Coronavirus (COVID-19) and driving tests

Driving instructors and supervising drivers are not currently allowed to sit in the back during driving tests. This is to help with social distancing.

This page shows what the rules are when you’re allowed to sit in on driving tests.

Who can observe driving tests

You can observe a driving test if you’re 16 or over, but you cannot take any part in the test.

There are different rules for filming or recording a driving test.

Before the test starts

Turn your phone off or make sure it’s switched to silent.

‘Tell me’ vehicle safety question

You can help the candidate to lift the bonnet if they’re struggling, but do not interfere unnecessarily.

Where you sit

It’s usually least intrusive to sit behind the candidate, However, the best position is wherever it’s the most comfortable, providing you can sit upright with the seat belt correctly fitted.

During the test

When the test has started, you can:

  • take notes to help the candidate
  • change position to improve the candidate’s visibility during the reverse exercises

Do not:

  • answer your phone
  • prompt the candidate by coughing or nudging the back of their seat
  • nod enthusiastically or make excessive eye contact with the candidate – it can be seen as a pre-arranged code

The test will not be stopped if you naturally look left, right and behind you – but try not to put the candidate off.

At the end of the test

Listen carefully to the feedback so that you can give the candidate more detailed feedback later.

Speak to the test centre manager or follow the complaints procedure if you have genuine concerns about how the test was conducted.