How to book a driving test

Added on Tuesday, 20th December 2022 Last updated Wednesday, 22nd November 2023

Are you a learner driver ready to take your practical driving test? If so, you'll need to book your driving test with the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency). In this article, we'll guide you through the process of booking a driving test and how you can find available driving test slots. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about booking practical driving tests in the UK!

What is a practical driving test?

Ready to start driving without your driving instructor? The practical driving test is the final step in learning to drive and it involves you taking a car on the road with an examiner, who will score you against different criteria. Whether you're driving a manual or automatic car, the driving test is the same.

During the DVSA car driving practical test, you'll be assessed on your general driving ability, your ability to reverse the car, and your ability to drive independently. The car practical driving test is intended to ensure that learner drivers have sufficiently mastered the essential driving skills, including control of the vehicle, observation of traffic rules, and the ability to make safe decisions when on the road.

After completing the test, you'll be given a pass or fail grade depending on your performance. Once you pass your driving test, you'll be able to legally drive a car on your own.

When can I book my practical driving test?

Before booking your DVSA practical driving test, you'll need to be 17 or over and have passed both your theory and hazard perception tests. You must have also been living in England, Wales or Scotland for at least 185 days in the last 12 months before the day of your practical driving test.

How much does a practical driving test booking cost?

The price of a driving test booking depends on the day and time you choose to take your test. Car practical driving test bookings cost the same whether you're booking a manual or automatic driving test.

The current cost of a DVSA practical driving test is £62 for a weekday and £75 for an evening, weekend or bank holiday appointment.

Discover more about the cost of booking a driving test and additional learner driver expenses

How do I book a driving test?

You can book a practical driving test online or by telephone. You can book your next practical driving test online through the DVSA driving test booking system. Before you book your test, you'll need to enter your UK provisional licence number, theory test certificate number, the test centre you want to take the test at and a valid credit or debit card. You'll also need to provide your email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking.

How do I book an automatic driving test?

Booking automatic driving tests is no different from booking manual car tests. You will have to pay the same fee as a manual test, and the criteria for assessment are also identical. The only difference is that you take your automatic driving test in an automatic car.

If you wish to upgrade your driving licence to a manual licence after passing your automatic practical driving test, you will need to pass a separate 'upgrade' test. You must call the DVSA on 0300 200 1122 to book this test.

Not sure which driving test centre to pick?

Let's make the decision easier! Our handy test centre guides have everything you need to know about every DVSA driving test centre.

How to book a driving test online

Booking driving tests is quick and easy if there is availability. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to book your practical driving test online...

  1. Go to the GOV website and select ‘Start now’
  2. Choose your test type and enter your provisional driving licence number and licence details. You'll need to know your theory test pass number for this step
  3. Select the date you would like to take your practical test. You'll also be given the option to add your instructor's reference number to ensure your test appointment doesn't clash with your driving instructor's schedule
  4. Search for the DVSA driving test centre where you want to take your driving test and choose your preferred test date and time
  5. Enter your personal and payment details, and confirm your driving test booking. You'll receive a confirmation email from the DVSA once you have your test booked.

If you have failed or cancelled your test, simply follow the same steps to rebook your driving test.

How to book a driving test by telephone

If you'd rather book your car driving test by phone, you can call DVSA's booking service on 0300 200 1122.

The DVSA telephone booking service is open Monday to Friday between 8 am and 4 pm. Just like the online booking process, you'll need to provide your driving licence details and have a valid credit or debit card to hand when you call.

When booking a driving test by phone, you'll also need to confirm your chosen driving test centre and date and time slot. Once you've paid for your driving test booking, the DVSA will send you an email with your appointment confirmation.

How to book a driving test date if there's no availability

Why are there no driving tests available? The DVSA allow you to book a car test for up to 24 weeks. If you can't find any available test slots in the next 24 weeks, you could try booking a practical driving test at a different test centre with more availability.

How do I then book my driving test at the test centre I want? You can use our cancellation service to find driving test appointments at your preferred test centre and move your driving test booking to an earlier date.

Don't forget, it's your responsibility to manage your driving test booking, so if you can't take your test, you must change or cancel it with the DVSA at least 3 working days before the date of your test.

Our driving test cancellations app will frequently monitor cancellation slots at your chosen test centre(s) for the dates you can take the test and will send you a notification as soon as a suitable test becomes available. We can even book driving test cancellation slots for you.

Find an earlier driving test

Try our free driving test cancellation checker

How to book driving tests in Northern Ireland

Booking a driving test in Northern Ireland is a straightforward process, similar to the rest of the UK. You'll need to visit the DVA (Driver & Vehicle Agency) website, which is the governing body for driving tests in Northern Ireland.

You can choose a suitable test centre location, and select a preferred date and time for your test. After booking your driving test, you will receive a confirmation email with the details of your test.

How long is the wait for a driving test?

Why can’t I get a driving test? Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a backlog of driving tests across the UK. As a result, some areas have seen long wait times for available driving test slots. Depending on your location, the wait time for a driving test can range from several weeks to several months.

How to find a driving test date

Finding available practical driving test dates is not always simple, especially with the current driving test waiting times. However, certain driving test centres may have shorter waiting times or more available dates than others.

Find the current driving test waiting times at every DVSA driving test centre

How do I change my practical driving test booking?

As a learner driver taking the driving test, it is your responsibility to book and manage your driving test booking. If you need to change your practical driving test booking, you can do so via the GOV website.

You will need to have your provisional licence number and your theory test pass number or driving test reference number to make any changes.

What to bring to your driving test

It's important to arrive for your driving test in plenty of time. You should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your driving test appointment and bring the necessary documents.

On the day of your driving test, you'll need to take:

  • Your provisional or full UK driving licence
  • Your theory test pass certificate (if applicable)
  • Appropriate eyewear if you need it for driving
  • A car that's in a safe and roadworthy condition

Can I use my own car for the DVSA practical driving test?

Yes, you can use your own car for the practical driving test as long as it meets certain criteria. Your car must be properly taxed and insured, have a valid MOT certificate (if it's over three years old), and meet specific safety standards set by the DVSA.

Want to take your driving test in your own car? Learn the benefits of using your own car for your driving test

What happens if I lose my provisional licence before taking my driving test?

If you lose your provisional licence before taking your driving test, you will need to apply for a replacement driving licence from the DVLA. This can take up to 15 days, so make sure to plan accordingly as you may need to rearrange your test date.

How do I pass the driving test?

You will pass the driving test if you make no major faults and no more than 15 minor faults. You will fail if you make at least one serious or dangerous fault. You can drive your own car as soon as you have passed your practical test, provided you have car insurance and tax.

It's important to remember that the driving test is designed to assess your ability to drive safely and responsibly, so make sure you're fully prepared before taking the test. Find out everything you need to know about minor faults and how to avoid them

What happens if you fail your driving test?

You can rebook your practical driving test as many times as you need, but you will have to wait at least 10 working days between taking tests.

It's essential to use this time to practice and improve on your weaknesses before retaking the test. So stay positive, keep practising and book your next driving test when you feel ready.

Tips for passing the driving test

Taking the driving test can be a nerve-wracking experience. However, by taking the time to prepare for your test, you can increase your chances of passing and reduce some of the stress associated with it.

Get plenty of extra practice driving before the day of your practical test

It’s important to practice your driving skills, such as lane changes, reversing manoeuvres, and the independent driving part of the test.

Stay calm and focused during the actual test

The examiner will look for signs of nervousness, such as driving too fast or slow, or making mistakes. You’ll be more likely to pass the test by staying focused and taking your time to think before taking action.

Follow all instructions given by the examiner carefully

The examiner will give instructions throughout the test and it’s important to follow them as closely as possible. This includes following the routes exactly and taking any necessary safety precautions. By following all instructions correctly, you can show that you’re a safe and responsible driver.

Pay attention to other road users and follow the Highway Code at all times

Familiarise yourself with the rules of the road. Knowing the rules of the road is essential for passing your driving test and for staying safe on the roads once you’ve passed.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to passing the driving test with flying colours.

We hope this article has given you a better understanding of how to book practical driving tests. Good luck with your test and remember to stay focused on the road!

How to book a driving test FAQ

If your theory test certificate has expired, you must take and pass the theory test again before booking a practical driving test.

A standard practical driving test usually lasts around 40-45 minutes.

You can cancel your driving test booking by going to https://www.gov.uk/cancel-driving-test. You must give at least 3 working days' notice when cancelling your test if you wish to have your test fee refunded.

You can manage your driving test appointment details by going to https://www.gov.uk/check-driving-test. This will allow you to check the date and time of your test and test centre details.

Yes, you can change and reschedule your driving test booking by going to https://www.gov.uk/change-driving-test. However, you must give at least 3 working days' notice when changing your test.

You can book and take your test at any DVSA driving test centre in England, Wales or Scotland. Find your closest test centre and browse our driving test centre guides

The DVSA does not have a cancellation list or a waiting list for driving tests. Driving Test Cancellations 4 All specialise in finding earlier driving tests. Use our driving test availability checker to find available test dates and book your test cancellation for the earliest possible date. Find the waiting times at your test centre to see whether you need a cancellation

Want to take your driving test fast? The fastest way to book driving test cancellations is using Driving Test Cancellations 4 All. Once you've booked your test with the DVSA, our cancellation driving test finder will find the soonest possible date for your driving test appointment that matches your availability preferences.

Get an earlier test date now

Yes, you can drive home after passing the driving test. You will need to have car insurance and valid tax for your vehicle.

You may also wish to display 'P' plates on your car, but it is not mandatory. It's important to remember that passing the driving test does not automatically make you an experienced driver, so always drive carefully and follow all road rules even after passing the test.

No, you cannot book more than one driving test at a time. You are only allowed to have one test booked at any given time. However, if you fail your driving test and need to rebook, you can do so as many times as needed while following the 10-day waiting period between tests.

If you are unable to take your driving test, you can change or cancel it but you must give at least three working days notice or you will lose your test fee. It's essential to plan and prepare well before booking a driving test to avoid any inconvenience or additional costs.

The availability of driving tests can be influenced by several factors. One common reason is high demand, particularly in densely populated areas or during peak times of the year when many learner drivers are trying to book their tests.

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted driving test availability. Additionally, unexpected events such as strikes or severe weather can cause delays and cancellations, reducing the number of available slots.

You can use our driving test availability checker to book a driving test cancellation and move your test to an earlier date. Find the current driving test waiting times at your test centre to see whether you need a cancellation

Book driving test cancellations now

How to find and book driving test cancellation slots

Already booked your driving test but need an earlier test? Finding and booking a driving test cancellation can be tricky, especially if you don't have the time to search for available tests yourself. You'll need to check the DVSA website frequently to find out when a cancellation slot becomes available at your chosen test centre. Find driving test centres near me

How to find available driving test dates with our driving test availability checker

Alternatively, you could use our driving test cancellations checker for learner drivers. Our driving test app searches for available driving test dates at your chosen test centres and automatically books driving test appointments so you don’t miss out. Driving Test Cancellations 4 All's driving test cancellation app is a great way to save time and move your car practical test forward.

Find driving test cancellations now

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Looking for an earlier driving test date?
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