What’s the latest on driving tests? | Logbook Loans

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During the full lockdown earlier this year our article Help! My driving test has been cancelled because of Covid-19 explained what was happening about driving tests. At that stage, practical driving tests were all suspended, as were theory tests.

Fast forward a few months, and we are now at the stage of tiered Covid measures across the country. So what is the latest on driving tests? 

Let’s take a look.


Provisional licence

You need to have a provisional licence before you can begin learning to drive. To apply for a provisional licence you must be aged at least 15 years and 9 months and you should be able to read a number plate from a distance of 20 metres away.

You can apply online for your provisional driving licence. You will need to enter details of some ID (eg passport), your address, and your National Insurance number if you know it. The current cost of a provisional licence is £34, and the licence should arrive around a week after you apply.


Theory test

Before you take a practical driving test, you must take a theory test. The only exceptions to this are if you are either taking a taxi or tractor driving test, or if you are upgrading to a car licence from some other types of vehicle. Check the Gov UK website for full details

You can book your theory test online and also change or cancel an existing booking. A car theory test currently costs £23.

Be aware that you need to have been resident in the UK for at least 185 days before the day you take your test. So if this is not currently the case you will need to book a date further in advance. 

There are also currently various Covid-19 measures in place. You cannot attend your theory test if you have returned to the UK in the last 14 days from a place requiring you to isolate on your return, or if someone in your home has Covid symptoms.. Also, when you do arrive to take your test you will need to wear a face covering unless you have a justifiable reason for not doing so.

Once you have passed your theory test, you are then eligible to take your practical driving test for up to two years from the date you passed. But if you do not take and pass your practical test within the two year timescale, you will have to take another theory test.


Practical test

A backlog of driving tests had built up due to lockdown, and it was difficult to book a test. But the DVLA has now caught up with this and you are able to book your driving test online at a date up to 18 weeks in the future. There is no waiting list or cancellation list. 

The current cost of a driving test for a car is £62, but this cost is higher (£75) if you want to take your test in an evening or weekend.

You will be required to wear a face covering for your test unless you specify whilst booking that you are unable to do so. It is very important to do this, as your test will be cancelled if you just turn up without a face covering and have not let them know in advance.

So if you are unable to wear a face covering you must give a good reason for this during the booking process under the section “Special learning or educational needs”.


Because we are living in very uncertain times at the moment, it would be a good idea to get your theory and practical driving tests booked as soon as possible if you are ready to do so. Further Covid-related delays may be possible at some stage, but at the moment everything seems to be working at normal capacity so it is a good time to get into the system.

Good luck with your driving test, and all of us at  Logbook Loans wish you many happy years of enjoyable and safe motoring.