When you're learning to drive, you may sometimes find that it's tricky to fit everything into your schedule. Between theory test revision, lessons, private practice and tests, there's a lot to get through. The process is made easier when you have the option to learn on evenings and weekends, outside of working hours. However, when it comes to the practical, you may find it's harder than you expected to book evening driving tests.
In this guide, we'll explain what exactly constitutes an evening driving test, why they're so rare, and show you how to book your own test.
There seem to be as many opinions regarding when “evening” starts as there are people—but when it comes to evening driving tests, the DVSA's is the only opinion that counts. They set it at a rather early 4:30pm, with every test taking place after this time counting as an evening test.
When it comes to the format of the test, there's nothing to set apart an evening driving test from tests taken at any other time of day. This consists of:
With nothing to distinguish an evening test from other tests, you might expect the price to be exactly the same, too. Unfortunately, this isn't the case—booking an evening driving test will set you back £75, as opposed to the £62 that weekday daytime tests cost. This is the same fee that's payable for weekend tests taken at any time.
There's a reason for this disparity in driving test prices. A driving test examiner's typical working day spans from 8am to 4:30pm, with tests taking place roughly every hour between these times. This means that any tests taken later than this time are taking place outside of normal hours, and therefore attract higher rates of pay.
Try searching for an evening driving test yourself on the DVSA website, and you're likely to come away empty-handed. That's because there are very few evening tests available, with not all test centres choosing to offer them—and those that do only doing so at certain times of year.
A key reason for this is, as discussed above, examiner availability. Offering evening driving tests means examiners working unsociable hours, cutting into family and leisure time. While some are happy to do so, this choice clearly isn't for everyone.
Another important factor, however, is that evenings for much of the year are, well, dark. Driving at night brings with it a unique set of challenges, and testing candidates during hours of darkness would likely put them at a disadvantage compared to those taking their test in daylight.
The upshot of this is that evening driving tests are only offered as part of what the DVSA terms its “summer hours”. If you're hoping to take an evening test in the darker half of the year, therefore, you're out of luck. All of this means that evening tests are extremely hard to find—so, don't bank on being able to take your test late on in the day.
Unlike stats relating to age, gender and test centres, the DVSA don't typically announce which times of day see the best and worst pass rates. Luckily for us, insurance firm DayInsure obtained these details via a Freedom of Information request last year—and here are the stats.
This data suggests that late evening tests—specifically those taking place after 7pm—have by far the highest pass rates of any time period. However, it's also worth noting that there are likely to be very few of these tests available.
These low numbers are likely to have a skewing effect on the figures, meaning it's difficult to draw many useful conclusions. It also means that you can't simply rely on obtaining one of these tests, as the chances of getting one are very low.
Earlier evening tests (i.e., those between 5pm and 7pm), meanwhile, show pass rates that barely differ from those in the rest of the day. This isn't too surprising—these tests will be taking place during the evening rush hour, providing candidates with conditions that are every bit as tricky as those faced during working hours.
Whether you're hoping for a better chance of passing your test or simply don't want to have to take time off work, you may still be dreaming of getting your hands on an evening driving test.
When you book a PassMeFast course, you can add a fast-track practical test, which we'll arrange to suit your requirements. However, given the low numbers and seasonal nature of evening driving tests, we can't guarantee that one will be available for your booking.
Luckily, there are plenty of other ways PassMeFast can help. We're skilled at finding driving test cancellations, and can even change your existing test so that it takes place weeks or even months earlier than your original date.