Learning to drive

provisional licence graphic

When can I start lessons, and what do I need?

The only things you’ll need to bring are

  • A valid Provisional Driving Licence. You can apply for one when you are 15 years and 9 months old, however you can not start driving a car until you are 17 years old.
  • Any Prescription eye wear (Glasses / Contacts Lenses) you would normally wear. You must be able to read a new-style number plate from 20 metres away (with glasses or contact lenses if you need them, as long as you always wear them when you’re driving)

Use the following link to apply. https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-provisional-driving-licence

 (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).) (See https://www.gov.uk/pip for details)


Tips for learning to drive.

Before or once you’ve booked your first lesson.

  • If possible familiarise your self with the Highway Code. (Checkout the DVSA Website for some recommended reading) The DVSA = (Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency)
    highway code
    The Official Highway Code
  • Study for your Theory if you’ve not already passed. (1/2 – 1 hour a night)
  • Find some comfortable shoes you can use on your lessons, particularly no high heels.

Whilst you are learning.

  • Keep practicing your Theory Questions for your Theory Test
  • Book regular sessions, at least one lesson a week if your circumstances allow.


The Theory Test – What to expect

The Theory test is in two sections

  1. The Multiple Choice partYou must answer 50 questions in 57 Minutes using a PC and Mouse

These can be purchased at the DVSA Shop, or elsewhere on-line, in good book shops, or there are on-line versions as well.

You need to answer 43 correctly to pass

New Theory test question Changes to the Car Theory Test – April 2020

*** Changes to the Multiple Choice section of the Car Theory Test. ***

From 14 April 2020, the Multiple Choice section will change slightly for details click the picture above or watch the video below.


2. The Hazard Perception Part – after the Multiple Choice section you will get a few minutes to settle then you will start.

You will view 14 video clips, you then have to click the mouse whenever you spot a hazard developing.

  • There are 15 hazards to identify, with at least one on each clip, however there are two in one of the clips. So pay attention throughout each clip.
  • The hazard clips have no sound.
  • When you see a hazard developing, click either the left or right mouse button. The earlier you see it the more points you will get. The scoring is between zero and five with a maximum of 75 (i.e.. 15 hazards x 5) you need a score of 44 to pass. There are kits available at the DVSA Shop that include DVD roms downloads, plus the books above, and there are also Apps available to help you practice on both Android and iOS platforms.
  • We recommend Theory Test Pro to all our students, and it is FREE as part of your ongoing tuition.


Booking your driving theory test and how much it will cost?



theory test page
How to book your Theory test

You can book your theory test either:

  • Online, at https://www.gov.uk/theory-test
  • On the telephone using a credit or debit card on the number 0300 200 1122
  • It will cost £23 and there is usually a waiting time of a week or two.
  • You will take the test at your local theory test center. You can type in your post code to find you local test center during the application process.


The Practical Driving Test – What to expect.

The DVSA have produced an excellent video on Youtube to explain about the New test

How the test works video

This video shows how the test will work from 4 December 2017.

What happens during the test

There are 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 test is the same for both manual and automatic cars.

How long the test lasts

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.

You’ll be asked the:

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 are not published, so you cannot 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 (also called controlled stop).

Reversing your vehicle

The examiner will ask you to do one of the following exercises:

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 follow.

They’ll set the sat nav up for you. You can’t use your own sat nav.

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.

Going off the route

The examiner won’t give you a fault for taking a wrong turning.

They’ll help you get back on the route if you do.

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.