It’s a sound idea as one in three people who contract the virus don’t show any symptoms but still remain infectious.

And that’s seriously bad news for anyone who’s sat in a car with that person such as a driving examiner during a practical driving test.

What does the government want learners to do exactly?

To help stop the spread of Covid, the government is recommending that you take a ‘lateral flow test’ at home (see below) twice a week and up to four days before your driving test – and also after taking your driving test – to ensure you and those around you remain as safe as possible.

To be clear, the government is not forcing anyone to have a lateral flow test done.

If you turn up for your driving test and say you have not done one, you won’t be turned away.

What should you do if you test positive?

In the first instance, you should book a PCR test here as soon as possible and immediately start self-isolating along with everyone in your household.

A PCR test is far more accurate than a lateral flow test but you will need to go to an official testing centre for one with the results delivered back to you typically within 24 hours:

  • If the test comes back negative, then you can still take your driving test.
  • If that comes back positive, you will need to cancel your test and rebook it for free – see below.

Also, if you had to change your appointment because of a positive Covid test within four days of your driving test, you can email the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to see if they can find an earlier driving test appointment for you.

Format your email as follows:

  • Use the email subject title ‘Lateral flow rebooking’
  • Include two of three of the following pieces of information: your driving licence number, your theory test pass certificate number, and/or your driving test booking reference number.
  • Send it to

What does a lateral flow test actually involve though?

These require you to rub a long cotton bud over your tonsils (or where they used to be if they have been removed) and inside your nose.

Similar to a pregnancy test, the test can be done at home by yourself with results shown in 30 minutes.

Importantly, the packs containing seven lateral flow tests are free to everyone.

You can either order online here with them delivered direct to your home; pop into your local pharmacy and pick the tests up; or head to a rapid lateral flow test site in your area.

Finally, if you are showing Covid symptoms, taking a lateral flow test is not appropriate; instead, you must book a PCR test immediately here.

What about lessons with driving instructors?

Whether you need to have a lateral flow test before being able to have a lesson is up to individual instructors.

It’s best to check with them before resuming/starting lessons with them to double check if they are happy to have a lesson with you without a test or if it is a requirement before tuition can begin.

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Main photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Lesson photo by Orkun Azap on Unsplash