FAQs

WHY DO I NEED LESSONS?

TO BE A SAFER DRIVER – Being nervous and inexperienced on the roads means drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents. By getting experience of different road conditions, road types and hazards with an experienced Driving Instructor by your side to keep you safe is invaluable experience to make you more competent, confident and most importantly, SAFER ON THE ROADS.

HOW MANY HOURS DOES IT TAKE?

Everybody is different and learns differently at varying rates. The latest Government survey suggests it will on average take 52 hours of professional driving lessons. This can be reduced by doing home study and getting practice with family and friends in a suitable car.

WEEKLY LESSONS Vs COURSES?

Learning to drive is expensive, but you are paying for expert tuition in a safe environment and with a coaching system that works. I am facilitating you to learn to drive yourself, to make safe decisions after you’ve passed, effectively providing you with an important life skill.
Weekly lessons spread the cost of training out but you end up paying for more, and taking longer to pass, in the long run. This is due to the first half of the next lesson being taken up with getting to where you were at the end of the previous lesson, so in effect, taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back.

By booking a course with a test date to aim for can give you something to focus on and have clear targets to reach for and achieve, making lesson time more effective.

Using the work book will keep this focus and the structure needed for an intensive course of driving lessons so no time is wasted but can also be used for the weekly lessons to help keep focus on learning and reduce the 2 steps foward 1 step back problem by enabling you to revise the previous lesson whilst preparing for the next.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR MY PROVISIONAL LICENCE?

To get your first provisional driving licence online for a moped, motorbike or car you must:
•    be at least 15 years and 9 months old
•    be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away
•    provide an identity document unless you have a valid UK biometric passport
•    provide addresses where you’ve lived over the last 3 years
•    pay £34 by MasterCard, Visa, Electron, Maestro or Delta debit or credit card
•    have your National Insurance number if known

Your licence should arrive within one week if you apply online.

WHEN CAN YOU APPLY

You can apply for a provisional driving licence when you’re 15 years and 9 months old. When you have your provisional driving licence you can:
•    ride a moped or light quad bike when you’re 16
•    drive a car when you’re 17

Your licence will say when you can start driving different vehicles. Read more about the age you can start driving different vehicles. You can drive a car when you are 16 if you get, or have applied for, the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). You’ll get a confirmation email from DVLA after you’ve applied. You might be asked to take part in research by email, but you can opt out. https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-provisional-driving-licence

WHAT ARE THE PROVISIONAL LICENCE CONDITIONS?

•    As a Provisional Licence holder, your vehicle must show L Plates (D Plates in Wales) at the front and back of the vehicle. You must have a qualified driver with you who is at least 21 years old and who has held a full Licence in that category for at least 3 years.

Can I start driving lessons with an instructor before passing my Theory Test?
•    Yes. It is encouraged to do it that way. The DVA believe it is the best way to learn by studying in conjunction with one another.
Can I take my Theory Test before my 17th birthday?
•    No. You can only take your car Theory Test once your Provisional Licence becomes valid on your 17th birthday. You can book your Theory Test before your 17th Birthday.
How much is the Theory Test?
•    £23
How much is the Practical Test?
•    £62 for weekdays. £75 for evenings, Weekends and Bank Holidays.
What documents do I need to take to the practical test?
•    Photocard Provisional Licence and Theory Test Pass Certificate.
Must you always carry you driving Licence when driving?
•    No, as long as you have a valid licence you don’t need to carry it. If you are ever stopped by the police and asked for it, they will give you 7 days to produce it at a police station.
Can I use an Automatic car for the Driving Test?
•    Yes. If a person passes a test in an Automatic car then they can only drive an Automatic Car. A Full Automatic Licence acts as a Provisional Manual Licence.
How long does the test last for?
•    The driving part lasts for 38-40 minutes. Along with the eyesight check and Show Me/Tell Me questions, the whole test lasts about 40-50 minutes.
CAN I USE MY OWN CAR FOR THE TEST?

Yes. You can take your driving test in your own car rather than your driving instructor’s if it meets certain rules. Your test will be cancelled and you’ll have to pay again if your car doesn’t meet the rules.

RULES ABOUT THE CAR

Your car must:
•    be taxed
•    be insured for a driving test (check with your insurance company)
•    be roadworthy and have a current MOT (if it’s over 3 years old)
•    have no warning lights showing, for example, the airbag warning light
•    have no tyre damage and the legal tread depth on each tyre – you can’t have a space-saver spare tyre fitted
•    be smoke-free – this means you can’t smoke in it just before or during the test
•    be able to reach at least 62mph and have an mph speedometer
•    have 4 wheels and a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500 kg
The MAM is the limit on how much the car can weigh when it’s loaded. It’ll be in the car’s handbook.

THINGS THAT MUST BE FITTED

The car must have:
•    an extra interior rear-view mirror for the examiner
•    L-plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear
•    a passenger seatbelt for the examiner and a proper passenger head restraint (not a slip-on type)

DASHCAMS AND OTHER CAMERAS

You can use a camera fitted for insurance purposes, as long as it:
•    faces outside of the car and doesn’t film the inside
•    doesn’t record audio from inside the car

MANUAL AND AUTOMATIC CARS

You can take the test in a:
•    manual car – these have 3 pedals
•    automatic or semi-automatic car – these have 2 pedals

If you take your test in a semi-automatic car you’ll only be able to drive automatic and semi-automatic cars once you’ve passed your test.

HIRE CARS

You can take your test in a hire car if it’s fitted with dual controls and meets all the other rules.

VEHICLE FEATURES

You can use a car with:
•    an electronic parking brake
•    hill-start assist

CARS YOU CANNOT USE

Some cars can’t be used in the test because they don’t give the examiner all-round vision.

You can’t use any of the following:
•    BMW Mini convertible
•    Ford KA convertible
•    Toyota iQ
•    VW Beetle convertible

Check with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) before you book your test if you want to use a:
•    convertible car
•    panel van

https://www.gov.uk/driving-test/using-your-own-car

WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE FAIL ON IN THE TEST?

Although every learner is an individual and has different strengths and weaknesses, the top ten reasons why people fail their test are;
•    Inappropriate Speed – Travelling too slowly or being hesitant.
•    Reversing around the corner – Ineffective observations or lack of accuracy.
•    Moving away safely – Ineffective observations.
•    Observations at junctions – Inefficient observations and judgement.
•    Lack of steering control – Steering too early or leaving it too late.
•    Reverse Parking – Ineffective observations or lack of accuracy.
•    Incorrect positioning to turn right – At junctions and in a One-Way Street.
•    Use of mirrors – Not checking or acting on the information.
•    Incorrect use of signals – Not cancelling or giving misleading signals.
•    Incorrect positioning on the road – At roundabouts or on bends.

WHAT ARE THE DRIVING TEST CHARGES?

What happens during your driving test will be different from 4 December 2017.
Find out what happens during the test if you take it before 4 December 2017.
There will be 5 parts to the driving test:
•    an eyesight check
•    ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions
•    general driving ability
•    reversing your vehicle
•    independent driving

The changes apply to the ‘show me, tell me’ questions, reversing your vehicle and independent driving parts of the test. The test will be the same for both manual and automatic cars.

HOW LONG WILL THE TEST LAST?

You’ll drive for around 40 minutes. You’ll drive for around 70 minutes if you’re taking an extended driving test because you’ve been banned from driving.

EYESIGHT CHECK

You’ll have to read a number plate from a distance of:
•    20 metres for vehicles with a new-style number plate
•    20.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate
New-style number plates start with 2 letters followed by 2 numbers, such as AB51 ABC. You’ll fail your driving test if you fail the eyesight check. The test will end.

SHOW ME, TELL ME; QUESTIONS

You’ll be asked 2 vehicle safety questions known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions. These test that you know how to carry out basic safety tasks.

You’ll be asked the:
•    ‘tell me’ question at the start of your test, before you start driving
•    ‘show me’ question while you’re driving – for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers

YOUR GENERAL DRIVING ABILITY

You’ll drive in various road and traffic conditions, but not on motorways.
The examiner will give you directions that you should follow. Driving test routes aren’t published, so you can’t check them before your test.

PULLING OVER AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD

You’ll be asked to pull over and pull away during your test, including:
•    normal stops at the side of the road
•    pulling out from behind a parked vehicle
•    a hill start
You might also be asked to carry out an emergency stop.

REVERSING YOUR VEHHICLE

The examiner will ask you to do one of the following exercises:
•    parallel park at the side of the road
•    park in a parking bay – either by driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do)
•    pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for around 2 car lengths, and rejoin the traffic

INDEPENDENT DRIVING

You’ll have to drive for about 20 minutes by following either:
•    directions from a sat nav
•    traffic signs
The examiner will tell you which you have to do.

FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS FROM A SAT NAV

The examiner will provide the sat nav and set it up for you. You can’t follow directions from your own sat nav during the test.

GOING OFF THE ROUTE

Your test result won’t be affected if you take a wrong turning, unless you make a fault while doing it. The examiner will help you get back on the route if you do.

IF YOU CAN’T SEE TRAFFIC SIGNS

If you can’t see a traffic sign (for example, because it’s covered by trees), the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next one.

IF YOU MAKE MISTAKES DURING YOUR TEST

You can carry on if you make a mistake. It might not affect your test result if it’s not serious.
The examiner will only stop your test if they think your driving is a danger to other road users.

https://www.gov.uk/driving-test/changes-december-2017

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