Learning to Drive in an EV

A guide on learning to drive an electric vehicle (EV), discussing considerations and options for aspiring drivers.

Last updated: Jul 24, 2024 3 min read

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You can learn to drive and take your test in an EV. If you take your test in one, you’ll receive an automatic licence, meaning you won’t be able to operate cars with manual transmissions.

Should I learn to drive in an EV?

Learning to drive is a big step towards independence for many, offering newfound freedom and convenience. As EVs start to slowly replace petrol and diesel cars to reduce CO2 emissions created by transportation, you may be wondering if it’s possible to take lessons and learn driving with an electric car. Maybe you’ll be sharing a family car or are simply set on going electric with your first car purchase.

Whatever the reason, it’s ultimately up to you whether you learn to drive and take your test in an electric car, and there are pros and cons to learning in an EV.

Can you learn to drive in an EV?

Yes, you can learn to drive in an EV, and it might even be of benefit to you to start your driving experience this way if you plan to drive electric in the future. However, you should consider a few things before you start learning.

When you pass your driving test in an EV, you’ll get a Category B Auto licence. This type of licence only allows you to drive cars with automatic transmission, so you won’t be allowed to drive any vehicles with manual transmission. That’s fine if you only ever plan on driving electric, but if you can foresee a need to drive petrol or diesel - such as hiring a car for a holiday - you may be better off learning and passing in a manual car. That’s because if you have an automatic licence and want to drive manual cars in the future, you’ll have to take a separate test.

What licence do I need to drive an EV?

You don’t need a special licence to drive an EV. A standard driving licence, either Category B (manual and automatic transmission) or Category B Auto (automatic only), allows you to drive an electric car. Keep in mind that if your licence was issued in one country, there may be restrictions or additional requirements when driving in another country, so always check local laws when travelling.

Can you take a driving test in an electric car?

Yes, you can take your driving test in an electric car! With EVs becoming more popular among drivers, many driving schools have started offering this as an option.

How to find a driving instructor for learning in an EV

Start by searching for driving schools that specifically offer electric car driving lessons. These schools are more likely to have instructors who are familiar with electric cars and can help you learn quicker.

Want to hear from an experienced driving instructor who made the switch to EVs? We interviewed instructor Rob Cooling about teaching people how to drive in electric cars. He talks about the cost savings and how it feels to drive an EV vs petrol or diesel car.