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Is taking your driving test in your own car just asking to fail?

(34 Posts)
whattodowith Wed 14-Aug-19 08:34:25

I’ve had almost 50 hours of lessons now with two different instructors. The first instructor was a bit useless hence me changing instructors after around 20 hours of lessons. He didn’t teach me how to steer properly, how to adjust mirrors and never even prompted me to check them... Anyway I’ve had the last 28 hours with a more competent instructor and I’m pretty much test ready.

I explained to my instructor that I really wanted to pass before September so he was aware. He kept umming and ahhing when I mentioned test dates, saying he ‘might be on holiday’ despite having nothing yet booked hmm. I just went ahead and booked one in the end and asked if that would be ok, again he said he ‘might be away but we will see’. Anyway he’s finally said he will be away then but said I’m welcome to do the test in my own car.

I’m absolutely desperate to pass at this point after spending hours of my life doing lessons and I do feel ready. Is it a terrible idea to do it in my own car, am I setting myself up to fail? I’ve only driven for a few hours between lessons in my own car with DH in the car and I don’t like it as much as the instructors because it’s petrol. Just fed up because the driving test dates are fully booked up until the 8th of October sad. I keep checking 15 times a day for cancellations in September but nothing yet.

PennyGold Wed 14-Aug-19 08:37:45

I'd do it in your car! If you feel that you're able to pass it shouldn't matter what car you drive in. I drive a diesel but will very rarely drive my mums car (petrol) it takes approx 2 seconds to get used to the 'bite' etc but driving wise.. it's the same.
I'd make sure you practice more in your car up until your test. What do you have to loose?!
Good Luck!

wanderings Wed 14-Aug-19 09:45:40

Nope, I passed in my own car, so it can be done. It was some time ago, and you have to provide a mirror for the examiner to use (not too expensive, and don't rely on the test centre providing this); also check the DVSA rules about if you need anything else, such as sat nav; make sure everything on the car is in working order, such as lights, because the test would be cancelled if anything small is not working.

And of course, you do need somebody to go with you; although I heard that at some London centres, candidates would frequently turn up alone, and there was little the examiners could do.

whattodowith Wed 14-Aug-19 12:18:29

I could go out in my car every night until the test and hopefully get more used to it. My last struggle is keeping the bite on hill junctions so I’m petrified about doing that in a petrol!

I just worry that if I change the test till early October then fail it I won’t be able to retake until mid-late November which is way past my original goal sad.

JasperRising Wed 14-Aug-19 12:30:20

I passed in my own (well my parents) car! Also had instructor problems so went to the test with a parent in the end. You do need to get out and practice in that car though. Once you have got the hours in that car you should stop finding it harder - switching between any car, even two petrol cars, it can take a bit of time to learn the differences between the two.

Punxsutawney Wed 14-Aug-19 12:35:53

I also passed in my own car. It was quite a number of years ago though. It was my third test and my previous two fails were in driving instructor's cars.

haggisaggis Wed 14-Aug-19 12:36:14

ds sat and passed his driving test in our car 2 ears ago. He had been out in it lots though - and the instructor had given him a couple of lessons in it too.

SarahAndQuack Wed 14-Aug-19 12:41:24

It's years ago, but I took my test in my own car (ahem ... my mum's car grin) after my instructor insisted I wasn't ready despite hours of lessons.

I passed, and I think actually it was easier, because it was a bigger car than your standard little instructor car, so the examiner found me a really easy, wide road to do the three point turn on, to make allowance for that, and I'd been practising them in much tighter spaces!

Remember they may need you to provide an internal mirror for the examiner to see with.

YobaOljazUwaque Wed 14-Aug-19 12:43:13

You will need to be 100% confident driving your own car the day after you pass your test, so might as well make sure you are 100% confident in your own car the day of the test which is only 1 day early. Get your instructor to give you some lessons in your own car before he goes on holiday and do lots of practice on the things you are less sure of.

WeShouldOpenABar Wed 14-Aug-19 12:44:36

Whats the mirror for where do you put it, most everyone I know in Ireland passed in their own car and I don't think anyone needed a mirror

BigSandyBalls2015 Wed 14-Aug-19 12:50:12

You need more practice in your own car if you are going to take your test in it. I'm not sure what you mean about the bite in a petrol car compared to a diesel though?

whattodowith Wed 14-Aug-19 13:03:58

I just find the clutch control easier in a diesel for whatever reason. I stall the petrol a lot more than the instructors diesel and all I can put it down to is petrol v diesel? A few people have said clutch control is generally easier with a diesel.

DH and I could go out every night in my car and also spend longer at the weekend doing it. I would also have three or four lessons with my instructor before the test.

Thanks for all the advice, I might just go for it.

scarlettio Wed 14-Aug-19 13:04:07

You need a stick on rear view mirror for the examiner. You should be able to get one in somewhere like Halfords for a few pounds. My ds did his test in my car , as his instructor was on holiday . I went with him to the test centre and waited , but he just went out with the examiner on the test. He passed, I'm pleased to say , but had previously has a few lessons with me in my car. It shouldn't really matter , as long as you have practised a bit in your own car. Go for it and good luck!

ElizaPancakes Wed 14-Aug-19 13:19:51

Make sure you’re as confident in your own car as the instructors - as @YobaOljazUwaque says, you need to be confident to drive on your own once you’ve passed your test so might as well be confident for your test!

And use your handbrake for hill starts!

smartcarnotsosmartdriver Wed 14-Aug-19 13:21:10

Just practice, my instructor changed cars just before my test which was a riot. Practice your clutch control. I learned in a diesel and my car is petrol, I didn't notice a huge difference but it'll depend on the cars. Check all the DVLA guidelines for using your own car
https://www.gov.uk/driving-test/using-your-own-car
Good luck!

Redken24 Wed 14-Aug-19 13:22:59

Definitely do it! Just make sure you can do all the manoeuvres and youl be fine.

Mumoftoo19 Wed 14-Aug-19 13:23:16

Nope not at all. I failed a test in the instructors car and passed in my own car. I found that as they don't have dual controls in your own car they give easier test routes. My two tests were extremely different. I would recommend doing it in your own car to anyone.

whattodowith Wed 14-Aug-19 14:17:09

@ElizaPancakes I can do hills perfectly with my handbrake but my instructor always insists I don’t use it every time! He wants me to get used to maintaining the bite on a hill.

whattodowith Wed 14-Aug-19 14:17:44

@Mumoftoo19 that is interesting, I didn’t consider them offering an easier route due to having no dual controls.

smartcarnotsosmartdriver Wed 14-Aug-19 15:05:36

Your instructor is at it with hill starts, literally the kind of job a hand-break was made for... it will have no impact in your test is you use it.

whattodowith Wed 14-Aug-19 15:29:18

There’s a couple of steep hills that regularly come up on test routes. I’ve managed to do one of them without stalling but the other one I stall every time. That’s without using my handbrake though because he’s always adamant I get used to leaving hill junctions without the handbrake for some reason. It’s good to know I wouldn’t fail if I did use the handbrake.

caballerino Wed 14-Aug-19 15:53:42

What about if you're in slow traffic on a hill? Or need to manoeuvre into or out of a parking space on a hill?

Besides which, if you can control the car by clutch without stalling it on a hill you know you've cracked it and will be confident elsewhere. (Diesels are harder to stall, that's why instructors tend to use them btw.)

Has your instructor pulled you over on a hill to make you practise edging the car forwards and backwards off the clutch without stalling or losing control? Are there any hills with parking bays on where you could practise that in your car? (Maybe a gentle incline to start with!)

Oh and don't worry about fitting in resits - you're going to pass, right?! Work for it as if you won't need a resit and get yourself above standard. It will help mentally during the test as much as practically.

Good luck!

whattodowith Wed 14-Aug-19 16:25:42

I’ve never parked up on a hill, never even considered it. The test route hills aren’t the sort anyone would willingly park on so I’m hopeful I won’t be asked to do that! It is true about being in slow moving traffic though, I suppose I do need more practise at keeping the bite on a hill.

I booked the test for 10:14 am because I know roads will be a lot quieter at that time (that’s my hope anyway!). I can get another six hours of lessons in with my instructor plus go out lots with DH before the test.

I’m just desperate to pass really. I started lessons in March and my goal was to be driving by early September.

Skyechasemarshalontheway Wed 14-Aug-19 16:34:26

You may be asked to pull over on a hill to do a hill start. I would definitely practice that.

You may be able to find another instructor willing to take you to test with a few lessons before hand in there car if you wanted to.

Make sure your car is fully ok before going to test no engine lights on and wheels are all at the correct level.
Also know where the oil and that is for the show me questions they ask.

whattodowith Wed 14-Aug-19 16:43:25

I did contact another popular instructor last night to ask but he sadly had a test the same morning with another pupil, it is something I have considered though.

I really need to spend a solid two hours just doing hills tbh, it’s my last nemesis if you like. Everything else I think I’m ok with, it’s just hills now.

Tyres were just changed a fortnight ago so should be ok smile.

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