Do I need my own car for a driving test? Here’s the answer

Using your own car for your driving test is not a requirement. You just need to have access to a car that is insured, roadworthy and appropriate that you can use to complete the driving test.

Most people prefer to take the driving test using the instructor’s car. However, it is recommended that you undertake the driving test with a car you are familiar with, such as the car you have been using for driving practice.

It increases your chances of passing the driving test. In most cases, the car you use for driving practice is your own. 

The advantages of using your own car for the driving test include the driver’s seat and mirrors perfectly adjusted to suit your preferences, guaranteed car availability during the test duration, and cost savings as you do not have to pay the instructor for using their car.

Nonetheless, different driving test rules may apply depending on your country of residence and driving test center. Be sure to consult your test center guidelines regarding the car that can be used during a driving test. 

Why do you need to have a car at a driving test center?

A driving test is used to assess if you can drive and determine your driving competence. To complete this test, you need to drive a car under the instruction and observation of a certified driving instructor.

This means you need to have access to a car to attempt a driving test. Moreover, most driving test centers do not provide cars to their learner drivers.

In such instances, bringing a car with you to the driving test center is mandatory to complete the driving test. 

What is required for taking a driving test in the US?

The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) is responsible for issuing driver’s licenses in each American state. To acquire a driver’s license, you must complete a driving test overseen by the DMV.

The DMV mandates driving test candidates to avail several documents. Depending on the state, the list of DMV requirement vary. However, the common requirements include the following:

  • Proof of identity, such as an identity card for American citizens 
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of legal status
  • Social security number
  • Application fee
  • Access to a car
  • Evidence of completing the theoretical driving test

For American non-citizens, the DMV requires the following additional documents:

  • Valid American visa
  • Proof of identity (passport)
  • Resident card
  • Alien registration card
  • Student authorization card or employment authorization card

Can you use someone else’s car for a driving test?

Using another person’s car to take your driving test is acceptable. If the car’s owner has allowed you to use their car, you are good to go. In cases where you have borrowed someone’s car, they may need to accompany you to the driving test center to provide proof of vehicle ownership.

Prior to driving the car, chat with the owner about the car’s insurance. Other avenues for accessing a car include car rental agencies and driving schools.

The DMV inspects all cars used in driving tests to ensure they meet the state’s safety and driving requirements.

What kind of car is needed for a road test?

Driving test centers carefully examine the learner driver’s car to ensure it is safe and legal. The type of car that passes inspection has valid insurance cover, is legally registered and is roadworthy.

In particular, vehicle inspectors look at the following car elements to determine the roadworthiness of the car:

  • Brakes: They should be working properly, and the brake pads should not be worn.
  • Car headlights should be in good working order and adjustable between bright and dim settings.
  • Signal lights: They should be in excellent working order.
  • Tires: They should have enough pressure, and the treads should not be worn.
  • Rearview mirrors: The car should have two rearview mirrors in good condition.
  • Seatbelts: They are important for driver and passenger safety, especially in accidents.
  • Brake lights: They must be in perfect working order. 

Take away

Taking a driving test can be quite stressful, even for experienced drivers. The stress of the situation can be averted by being adequately prepared before the test.

One such preparation method involves knowing the requirements of taking a driving test. Although the requirements depend on your country of residence, there are some commonalities.

These include access to a vehicle that can pass inspection, personal identification documents, and completing the theoretical driving exam. We wish you success as you prepare to take your driving test.

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