When should I book my driving test?

Lesson Type
Last updated: 12 Nov 2019

When should I book my driving test? It’s a question that every learner driver asks. After all, nobody wants to keep their L-plates on forever.

Learning to drive cost-effectively isn't just about finding cheap driving lessons. It's also about finding a driving instructor who can help you pass your driving test quickly. Fewer driving lessons means saving both time and money!

The DVSA say that the average person requires at least 47 hours of professional tuition and 22 hours of independent practise with an appropriate supervisor before they’re ready for their test.

Presuming you do your driving lessons in 2-hour blocks, 47 hours is 23 lessons with an hour saved for practice time before your test. This will be more than enough for some people, nowhere near enough for others. Basically, you can’t really rely on averages when it comes to something as important as learning to drive.

A far better indicator of when you’re ready to book your test is how much input your driving instructors have during your driving lessons. If they’re still correcting you regularly and guiding you through manoeuvres, you’re not ready. If your instructor’s only real input during your lessons is telling you where to go and what to do, rather than how to do it, then you’re probably ready to sit your test.

Presuming you’ve already passed your theory test, booking your practical test is an easy process. Just visit the DVSA’s site (which only works between 6am and midnight for some mysterious reason) and enter your details.

Is there a best time to book my driving test?

Pass rates remain pretty consistent throughout the year, but the graph below shows a pretty interesting trend: there’s a slight uplift in pass rates in high summer and at Christmas time. I call this ‘the cheerful examiner effect’. When the weather is glorious or there’s a stack of presents under the Christmas tree, its hard to be mean and maybe (this is pure speculation) this leads to instructors being ever-so-slightly more lenient when it comes to failing people/assigning faults.

Taking your test during a cheerful examiner period gives, on average, a one percent boost to your chances of passing.

best time to book my driving test