The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is unlikely to conduct driving tests in bad weather conditions due to safety issues. Bad weather can include snow, fog, rain or ice, although if only light, driving tests may still go ahead.
If bad weather is an issue around the date of your test, look for the driving test centre telephone number on your confirmation letter or e-mail and call the test centre around 1 to 2 hours before your test is scheduled. Calling the test centre much earlier than this will result in the test centre staff not providing an answer.
The driving test routes can be checked numerous time during a single day in bad weather conditions and a decision whether a test goes ahead is often made 1 or 2 hours before it is scheduled. The test centre staff will be unable to provide you if you call the day before for example.
If your driving test is scheduled for an afternoon appointment, call the test centre staff in the morning.
If tests are going ahead, it is highly likely the afternoon appointments will also take place providing conditions remain stable.
The driving test in snow, ice or frost
If there is still snow on the ground on the day of your test, first thing in the morning the examiner checks around various areas of the test routes to see how the roads are affected. If the roads have been salted and are reasonably clear, the test will likely go ahead. If there is snow covering quieter residential streets or country roads, the test may be cancelled.
The driving examiner also checks the roads due to frost. Frost typically affects road early in the morning. Due to high traffic conditions on main roads, busy roads are often clear. Because driving tests involve many quieter residential areas and country roads, the driving test may still be cancelled if frost poses a risk in such areas.
driving test in rain or fog
It is unusual for a driving test to be cancelled due to rain or fog. For a driving test to be cancelled due to these conditions, rain or fog will need to be heavy. If your driving test is still going ahead in the rain, remember to use your windscreen wipers. This sounds obvious, but learner drivers concentrate so hard during the test, that they sometimes forget to use them. If there is fog, it is a legal requirement to illuminate your rear fog lights. It is law that a car must be fitted with rear fog lights only.
Whilst driving on your test, and the weather conditions are good, a good following distance can be maintained by using the 2 second rule:- When the car in front reaches a certain object, such as a lamppost for example, count 2 seconds. If you reach that lamppost before you have finished counting, you are too close.
- See 2 second rule for further information.
If it is raining or there is fog, snow, ice or frost, ensure that you increase the distance between you and the car in front. Use your judgement as this depends on the condition extremes. Anywhere between 4 and 10 seconds for the harshest conditions should apply.
Driving test cancelled
If you arrive for your driving test, the examiner will explain in the waiting area that the test has been cancelled due to bad weather conditions. The examiner will also give you a letter explaining why and what will happen next.
In the event of a test cancellation, the DVSA will reschedule your driving test to the next available appointment at no extra cost. The DVSA will not offer you a refund for the driving test. Once you have received notification of your new driving test date by e-mail or by post, if the new test date is not convenient to you, you may cancel or reschedule the test.
Cancellations can be made complete with a full refund of the test fee providing at least 3 workings days notice has been provided. Rescheduling of the test is also possible providing 3 working days notice is provided.
Tips for booking the driving test in winter
Driving tests frequently get cancelled in winter due to bad weather conditions. If possible, try to book your driving test in the afternoon as this will give the chance for ground frost on the roads to clear and for any road salting to have had an effect.
Is my driving test cancelled?
If you are unsure whether your driving test is cancelled, you will either need to contact your driving test centre 1 to 2 hours before your driving test is scheduled, or contact the DVSA directly. All DVSA contact information can be obtained via the learning to drive section.
6 thoughts on “Driving Tests in Snow, Fog, Rain or Ice”
Arr driving tests going ahead with the corona virus going on
As of right now, there are no country-wide announcements to cancel tests, though the coronavirus pandemic is of course an ongoing issue and is subject to change.
The date of my test has changed on the gov website but no email? My test is in the morning?
That’s very short notice George.
What should be my speed on the following cases in my driving test for me to pass?
1. There was a snowstorm recently but the roads are salted and clear. Snow and ice are accumulated on pavements or road sides. What should be my speed in a 60 mph country road? Or 30 mph urban area road?
2. Should speed be any different when it is raining? What are acceptable limits in this case to pass the test
Gosh, that’s not a question that’s possible to answer as each and every road is different and that in itself requires variable speeds on the part of the driver. I tend to think what speed would you do on a particular road if weather conditions are ideal, then reduce speed based on the conditions of the road and/or weather. You’d want to consider that there may still be ice patches, even if the roads have been salted.
When it’s raining, again, it depends on how much the rain is affecting visibility and also if there’s standing water as this can result in aquaplaning. There’s really not a specific answer because there’s so many variables due to the types of roads, the environment, road surfaces and weather at that time.
The examiner will be expecting you to take all of these variables into account. They will also expect you adjust your following distances in relation to these conditions. The 2 second rule is a good and simple rule to follow.