Can I Use an SUV for my Road Test? (Explained)

A driving test is a procedure in every state and country worldwide, designed to test a person’s ability to drive a motor vehicle. And often, the requirements vary worldwide.

One of those requirements is whether you are the one who will bring the car to the test, or the DMV or the Department of Motor Vehicle will provide the vehicle for your road test.

Whatever will be the scenario, you should always be prepared for. And if the previous is the requirement in your country or your state, the question will be, can I use an SUV for my road test?

Before we answer that, let’s list what you need to do before your road test. Please note that depending on your country and driver’s license category that you are applying for, your practical road test will be done in a public, open road to test your skills, reflexes, and attentiveness.

In Short: Can SUV be used for the Road Test?

In general, there are no rules that prohibit SUVs for road tests. Of course, you can use them. It’s just that an SUV is not the most suitable type of car for a beginner, so it would be better if you use a kind of car that is relatively easy to drive rather than an SUV.

Here’s the reason why you shouldn’t use an SUV for your road test

  1. The car that needs to use for road tests must have either a lever style emergency brake that is usually mounted in the car console near the gear selector. There are few cars and SUVs that don’t have a full center console. And those cars that have a floor-mounted brake are limited at this time.
  2. The SUV is quite big and will be difficult for a beginner to maneuver. Smaller cars are better, mainly because it is easier to park and some states have parallel parking in the test that you need to be done within two minutes. Some people struggle to park a bigger car especially if the road test examiner chooses a tight spot for you to park.
  3. If you are small in height, it will be difficult to reach the foot brake and gas if you will use SUV, you cannot pull forward the seat as there is a required distance between your chest and the steering wheel.
  4. Since your road test will test your driving skills in an open and public space like an intersection, a larger car especially SUV needs to be more careful with lane position. You are not allowed to use someone’s lane. While in the smaller car you can fit in even on narrow roads.
Driving Test Pictures

Now that we know that SUVs are not suitable for road tests, what are the options then?

Contact a driving school

Many of them offer “loaner” vehicles that you can use to take the test.  

A driving instructor will pick you up at your home and take you to the testing site, and then you can use their “dual brake” equipped vehicle ( the one they are using for driving lessons), which is the one with a secondary brake pedal mounted on the passenger side.

This guarantees that their car will be accepted, and you will get a ride to and from the testing site.

Rent a car

This will cost you money, and it is not guaranteed that they will allow you to hire since you don’t have a license yet.

But you can ask someone from your family member to rent one for you and be sure that the rented vehicle has a valid vehicle registration, current inspection sticker, and the required insurance coverage.

You can borrow one

Ask your other family member or friend if they have a smaller car like a sedan or coupe for you to use for the road test.

This is the easiest, cheapest and most practical way. Suppose you have a friend or relative with an extra functional car, and they don’t mind borrowing it from them for a test. In that case, this option will save you a lot, though be sure also that all papers are updated and complete, especially the insurance policy coverage.

Check to the DMV if the car owner should be present on your scheduled road test to verify the ownership of the car you will use for the road test.

Final Word

Nowadays, it is tough and inconvenient to get by without ready and available means of transportation, especially in emergency cases. Thus getting a driving license is a must in any part of the world. Be prepared, relax and enjoy the ride; surely, you will leave the testing site with a grin holding the most coveted plastic card in your hand.