Using a Private Vehicle

Advice & Conditions

This section is for advice only, The Driving School and/or its instructors are not liable for any activities taken outside of lessons. However, we are keen to make these as safe and productive as we can, so please contact us for advice and support.

Private practice is about gaining ‘on-road hours’ and additional experience.

This further increases understanding and improves decision making and judgment skills on the road. This should improve and enhance the driving you’re undertaking with your instructor.

Done well this additional experience can support professional tuition and reduce the overall number of paid hours needed to attain an equivalent level. Done badly this can damage confidence, create bad habits and increase the overall number of hours needed.

Our aim is to help guide you through this process and maximise its benefits. Please ask your instructor for advice, guidance, and support. We actively encourage you to have your supervising driver sit in on a lesson/s or have their own driving assessed to identify any changes since they last passed their driving test/undertook professional tuition.

If there are vehicle specific issues requiring professional support or another reason to take the test in the private vehicle, the following guidance will ensure you are keeping up to date with legal requirements, insurance and DVSA regulations, as we as our own best practice.

Using your own vehicle for training or testing

You MUST contact your insurer and ask:

  • Is the vehicle insured for ‘paid for tuition’? Many policies class this as commercial use so it may not be covered.
  • Is the vehicle insured for the purpose of taking DVSA driving test? The driver is legally unaccompanied during this time and some policies only cover training and not testing.
  • Is the vehicle covered to be driven home when the provisional licence holder passes? Your instructor is unlikely to be covered under their own policy to drive your car. Alternative arrangements may be necessary, you may need to call the insurer to let them know you have passed, have someone else drive the car home or you may be covered for the driver home only.

Examples of post-test issues are:

  • When the learner passes their ‘provisional insurance’ no longer covers them. They are therefore not entitled to drive the vehicle. If they’re the main driver the car may no longer be insured meaning it cannot be driven under 3rd party cover of a different policy.
  • If a learner fails, they may not be in an emotional state to drive. If the instructor is unable to drive the vehicle there may be an issue returning home.

In either of these cases or others the vehicle is expected to be moved from the test centre within 5 minutes of the test being completed, there is no opportunity to call the insurer or arrange a car swap. As instructors we place our livelihoods at risk if something happens regarding an uninsured vehicle. Therefore, it is the instructor’s decision to support accompanying you to a test and give advice on alternative arrangements (if they are unable to support your request they will outline a series of options available to you).

We recommend asking for the insurer’s responses in writing. If they do not provide adequate cover, ask your instructor for a recommendation. We work closely with companies like Marmalade Insurance and have access to their latest guidance.

Your car for private training and / or testing

The car must be road legal, adequately insured, taxed, and hold a valid MOT. It is important to note that the accompanying driver is legally responsible for the vehicle and subject to ALL regulations that they would be as the driver. This includes mobile phone use, speed, and eyesight rules, their attention should be always on driving.

The only restrictions for the learner driver are that they MUST be accompanied by a driver meeting the requirements and that they must NOT go on any Motorway regulated road (They can only drive on motorways as a leaner with a fully qualified driving instructor in a dual controlled vehicle).

Check that the car is not listed as exempt from being taken on test, you can do that on the GOV.co.uk website. If a car is being used for test it must be clean. Check the fluids and tyres (you also need to know these for the test). There MUST NOT be any Dashboards Indicator Lights (DILs) on that shouldn’t be. A secondary mirror is required for the examiner and L plates suitably positioned front and rear – We recommend you carry a spare set incase they fall off on the way to the test centre or are too faded for the examiner to conduct the test.

The following conditions apply to any training being given in a car provided by the customers. These are in addition to the standard terms and conditions which remain in place during these sessions.

If you wish your instructor to conduct lessons in your vehicle you must:

  • Obtain the agreement of the instructor – This option is available at the discretion of the instructor and is not guaranteed. This will be assessed on a case by cases basis and will usually require an assessment in the instructor’s car first.
  • Checked the insurance (as above) – The instructor may ask for a copy of the policy or written proof.
  • Provide proof of Insurance, MOT, and Tax – This may be done via an online check.
  • Provide details of any breakdown cover and emergency contact details must be in place.
  • Meet any vehicle or client specific agreements made the instructor – Provision of a mirror, L-Plates, fuel level, cleanliness, smoke free etc.
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