If anyone out there is wondering about whether or not they can drive barefoot on their driving test then take a look at April.
She aced her driving test with only three faults and also took it in bare feet. A lot of ill-informed people think that driving without shoes is illegal but that just isn’t true. As long as driving with bare feet doesn’t cause any problem controlling the car then it really isn’t an issue. I personally find barefoot driving uncomfortable but for some people driving barefooted gives more control over the pedals and makes it easier to control the clutch in particular.
I’ve taken a number of people to their driving tests who wanted to drive barefoot and there has never been a problem with any driving test examiner. If anyone tells you that driving barefoot is illegal then ask them which specific law says so. They won’t be able to tell you because there isn’t one. As for safety, with all these people including April and Carmen below I have never seen an instance during ANY of their driving lessons where driving barefoot has caused any sort of safety issue.
This is Carmen. Busier than a bumble bee. This picture was taken on a drive to Southport which was the first time Carmen had tried driving without shoes. Instant success! She decided to try it after reading about April in this article and judging by the number of hits this page gets in internet searches there must be many people around the country who have the problem of being uncomfortable in shoes. Carmen was already a good driver, going barefoot added that little bit of extra smoothness and finesse.
Carmen has since passed her driving test first time – without shoes – at West Didsbury driving test centre and the very next day drove me all the way down the motorway to where she lives in London on probably the longest driving lesson I’ve ever done. She did it all barefoot.
It’s important to make sure that you don’t do anything silly such as putting your shoes in the footwell where they might slide forward and foul the pedals but to be honest it’s sometimes more dangerous to use the wrong footwear such as high heels, sandals or wedges than it is to be driving in bare feet.
The driver of any vehicle has to be able stop in an emergency and on a driving test this may be simulated by the ’emergency stop’ exercise which you can read about on another post elsewhere on this website. Car braking systems tend to have a thing called ‘servo assisted’ braking which in very simple terms means that a small press on the brake pedal can be all that is needed to make the car slow or stop. Because of this, barefoot driving is rarely a problem.
Many other driving instructors appear to share that opinion. Check out the link below to access a forum called ‘Driver Training Today’:
And you could take a look at this forum for the cops;
I also have an email on my computer from the customer services unit of the Driving Standards Agency which says;
“I can confirm that you are legally entitled to drive a motor vehicle while barefoot”.
If you still aren’t sure about going barefoot on test or your instructor isn’t up to speed on the rules, ‘phone your local driving test centre and ask the examiners – they really are nice people to deal with and will be happy to advise you.
WELL DONE APRIL (and Carmen)!