Driving Test Essentials: What to Take on Your Driving Test

The day of your driving test is a day that you will have spent a lot of time and money preparing for. While you may have spent a lot of time thinking about preparing your driving, preparing yourself by bringing along the right items can still make or break it.

driving test essentials

The necessities: What to take

Preparing for your driving test can be a nerve-racking time, but it is still important to bring the essentials with you. If you don’t, your test will be cancelled and you won’t get your money back. Luckily, there are only three things you are required to bring:

  • Your provisional driving licence
    This must have your correct address on it. Most people these days have a photocard licence, however if you don’t, you will need to bring your passport too. If your provisional licence is from Northern Ireland, you will need to bring both the photocard licence and its paper counterpart.
  • Your theory test pass certificate
    You must take your practical driving test within two years of taking your theory test, otherwise you will need to resit it.
  • A car
    Most people take their instructor’s car, as this is the one they are most used to driving, however you can use your own car if you prefer

Bringing your own car

If you want to use your own car, rather than your instructor’s, you will need to make sure it meets certain rules. The examiner will give it a thorough going over before you begin your test. If it doesn’t meet the criteria, you will find your test will be cancelled, and you will have to pay again to rebook a test in a suitable car. A full list of criteria your car must meet can be found on the gov.uk website, however, the vehicle must:

  • Be taxed and insured – check with your insurer that you are covered for a driving test.
  • Be roadworthy – with a current MOT if it is over 3 years old, no warning lights showing, and tyres that meet the minimum legal tread depth.
  • Have an extra interior rear-view mirror for the examiner – these are not too expensive, and can be bought either online, or from a shop selling car parts and accessories.
  • Display L plates – as you are still a learner while taking your test, these need to be displayed at the front and rear at all times.

Comfortable clothes and shoes

Make sure you wear something you are comfortable moving in. Ideally, this will have been an outfit that you have practiced driving in. Driving in trousers that are too tight or a jumper where the sleeves are too long can be uncomfortable, and an unnecessary distraction. When driving, your sitting position is different to being a passenger in a car, or sitting at a desk, so what might seem like comfortable clothes to wear on other occasions may not be a good driving outfit.

Even more important than your clothes are your shoes. The width, and thickness of the soles can dramatically change the feel of the pedals, so make sure the shoes you wear for your driving test are ones that you have spent plenty of time driving in.

Other items to bring

  • Food/Drink
    Most people have a lesson before their test, which can mean being out for a long time. Even if you don’t feel like eating or drinking before your test, you might appreciate it after.
  • Your phone
    Once you pass, you’ll want to share your good news with friends and family. Just remember to keep it in your bag, switched off while you are driving.
  • A coat
    If there’s even a remote chance it’s going to rain, bring a coat with you. You don’t want to end up getting soaked going between the car and test centre. If it’s raining hard, you can always take it off and put it on the back seat once you’re in the car.
  • Lucky items
    If you have a lucky item of clothing or piece of jewellery, wear it…providing it’s both comfortable and practical to drive in that is!
  • Anything else you usually bring with you on your driving lessons
    You want to try and keep your test feeling as normal as possible. If there’s something you usually bring with you on your lessons, there’s no need to leave it behind for your test.
  • A bag
    If you’re bringing all this along, you’ll need somewhere to put it! You can leave it in the boot of the car while you’re taking your test.

If you’re getting ready for the big day, see our 10 essential tips for passing your driving test. This will help you prepare for the day and give you some ideas about how to handle the nerves and what to practice in the run up. If you’re feeling confident, you might want to take a look at our new driver insurance too, as you’ll need it once you’ve passed.


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