Simple mistakes that are costing learner drivers money every single year

Learner drivers are wasting £100,000s each year and instantly failing their driving tests for reasons such as forgetting their L plates, their vehicles aren’t up to scratch or in s even turning up without a car.

Almost 5,000 provisional drivers are failing their test each year in the UK because their car doesn’t meet the Government’s basic required standards, meaning they lose the minimum £62 fee they’ve paid for their test – even though in most cases they never actually get behind the wheel – data obtained by MoneySavingExpert shows.

If you’re taking your driving test in your own car, make sure you’ve read all the regulations your car must meet, or you could end up wasting time and your money.

If you’re taking your test in an instructor’s car, it should meet all the required specifications.

If you’re taking your own vehicle, you need to ensure it’s taxed and roadworthy with a current MOT.

Make sure there is no damage to the tyres and that they have the legal tread depth. Vehicles also have to be able to reach at least 62mph and have four wheels.

Check you are fully insured, that there are no warning lights showing and don’t smoke in the car before you take your test or during it.

Meanwhile, the car must have an extra interior rear-view mirror for the examiner, L-plates on the front and rear and a passenger seatbelt for the examiner and an adequate passenger head restraint.

What to take to your test

The DVLA says you must also take the following documents with you to your test:

  • Your UK driving licence
  • Your theory test pass certificate
  • A car – most people use their driving instructor’s, but you can use your own car if it meets the rules.

Your car must also be fit for purpose

To be able to take your test, your vehicle must:

  • Be taxed
  • Be insured for a driving test (check with your insurance company)
  • Be roadworthy and have a current MOT (if it’s over 3 years old)
  • Have no warning lights showing, for example, the airbag warning light
  • Have no tyre damage and the legal tread depth on each tyre – you can’t have a space-saver spare tyre fitted
  • Be smoke-free – this means you can’t smoke in it just before or during the test
  • Be able to reach at least 62mph and have an mph speedometer
  • Have 4 wheels and a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500 kg

If you have a question about your test – or the condition of your car – get in touch with the DVLA in good time beforehand on 0300 200 1122 or by emailing


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