Yes, you will usually use the same car that you used for driving lessons to take the driving test in. It’s important that you use a car that you’re familiar with on the driving test, so using the same car that you’ve been taking lessons in is ideal.
Although you’re perfectly entitled to use your own car, a friend’s car or hire a car for the test if you prefer (providing that the car complies with the DVSA’s guidelines – see Can You Sit the Driving Test in your Own Car?), familiarity with the car that you’ll be driving on the test will help significantly.
Do You have to Pay to use Your Driving Instructor’s Car?
Yes, the driving instructor will charge you to use their car for the test. How much they charge depends on the driving instructor, but the typical rate is the price of a two hour driving lesson. The cost of this is worked out in the following way:
- 1 hour practice and drive to the test centre
- 40 minutes use of the car for the practical driving test
- 20 minutes to discuss the outcome of the test and drive home
This may seem expensive, but you need to consider that this is two hours that the instructor could otherwise be teaching and earning. To reduce the cost, you could ask your instructor if they can meet you at the test centre at the scheduled test appointment time and you can hire the car for one hour. However, this isn’t recommended as it’s usually beneficial in practicing for a short time prior to the test.
I’ve been having lessons with an Instructor, but they can’t make the Driving Test
You don’t need a driving instructor to take a driving test, but if you’ve been having lesson in their car, you’ll find the test a little easier if you can use the same car for the driving test.
Some learners book the driving test themselves, then find that their instructor is already booked at that time, so can’t make the driving test. Therefore it can work out beneficial to let the instructor book the test on your behalf. If the driving instructor cannot make your test after booking it yourself, it may be worth rescheduling the test so that you can use their car as you’re familiar with it.
Benefits of using a Driving Instructor’s Car for the Test
Driving instructors take out special insurance that covers all candidates on their test. If you use your own car or a friend’s car, you’ll need to ensure you have specific learner driver insurance that also covers the test.
Another benefit of using a driving instructor’s car is that they’re all fitted with dual controls. Dual controls aren’t a DVSA requirement for private cars, but if you were to hire a vehicle from a car rental company, a requirement is that it must have dual controls.
Can I hire a Driving Instructor’s Car if I’ve Never had Lessons with them?
This depends on the instructor as some are happy to hire you their car without first assessing the standard of your driving, while other instructors require an initial lesson to ensure you’re up to test standard before hiring you their vehicle. Certain instructors prefer not to hire out their tuition car to any test candidates that they’re unfamiliar with.