What coronavirus precautions mean for your practical driving test

The DVSA has restarted practical driving tests, but Coronavirus means there will be changes to how they work on the big day

Driving test coronavirus precautions

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has restarted practical driving tests for learners in England, Wales, and Scotland. 

However, COVID-19 means you can expect a different experience on the day.

Drivers are now once again able to book a driving test, with the DVSA using a new system to improve the chances of booking a slot. 

Should you end up having to self-isolate on the day of your test, it can be rebooked free of charge.

Limited waiting time

Driving test coronavirus precautions

Candidates are asked to arrive no earlier than five minutes before their designated test time. The test centre waiting room will be closed but, in case of last-minute nerves, the toilets will still be available to use on request. 

Before the test, candidates are asked to ensure the interior of their car is clean. The driving examiner will use an antiviral wipe on any surfaces they may touch during the test. They may make use of disposable seat covers and gloves, too.

Coronavirus also means your driving instructor may be prevented from sitting in the back of the car during your test.

Face masks are mandatory

Driving test coronavirus precautions

When attending your driving test, you must wear a face covering or mask. This includes wearing one during the actual driving assessment on the road.

Learners should try to get familiar with driving in a face mask before the big day. 

The DVSA will allow exemptions from wearing a mask, such as medical conditions or disabilities. However, this must be declared when booking an appointment, otherwise the test will be cancelled should you arrive on the day without a mask. 

According to the DVSA, wearing glasses does not count as a ‘good reason’ for avoiding wearing a mask or face covering.

Out on the road

Driving test coronavirus precautions

The examiner will stop the test to allow you to adjust your face mark. However, should it become a safety issue, they may terminate the test early. 

Making a serious or dangerous fault during the test will also result in an early end. The examiner will instruct you to return to the test centre, reducing the time spent together in the car as much as possible. 

Once the test finishes, the examiner will ask you to get out of the car before delivering their feedback and result. Your driving instructor will be allowed to listen to the feedback as well.


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