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After Driving Test – What To Do And How Long Until You Can Drive

When learning how to drive, you spend so much time focused on preparing for your driving test that it’s easy to forget about what happens immediately after your test.

woman driving convertible car

So you pass, or you fail. But then what?

Let’s take a look at what happens after your driving test, whatever your results.

After Your Driving Test – What Happens if You Pass?

Congratulations! You’ve passed your driving test. All your hard work has finally paid off, and you should feel very, very proud of yourself.

But now what?

Certificate & Driving Licence

Well, to all intents and purposes, you’re now a qualified driver. As soon as you pass your test, your examiner will give you a pass certificate. They’ll then ask you if you want your driving licence to be sent to you automatically. And if you say yes to this, you’ll have to give your examiner your provisional driving licence.

You will receive your full licence in the post within three weeks, but you should contact the DVLA if you don’t.

When can I start driving after passing my test?

Regardless of how you choose to receive your full driving licence, once you’ve passed your test, that’s it. You’re good to go. Providing you have the right insurance cover for a full licence you can start driving immediately. No need to wait for your full licence to arrive. You can even drive yourself home from your test, although we would probably advise against you doing that whilst the excitement for passing sinks in.

For a bit more information about what happens after you’ve passed your test, including some advice for the long-term, take a look at our guide.

After Your Driving Test – What Happens if You Fail?

The important thing is that you’re not too hard on yourself. Loads of people fail their driving tests first time. And second time. And third time. And so on. You just need to keep trying – you’ll get there eventually!

But what happens immediately after you fail your driving test? When are you allowed to drive again?

When can I start driving after failing my test?

Immediately. There’s no cooling off period. In fact, it’s best if you get back behind the wheel sooner rather than later.

It hurts to fail your driving test. Many drivers feel like they need to take a few weeks off to get over their disappointment. But this is a bad idea. The longer you go without driving, the more your anxiety will build, and the more you’ll forget those simple little things that are so critical to safe driving.

Arrange your next driving lesson as soon as possible. Then talk to your instructor about your failed test. Your examiner will have told you why you failed, so you’ll know what areas to work on to make you better prepared next time.

When can I book my next driving test after failing?

Also talk to your instructor about when you might be ready to take your test again. Legally, you need to wait 10 working days before you book another driving test. Apart from this, booking your second (or third, or fourth) driving test is exactly the same process as booking your first.

Can I dispute my driving test result?

Of course, you can also dispute your driving test results. You might feel that your examiner was unprofessional. You may even feel that they discriminated against you. Find details on how to appeal here.

Is it worth disputing your test results? Only if you feel you’ve received unfair treatment. Disputing the test won’t reverse the results. You still won’t get a pass certificate, and you’ll still have to book another test. But if your appeal’s successful, you could recoup certain expenses, such as the cost of rebooking your test, or the use of your instructor’s car.

For a bit more information about what to do should you fail your driving test, read our guide here.

One Thing to Remember, No Matter What Happens

Once your driving instructor tells you you’re ready to take your test, it means it’s only a matter of time before you’re a fully qualified driver. Your instructor won’t let you take your test until they feel you’re ready. So when they tell you you’re ready, take their word for it!

At this point, the only thing standing in front of you passing your driving test is you, and your nerves. But you have it in you to succeed, and you’ll get there eventually. And if you need a bit of help getting to grips with your nerves, read our guide here.

In any case, it’ll soon be time to start thinking like a new driver rather than a learner driver. And that might mean you have to think about getting your own car insurance for the first time.

Car insurance can be pricey if you’re a new driver, but we put together a guide to getting the cover you need at a price you can afford. Find it here.