Saturday, 11 October 2014

Taking the driving test in own car by Big Tom Driving School

I have had 2 recent enquiries asking about taking the driving test in your own car.  As it happens both are male and 62 years old, but are otherwise completely unconnected coming from different towns.  Both of them were in particular asking my opinion if the examiners would in any way frown upon taking the test NOT in a driving school car.  The concern appears to be that examiners would assume that a candidate that presented for the driving test in a private car had not received professional tuition; the suspicion would be that they present a higher risk and would be assessed in a negative way as a result. 
As I have said to both chaps, whilst I can understand perfectly why they might have that concern, I have not witnessed any such behaviour from examiners.  The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency are a Government organisation that operate under pretty strict regulations, and included in the documents that they make available for the public are guidelines that include a standard of driving (regardless of HOW that standard is achieved) as well as operational instructions for how the driving test is undertaken.  As such, it is perfectly possible for the public to get access to this information without any assistance at all from a registered Driving Instructor.

The examiners that are employed at the test centres have no regard for how a candidate learnt to drive, they ask no questions about how long it has taken, who taught them, or any related questions.  How you get to the test centre, who you bring with you, and what vehicle you use for the test is not part of the assessment criteria and in my experience of observing driving tests, the examiners are very highly trained, courteous, professional folk.

There are certain conditions relating to the vehicle that is used for the purposes of the driving test, and they can be viewed in this link.  One of the very first actions that you will be asked to do when you attend for the driving test is to sign to confirm that there is appropriate insurance cover for the vehicle that is about to be used for the test.

In summary, when you are considering taking the driving test in your own car, do not be concerned that the examiner will be influenced by sitting in a non-driving school car.  I have had plenty of pupils who have finished off their driving course with me accompanying them in their own car that they intend to drive after passing the driving test, and it is a strategy that I fully approve of that has clear advantages.

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  3. That will be on the drive wheels while climbing and the front (where most of the braking happens) on descents. If you get into slippery areas, you can lift the throttle slightly to stretch the car straight.

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