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Learning to drive

Can I take the practical test in my own car?

It makes TOTAL sense to practise and take your driving test in the car you're going to be driving afterwards. Very smart.

What's a bit harder to get your head around is the rules. If you're intending to take your driving test in your own car, there's a whole list of things you need to check before you turn up.

Car insurance for taking the driving test in your own car

When you buy insurance as a learner driver, you'd probably assume the insurer would cover your driving test, too. Most will but you'll need to ring up to check, just in case.

What happens to your learner insurance when you pass your test

BIG LOUD KLAXON: you're ONLY covered to drive the car as a learner until you pass your test. The minute you pass, you're not a learner anymore and you can't drive until your insurance is updated.

Although it may only take a few minutes to get your insurance updated, it's not wise to drive right after your test anyway. Your instructor or parent can drive the car home as long as their insurance lets them drive other cars.

Get a quote for learning in your own car - with 21% off your insurance if you drive well!

Car insurance for taking the driving test in someone else's car

Just because the car's insured for your mum or dad, doesn't mean you're covered.

You can either get your own learner insurance policy that covers you whenever you're driving the car or get yourself added to their insurance policy as an additional driver. Having your own cover is great for the car owner as it means their insurance and no claims discount isn't affected if you need to make a claim.

If you buy learner cover with ingenie you'll be covered for taking your test in that car as well as for practising. Just remember if you pass you can't drive home afterwards as you'll no longer be a learner and won't be covered!

More about learning in another car - get a quick quote!
Getting your own learner insurance is often cheaper than being a named driver on Mum or Dad's

Check your car is suitable for the driving test

To be in driving test condition, the car must:

  • Have 4 wheels - no Reliant Robins!
  • Be roadworthy and have a current MOT
  • Be properly insured for a driving test (ring your insurer) and have a valid tax
  • Be checked and fixed if you know of any safety faults
  • Be able to reach at least 62mph
  • Have a speedometer measuring speed in mph
  • Have no warning lights showing - for example, the airbag warning light
  • Have L-plates (D-plates in Wales) on the front and rear
  • Have a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500 kilograms - check the owner's manual

To be safe for an examiner, your chosen car must:

  • Have a seatbelt for the examiner
  • Have an interior rear-view mirror for the examiner (you can get these in shops like Halfords)
  • Have a proper passenger headrest
  • Be a smoke-free environment - no last-minute cigarette before your test!

If your car isn't suitable, you'll have to rebook your test. Get more information on GOV.UK.


28 Responses

  1. ingenie says:

    Hi Danni,

    Sorry we missed you! That was actually my first car (love it) but unfortunately, we don’t insure convertibles. Sorry!


  2. ingenie says:

    Hey Lara – Connecticut? I’m afraid I’m in the UK so I can’t advise you 🙁

  3. ingenie says:

    Hi there – in the UK you can take your test in any car as long as it’s safe and meets the rules in this article. Good luck!

  4. Christopher Mazhindu says:

    hi I have a Daihatsu Sirion 2006 is it suitable for a driving test

  5. Soniah Lilley says:

    How do we know if the insurance we have covers the test?

    • ingenie says:

      Hey Soniah,

      If you have insurance on the car with your provisional licence, you’ll probably be covered – but give your insurer a ring to check the details. You’ll also need to call them straight after if you pass, BEFORE you drive the car.

      Good luck!


  6. Aminah says:

    i have toyota carolla do i drive up on my own to the test centre as a provisional holder or take my dad with me or someone who holds a licence over 3 years how does it work and also the insurance is not on my name and its my husbands car?

    • ingenie says:

      Hi Aminah,

      If you’re driving the car, you must be insured on it – either with your own learner insurance or as an additional driver on your husband’s policy.

      For your test, you’ll need to take someone with you who is insured on the car (and has been driving more than 2 years) because if you pass, you’ll no longer be insured to get home again! You have to call your insurer to tell them you’ve passed before you can drive.

      It’s also a bad idea to drive back from a test because you’ll be quite shaky whether you pass or not.

      Good luck!


  7. Jack Pearlman says:

    I have a mark 5 golf with alloys and tinted windows, these came with the car. Any ideas?

    • ingenie says:

      Hey Jack,

      Try to find the original spec for your car online. If you can’t, you can contact Volkswagen to ask them what came with the car as standard and as an optional extra. I’d say the alloys are unlikely to have been an optional factory extra and would have been added after.

      You can email us at if you need some more help.


  8. Ognen Velkovski says:

    I already have a license from another country and i can rent a car with that one but i want to take the driving test for the UK driving license. Can i go by myself? Also i read somewhere that the car needs to have dual controls?

    • ingenie says:

      Hi Ognen,

      You can take your test in any car but you have to have insurance for it. I’m not sure if rental companies let you use their cars for driving tests – I’d probably assume not.

      The car you use doesn’t need to have dual controls but you’d need provisional insurance on it. You wouldn’t be able to then drive it home because you’ll have passed your test and so need to update the insurance. Taking someone with you is a good bet but their insurance will need to cover them to drive the car.

      Hope that helps!


      • Nicolae Odagiu says:

        What if I drive my own car with a foreign license and I’m insured? Any restrictions? Do I still have to make another insurance for the test and put L plates?

        • ingenie says:

          Hi Nicolae,

          Your insurance will need to be for you as a UK provisional licence holder. Make sure you tick off everything in this article so you’re car is OK for the test.

          Good luck!


  9. ingenie says:

    Hey Angela, do you mean with ingenie insurance? Email us at and we’ll go through it with you.



  10. Danny mullan says:

    Hi am doing my test in my own car it’s a brand new car so I will not receive the log book for 6 weeks it it still ok for me to do my practical test

  11. ingenie says:

    Hi Nadine,

    That’s not correct. You wouldn’t need dual control to take your test in your own car, however if you have insurance with us under a provisional licence we can check if your insurance covers you to do this. Just send us an email to


  12. Redany Amaya says:

    Could I go with a car with Virginia tags? I’m doin the test in Frederick Maryland. Thank you 🙂

  13. Franklin says:

    I’ve got my test coming up. Can I use my own car Ford Focus 2004 and I have insurance in the car.

    • ingenie says:

      Hey Franklin,

      As long as your car complies with the rules in this post, you’re good to go. RE: your insurance, just give your insurer a ring to make sure you’re OK to use your car for the test.

      One thing to be very careful of: the minute you pass your test, you won’t be insured as a learner anymore. You have to update your insurance (5 minutes on the phone) before you drive.

      Good luck!


  14. Theresa says:

    i have a range rover evoque and that is the car i learnt in and will driver after passing. is this suitable?

    • ingenie says:

      Hi Theresa,

      To check if your car is OK for the test, look in your owner’s manual for its MAM (weight, basically). If it’s under 3,500 kg and it meets all the other requirements in this article, you’re OK. Just make sure your insurance covers you to take the test and bear in mind the minute you pass you won’t be insured as a learner anymore.

      Good luck!


  15. Zoe G says:

    Hi I would like to take my citron Picasso and I wondered if that’s ok to go in as this is the main car that I be learning to drive without my driving instructor.