How has the practical driving test changed post Covid 19?

When driving tests begin to restart they will only be available to those who had their test canceled during the COVID 19 outbreak. You are not yet able to book a driving test if you did not have one booked in before the lockdown. If your test was canceled you should have been sent an email confirmation with a new date and time for your practical driving test. 

Face coverings are expected to be worn. If you cannot wear a face covering you will need to provide a reason why this can be done when booking your test. If you have been given a new date you will need to pre-notify the test center. 

If you show up to your test without a face covering or did not give a good reason when rearranging this you will not be able to go on your test!

Reasons for exemption are: 

  • You have a physical or mental illness or an impairment.  
  • You have a disability that means you cannot put on, wear, or remove a face covering. 
  • Putting on, wearing, or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress.
  • You need to remove it during your test to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others.

You can apply for an emergency test if you urgently need a test because you are classed as a critical worker. This includes if you work in:

  • health and social care
  • education and childcare
  • key public services
  • local and national government
  • food and other necessary goods
  • public safety and national security
  • transport
  • utilities, communication, and financial services


What to expect when arriving for your test?

The inside of the vehicle must be cleaned before going on the test. This includes wiping down the steering wheel, gear stick, etc with antibacterial wipes, provided by your instructor. Examiner will also clean the car, they will wipe down the passenger door, and everything else that they will need to touch during the test. 

Do not arrive too early for your driving test, no more than 5 minutes before your appointment time. The waiting room in the driving test center will be closed to help prevent the spread, the toilets are open upon request. 

Safety precautions are being taken by examiners, they will wear face coverings. They may also use gloves and disposable seat covers.

Your driving instructor will not be able to sit in the backseat of the car on your test to supervise.

What to expect during your test?

If you have a concern with your face covering during your test, your examiner will ask you to stop when safe to do so, so that you can adjust this. If it becomes a safety concern, the test will be ended early. If you make a minor during the test you can carry on. But if you make a serious or dangerous fault, that means you have failed, the examiner will inform you to go back to the test center, where the test will be ended. This is to minimize the amount of time spent in a vehicle.  

What to expect when the test is finished?

The examiner will ask to get out of the vehicle before telling you if you have passed or failed.  As long as it is safe to do so, you can ask your instructor to come over and listen to the feedback. 

Even if your test is booked you must not attend if

  • Yourself or someone from the same household has COVID 19 symptoms.
  •  If you have been told by the NHS test and trace service that you have been in contact with someone who has COVID 19.
  •  If you have returned to the UK in the last 14 days unless you are traveling from certain countries.


Types of crossings are operated in different ways. Each crossing is explained below, along with how to navigate these.

Zebra crossings:

zebra crossings





Look out for pedestrians that are waiting to cross, they have priority. Prepare to stop or slow down to let them cross. As pedestrians have the right of way, you must give way to those that are already on the crossing. If conditions are icy or wet, leave more time to allow yourself to stop or slow down. Do not wave individuals across as this can be dangerous if another vehicle is approaching on the other side, simply stop and wait. Look out for any pedestrians who have not yet reached the crossing but decide to cross just before.

Pedestrians should give traffic plenty of time to see them and to stop before you begin to cross. Wait until traffic has stopped from both directions or the road is clear before crossing it. Traffic does not have to stop until pedestrians are on the crossing. Keep looking both ways in case a vehicle has not seen you.

Signal-controlled crossings:

The crossings are signal-controlled crossing’s, a flashing amber light follows after the red stoplight. When there is a flashing amber light, you still need to give way to pedestrians on the crossing. If the amber light is flashing but there are no pedestrians present, you may move on. Give way to anyone still crossing after the signal for vehicles has changed to green. This applies to all crossings.

These are controlled by pedestrians as they will need to push a button to cross safely and stop traffic. When the red figure shows, do not cross it is not safe yet. When a steady green figure shows, still check traffic has stopped, but you can now cross. When the green figure flashes, you should not begin to cross, unless you are already on the crossing.

pelican signals

Toucan, puffin, and equestrian crossings:

These types of crossings are similar to pelican crossings, the difference is there is no flashing amber phase. The sequence for lights at these crossings is the same as those at traffic lights. If the signals are not working, proceed but with caution.

Toucan crossings are controlled by lights, they allow both pedestrians and cyclists to cross at the same time. The crossings are also operated by pedestrians and need a button to be pressed in order to work.


‘Staggered’ pelican or puffin crossings are when the crossings on each side of the central refuge are not in line with the other. They are classed as two separate crossings. Upon reaching the central island, you need to repress the button and wait for a steady green figure.

staggered crossings

Equestrian crossings are for horse riders. They have pavement barriers, wider crossing spaces, horse, and rider figures in the light panels and either two sets of controls (one higher), or just one higher control panel.