DVSA driving test rule changes as list of banned vehicles expanded

Changes to DVSA test rules mean that a new car has been added to the list of vehicles you cannot use during a driving test.

Learner drivers are allowed to use their own car rather than their instructor’s but it must first meet a set of criteria set out by the DVSA.

Apart from being insured with the learner’s name in it, it must also not be included in the DVSA’s ban list. Currently, there are five car models which cannot be used in a driving test, usually because their design does not allow either the driver or test instructor to have a safe and complete vision of the road behind them.

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You cannot use any of the following:

  • BMW Mini Convertible
  • Ford KA Convertible
  • Smart Fortwo (2-door)
  • Toyota iQ
  • vw beetle convertible

The Smart Fortwo is the latest car to be added to the list.

While these are the official cars on the ban list, you should always double-check with your instructor, driving school or DVLA if the car you plan to use is suitable, especially if it’s a convertible car, panel van or coupe.

Even if the car is not on the ban list, your test instructor can still deem the car unsuitable and you will be unable to take the test that day, losing out on your deposit.

Some cars are banned because they have been subject to a product recall, making them unsafe on the road.

These include certain batches of Citroen C1, Peugeot 108, Toyota Aygo, Toyota Yaris, Vauxhall ADAM and Vauxhall Corsa D.

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If your driving instructor’s car is unavailable and you don’t have one you’re legally allowed to use, you can in fact use a hire car as long as it is fitted with dual controls and meets all the regular DVSA standards.

The car must have:

  • an extra interior rear-view mirror for the examiner
  • L-plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear
  • a passenger seatbelt for the examiner and a proper passenger head restraint (not a slip-on type)

Do you agree with the changes to driving tests? Let us know in the comments section!

In England and Wales, you should also ensure your car is tidy before your test. This includes removing any rubbish or unnecessary items from the dashboard, footwells, door pockets, cup holders and seats.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, your test will be outright canceled if the inside of the vehicle is dirty.

Other rules dictate that your car during a test 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 tire damage and the legal tread depth on each tire – you cannot have a space-saver spare tire fitted
  • be smoke-free – this means you cannot 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 authorized mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500 kg

You can check if the car you want to use meets the rules on the DVSA site.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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