Learning to Drive

Learner driver
Pass your test with a qualified driving instructor

Learning to drive is an important life skill and one that many people couldn’t do without. It’s best to learn to drive as soon as you are legally entitled to as you will learn quickest at that age. It’s a sad fact that after your early 20’s your speed of learning decreases.

How many driving lessons does it take to learn to drive?

The number of driving lessons required to pass the driving test will vary from one person to another – there are many variables. These can include such things as:

  • Your age
  • The area where you are learning
  • Whether you are able to get private practice
  • Similar previous experience eg tractor, or motorcycle

Intelligence plays little part in ability to learn to drive, but psychomotor skills will play a more important part.

How to choose the best driving school?

How do you know which will be the best driving school for you? An important factor in choosing the right driving school is to ask your friends who they have learned with and get their views on how good the instructor is. You might ask them to comment on –

  • Price (although with all things cheapest is not usually the best)
  • Timekeeping
  • Friendliness
  • How relaxed they feel on driving lessons
  • Do they feel they’ve made good progress
  • Do they feel encouraged by their driving instructor

All instructors are examined by the DVSA – fully qualified driving instructors with have passed all 3 exams – part trained instructors (PDI’s) will have passed their first two exams. Always try to get a fully qualified ADI (with a green badge). In addition all instructors are regularly checked to ensure that their standard is satisfactory through the Standards Check.

Most driving instructors work independently, although some work for driving schools such as AA, BSM, Red Driving school or other local or regional driving schools such as Blackwood driving school.

Your route to passing the driving test

You will firstly need to apply for a provisional driving licence (forms available from the post office) which usually takes about 10 days or you can apply online. You can then start your driving lessons. it’s always best to start with a driving school rather than family member so that you start learning the correct way. You can wait till later to start getting private practice. You will need to also start learning for the theory test. you must pass the theory test before you can apply for a date for the practical test. make sure that you are definitely 100% ready for the test. Most people who fail, do so because they had had too few lessons and too little experience.

How many driving lessons will I need?

Generally it is accepted that most people take between 1½ – 2 lessons per year of their life. So a 17 year old would not normally expect to pass with less than 25 lessons.

Do I need glasses 2 drive?

If you cannot read a number plate from 20 metres then you will certainly need either contact lenses or glasses 2 drive. On your driving test the examiner will carry out a simple test of your eyesight which will involve reading a number plate from 20 metres. If you need glasses to read the number plate then you must always wear your glasses when you drive. Cheap prescription glasses are available from Glasses 2 You.

How long do I need to wait for a test?

The DVSA target is that you should need to wait no more than 6 weeks for your driving test. In reality driving test waiting times are generally significantly longer than this. You could find yourself having to wait for maybe 12 weeks or more for a driving test date. For that reason it’s important that you make quick progress with your theory test so that you can book a practical test at the earliest possible date. Make sure that you get good advice from your driving instructor as to when you will be ready for the test,

Do I need to use a driving school car for the test?

While most people take their test in a driving school car it is not a legal requirement. Most normal cars are suitable for the driving test although the DVSA has a list of cars that are not allowed to be used for the test. These include convertible minis and smart cars. The vehicle has to have room in the back for passengers and must have good rear visibility for the driving examiner. The car must be fully insured for use on the driving test, have L plates, been in good roadworthy condition and an extra interior mirror for the examiner to use.