You’re ready to book your driving test when you’re able to drive consistently to a high standard, whenever you get behind the wheel. Congratulations if you have reached this point, we’ve written this guide just for you. This guide has everything you need to know about booking, changing and managing your driving test. In this guide you will learn;
- When to book your driving test
- How to book your driving test
- Frequently asked questions about the booking process
When should you book your driving test
Legally you must pass the driving theory test before you can book a practical driving test. If you haven’t passed the theory test, you won’t be able to book a driving test. If you have passed the theory test, we recommend you book your driving test once you have done each of the following;
Ticked every box in driver’s record
You can measure your driving ability, using the DVSA’s driver’s record progress sheet. The progress sheet lists each of the essential skills that make up the DVSA’s driving syllabus. Your driving instructor will measure your progress in each area, grading you from 1 to 5 based on the level of intervention required.
The DVSA recommend you book a driving test, only when you’ve received a 5 for each of the essential skill listed in the driver’s record.
Passed your mock driving test with less than five driver faults
You can make up to 15 driver faults and still pass your driving test. In 2012/13, the average number of driver faults made on tests that resulted in a pass was 5.2. We recommend you only book a driving test, once you’re able to pass a mock driving test with five or fewer driving faults.
When your driving instructor feels you are ready
Trust the advice of your driving instructor, as they will be the best judge of your driving ability and your chances of passing the driving test. They will only suggest you book a driving test, once your driving has reached the required standard needed to pass.
You will be encouraged to book your driving test, once you’re able to drive safely and consistently, without prompts or intervention from your instructor. If you’re unable to do this each time you get behind the wheel, you’re not ready to book a driving test.
Who should book your driving test
If your driving is at the required standard, you need to think about who will book the driving test. You have two options here. Either you book the driving test yourself, or your driving instructor books the test on your behalf. There are a few things to think about when considering which option to take.
Booking the test yourself
If you are booking a driving test without your instructor, you must make sure they’ll be available at the time of your test. If they’re unavailable, you will have to make alternative arrangements. Hiring a driving test vehicle can be difficult and expensive at short notice.
Letting your driving instructor book your driving test
Registered ADI’s, also known as approved driving instructors, are allowed to book driving tests on behalf of their students. If you allow your driving instructor to book a driving test on your behalf, nine times out of ten, they should be available on your test date.
It’s also a good sign if your instructor agrees to book a driving test for you. In most cases, it means they feel you are close to or already at test standard.
There are, however, a few things to consider if you intend on letting your driving instructor book your driving test.
If you let your instructor book your driving test, it could put pressure on you to complete your training with them. If they book the test in advance of you reaching the required standard – this happens a lot in areas where driving test waiting times are quite high – you may feel compelled to continue learning to drive with them, even if you’d like to change instructors.
Your driving instructor might also wait till you reach an impeccable standard of driving, before agreeing to book your driving test. If this happens, it could significantly increase your chances of passing, but it could end up costing you a lot of time and money.
Ideally, the decision on when to book your driving test should be made collaboratively, between you and your driving instructor. They should take into account your objectives, and you should take into account their assessment of your current driving ability.
Note: If you want your driving instructor to book a driving test on your behalf, we recommend paying by cheque or postal order, instead of giving them cash. A cheque or postal order made out to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will reduce any misunderstandings around payment for the test.
How much does a driving test cost
In England, Scotland and Wales, the practical car driving test costs £62 on weekdays and £75 on evenings, weekends and bank holidays.
An evening test is any driving test taken after 4:30pm.
In Northern Ireland, the car driving test costs £45.50p on weekdays and £62.50p on evenings and weekends.
Practical driving test costs
|Type of Driving Test||Daytime Cost||Weekend Cost|
|Car and Trailer||£115||£141|
|Extended Driving Test – Car||£124||£150|
Book Your Driving Test
Once you’ve passed your theory test and your standard of driving has reached the required level, it’s time to book your practical driving test. The DVSA allow you to book a driving test online or over the phone.
What do you need to book a driving test?
Below we’ve listed things you need to book a driving test. These items are required, irrespective of the method you use to book your driving test.
To book your practical test you’ll need;
- Your theory test pass certificate number
- Your driving licence number
- Your credit or debit card details
Do you always need your theory test pass certificate?
If you’re booking the standard car practical driving test, you must have your theory test pass certificate number to hand. You won’t be able to book your driving test without this number.
If you hold an automatic driving license and you’d like to upgrade to a manual driving licence, you do not need your theory test pass certificate number when booking your driving test.
How to book your driving test online
- Visit https://www.gov.uk/book-driving-test
- Choose the type of driving test you want to take
- Enter your driving licence details
- Choose a date for your driving test
- Choose a driving test centre
- Choose a time for your driving test
- Enter your contact details
- Enter payment details
- Confirm details and book driving test
You can book your driving test online using the DVSA’s test booking service. The service is available from 6:00am to 11:40pm. If you plan on booking your driving test using the DVSA’s website, follow the steps outlined below;
To book your driving test online, visit https://www.gov.uk/book-driving-test and read through the instructions on the page. Once complete, click the start now button.
On the next page, choose which type of driving test you would like to book. You can choose from the following options;
- Car (manual and automatic)
- Car and trailer
If you’re booking the standard car driving test, select the first option.
You will need to enter your driving licence details in this step. We recommend you have your provisional driving licence to hand.
In the first field, you need to enter your 16 digit driving licence number. You can find your driving licence number on the 5th row of your driving licence. When entering this number, do not include the last two digits. You must enter the number correctly to secure your driving test booking.
Next, you’re required to state whether the courts have ordered you to take an extended driving test. Disqualified drivers are required to book an extended driving test when reapplying for their driving licence. The extended test is longer – as the name suggests – and more expensive too. If you haven’t been ordered by the courts to take an extended driving test, select no, if you have, select yes.
Finally, you will need to disclose any special requirements you might have. A special requirement could be any of the following;
- A disability
- A condition
- Hearing difficulty
- Restricted movement
- An examiner that speaks Welsh
The DVSA state that all candidates will take the same driving test. Irrespective of any disability or special requirement you might have. If you do have a disability, you will have more time to complete the driving test. Your driving examiner will spend the extra time discussing your disability and any adaptations fitted to your vehicle.
During the driving test, you must complete a period of independent driving. If you have reading or learning difficulties, your driving examiner will discuss your options for completing this part of the test.
If you are deaf or you have hearing difficulties you are allowed to bring a signer with you. The individual accompanying you must be 16 years or over.
The first field in this section requires you to choose a preferred date for your driving test. At a later point in the test booking process, you will be shown all the test appointments around your selected date. Enter a date and move onto the next field.
Next, you have the option of entering your driving instructor’s reference number. It’s optional, but we do recommend you include the reference if you have it to hand. Doing so can prevent you from choosing a date your instructor will be unable to attend.
A double-booking of this nature could occur if your driving instructor has agreed to attend the driving test of another candidate, who’s test happens to be at the same time as yours. If the other candidate has included your instructor’s reference number and you’ve done the same, the system will alert you to the potential double-booking.
Note: Don’t assume your driving instructor will be available on your test date. Even if the booking system doesn’t flag a potential double-booking, there still could be a conflict. Many learner drivers book their driving test without entering their driving instructor’s reference number. As a result, you could still double-book your driving instructor without knowing. Always check with your driving instructor if they will be available at the time and date of your driving test.
The next step in the process requires you to choose a driving test centre. To see a list of test centres in a particular location, enter a postcode, town or city. You can also search using the name of the driving test centre. When booking a driving test, you can only choose one test centre.
Once you have chosen your driving test centre, a calendar will come into view. The calendar will display all available and unavailable dates. If there are no available test appointments on a particular date, the day will appear shaded. If there are driving test appointments available on that date, the day will appear clear. Select a clear date and choose one of the available test slots. Choose a time and date that suits you best.
If there are no available driving test appointments in and around your preferred date, you can change your selected test centre. Changing your test centre could help you find an earlier test date, as driving test waiting times differ between locations.
The next section requires you to enter your contact details. You will need to select a title then enter your first name, surname, address and postcode. You will also need to provide an email address at this stage. We recommend using an email address you have access to, as the DVSA will send an automated confirmation email to it.
Once you have entered your contact details, you can proceed to the next step.
The penultimate step in the booking process requires you to enter your card details. You can choose to pay by debit or credit card. Your card’s billing address must match the address you entered in step 7. This extra security measure is in place to prevent fraud.
Once you have entered your payment details, you need to review your driving test booking. If you are happy with the details and no changes are required, confirm your driving test. Once you have confirmed your test details, the DVSA will automatically send you a confirmation email.
Book your driving test by phone
The DVSA also allow you to book your driving test over the phone. If you’d prefer to speak to an operator, call 0300 200 1122, Monday to Friday, from 8am to 4pm. If you are deaf or have hearing difficulties and you intend on using a minicom call 0300 200 1144. If you’d like to speak to a Welsh-speaking operator, the DVSA can also accommodate you. To do so, call 0300 200 1133.
Evening and Weekend Driving Tests
You can book an evening driving test at selected driving test centres during the summer months. The DVSA announced the change in 2016. An evening driving test is any test taken after 4pm.
If the test centre you plan to take your driving test has the option to, you can also book a weekend driving test as well. On Saturday mornings, traffic tends to be lighter than it would be on an average weekday. Less traffic means less potential hazards and generally speaking, this leads to a higher pass rate. For many candidates, the chance to take their driving test on a Saturday is an attractive proposition.
Unfortunately, evening and weekend driving tests are only available at specific test centres. If you’d like to book either test, use the details below to first check with the DVSA. We recommend contacting booking support to confirm whether either test is available at your test centre of choice. If the site offers either option and you find a suitable driving test appointment, book the test the way you would a regular driving test.
DVSA driving test booking support
Use the details below if you need assistance or support booking your driving test.
Telephone: 0300 200 1122
Monday to Friday, from 8am to 4pm
Driving test booking confirmation email
Once you’ve confirmed your driving test booking, you’ll receive an automated email from the DVSA. The email will contain the details of your test. It’ll include the time and date of your test, the test centre you need to attend and the test centre’s address.
The email will also confirm what you need to bring to your driving test. There will be a link to a guide on how the driving test works and a link to a guide with driving test tips.
You’ll receive a confirmation email of your driving test booking if you book your driving test online or over the phone.
You can also change your driving test anytime after your booking has been confirmed.
Frequently asked questions about the driving test
Is the driving test the same wherever you take it?
All UK driving examiners asses the driving test in the same way. Whether you book your driving test in a big city like London, or you take your test in a rural village, you will need to drive to the same standard to pass the test. For more information on driving test assessment, read the DVSA’s national standard for driving cars.
Can you take your driving test in an automatic car?
Yes, candidates can take their driving test in either a manual or an automatic car. The test is the same for both types of vehicle. There is, however, one key difference. If you pass your driving test in an automatic vehicle, you will not be able to drive a manual car. You will need to upgrade your licence to do so. If you pass your driving test in a manual car, you can drive an automatic vehicle without needing to upgrade your licence.
Can you book a driving test without passing your theory test?
The short answer to this question is no. You can’t book a driving test without passing the theory test first. Through multiple-choice questions and hazard perception clips, the theory test will test your knowledge of The Highway Code. To pass your driving test, you need to demonstrate this knowledge while you drive.
Can you book a driving test without lessons?
Although we do not advise you to do so, you can book your driving test without taking driving lessons first. If you’re aged 17 and over, and you’ve passed your theory test, you can book a driving test whenever you like.
If you don’t take driving lessons before your test, your chances of passing are slim at best. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll endanger yourself, the examiner and the general public. To avoid this happening, we advise all candidates to learn to drive with an approved driving instructor, before booking a practical driving test.
Can you book multiple driving tests?
Unfortunately, you can’t book multiple driving tests. The DVSA will only allow you to book one driving test at a time. This policy is in place to prevent candidates stockpiling test dates.
You need your provisional driving licence number and the number you received when you passed your theory test to book a practical driving test. Once your details are registered, and you have a driving test booked, you must cancel your current driving test before you can book another test date.
Can you book your driving test yourself?
Yes, you can book your driving test yourself. You do not have to wait for your driving instructor to arrange your test. If you have met the criteria set out by the DVSA, you can book your driving test yourself using either the DVSA’s website or the Book Learn Pass booking form
Can you book a driving test at short notice?
You can book a short notice driving test using our driving test cancellation checker. We search the DVSA’s database for cancelled driving tests, and once we find a test slot that matches your preferences, we alert to its availability.
When can you rebook your driving test?
You can rebook your driving test straight after your last test. However, the date of your new test must be at least 10 working days from the date of your most recent test.