When booking your practical driving test there are a few factors to consider: location, day of the week and time. Now, when we say consider, you may not actually have much of a choice in these matters—test centres aren't exactly known for their flexibility! Test location is usually determined by where you live or the area in which you had your lessons. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's always best to stick to roads that you are familiar with! As for time of day, our article on the 8am Driving Test sheds light on the advantages of various options.
If in doubt, it could be as simple as deciding whether you're a morning or evening person. When it comes to day of the week, one of the most common requests is also a source of confusion.
Yes, we're talking about the much sought after weekend driving test. Is this even possible? And if so, are they the best option? Let's take a look...
The weekend test is not a myth, but they are certainly elusive. In fact, weekend tests are only available at certain test centres, and even then they can be few and far between. Driving examiners are under no obligation to work overtime and that includes weekends. This means that the likelihood of centres providing weekend tests is dependent on demand levels and individual examiners' preferences.
Not all test centres offer weekend tests, and when they do they get snapped up quickly—so you need to be eagle-eyed and quick-fingered!
All this hassle begs the question: is it even worth it?
The demand for weekend tests might give the impression that they are the key to passing first time, but this is false. There are, however, obvious pros that come with taking your test on a Saturday or Sunday.
If you work a regular 9-5 job in the week, you won't have to book time off (meaning you can save those precious holiday hours!). Live in a built-up area that provides access to schools and offices? Taking your test on a weekend means you can avoid the stress of rush hour traffic. If your test falls early on a Sunday (bear in mind that these are VERY rare) you may even have the roads to yourself, so you can show off your best driving.
As you can see, the positives relate more to convenience than improving your chances of passing the actual test.
Of course, some of the advantages have their downside...
Busy roads aren't actually all that bad under test conditions—you won't need to travel as far and examiners may avoid particularly complex roads to save time.
If you have good clutch control and don't mind navigating heavy traffic, rush hour tests may actually be to your benefit!
Weekend tests don't even guarantee less traffic. Some areas are just as busy on weekends as they are on weekday evenings. Shopping centres, markets and concerts can draw huge crowds to popular towns and cities at the weekend.
These factors might make you think twice about whether the financial disadvantage is worth it. That's right, your wallet will suffer more for a weekend test: the cost of a driving test on weekends starts £13 higher than weekday slots.
If your test location is quieter on weekends and traffic makes you anxious, the extra effort and cost of a coveted weekend test slot may be worth it. Then again, it's unlikely to make a difference to the outcome of your test and you'll be lucky to get one in the first place.
So if you do, congratulations! If you don't, not to worry! Take what you can get and concentrate on the driving rather than the day of the week. If you do feel like you've failed your test, even before it's finished, check out your options here.
Whichever day is your preference, let PassMeFast do the hard work for you. Our team can hunt out your nearest test centres and determine who offers what in terms of days and times. Give us a call on 0333 123 4949 and we'll do the legwork so you can focus on the test itself!
The date of your test isn't the only factor that comes into play. Check out our guide to driving test pass rates by area.