test

Lesson Type
Last updated: 12 Nov 2019

Most people take their driving test in their driving instructor’s car, but there is no rule to stop you using your own car for a driving test. The important thing is that you're familiar with the car you're driving, so you may well want to use the same car you use in your driving lessons. Either way, the vehicle must meet a set of strictly-enforced rules.

One of the first things to remember is the fact that you will not get a manual driving licence if you pass your test in an automatic vehicle. As far as the good people at the DVSA are concerned, a manual vehicle is anything with three pedals – accelerator, brake and clutch. Anything with two pedals is automatic.

The rules for using your own car for a driving test

Your vehicle must:

  • Have four wheels.
  • Be capable of reaching speeds of at least 62.5mph.
  • Be fitted with a speedometer that measures speed in mph.
  • Have no warning lights illuminated (like the check engine light).
  • Display L-plates (or D-plates in Wales) on the front and back without obstructing the examiner’s or your own view.
  • Have a max authorised mass/gross vehicle weight of 3500kg.

By law, your vehicle requires:

  • Insurance.
  • A properly-displayed and valid tax disc.
  • A current MOT (if applicable).
  • The vehicle should also be a smoke-free environment.

The vehicle must be fitted with the following for the examiner:

  • A seatbelt.
  • A passenger head restraint that forms an integral part of the seat.
  • An interior rear view mirror.

You may use a hire car for your test if:

  • It’s fitted with dual controls.
  • It meets all of the rules stated above.
  • If it has been subject to a recall and the work required has not been carried out. More information is available on

You may not use the following vehicles:

  • Most convertibles
  • Panel vans
  • BMW Mini convertible
  • Ford KA convertible
  • Toyota IQ
  • VW Beetle convertible

If your vehicle doesn’t meet the above rules then your test will be cancelled and you will lose your fee.