Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get my driving licence?
There are several stages to gaining your driving licence. First you need to apply for your provisional driving licence. Once you have your provisional licence you will need to pass the theory test. Then finally you will be able to take your practical driving test.
How do I apply for my provisional driving licence?
The easiest way to apply for your provisional driving licence is online. You can apply for your car licence up to three months before your 17th birthday and you must meet the eyesight requirement of being able to read a number plate from 20 meters. If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses to meet the requirements then you MUST wear them every time you drive. To apply you’ll need to provide an identity document(unless you have a valid UK biometric passport), addresses where you’ve lived over the last 3 years and your National Insurance number if you know it.
How many lessons will I need?
This is probably the one question every driving instructor dreads. It comes down to each individual student, how quickly they pick things up and how nervous they are. Safe Driving For Life tells us that on average it takes people 45 hours of driving lessons and 22 hours of practice with relatives or friends to learn to drive.
Is the Driving Theory Test hard?
The driving theory test is in two parts. You must pass both parts to pass your theory test. The easiest way to book your theory test is online.
The first part consists of 50 multiple choice questions. You’ll need to get at least 43 correct to pass and you have 57 minutes for this part of the test.
The second part consists of a series of video clips containing developing hazards. You need to identify the hazard, the earlier you respond to the developing hazard the more points you score with a maximum of 5 points for each hazard. The pass mark is 44 out of 75.
When can I start practical driving lessons?
You can start practical driving lessons as soon as you are seventeen and have your provisional licence. You don’t have to pass your theory test before getting in the car. We recommend that you have some professional driving lessons before you start to practice with family and friends. This is so that you start learning good habits from the very beginning.
For you to progress more quickly to gaining your full driving licence, getting extra experience outside of lessons is key. You just need to have the appropriate insurance on the car that you are driving, display L-plates on the front and back of the car, and have an accompanying driver who is over 21 and has held a full licence for at least three years.
Tell me about the practical driving test?
The practical test makes sure you can drive confidently and safely in different road and traffic conditions, and that you know The Highway Code (and can show this by the way you drive). It lasts about 40 minutes.
Before you begin the driving part of the test, the examiner will do an eyesight check and will ask you a question about safety checks on your car. DVSA’s ‘Show Me, Tell Me’ videos give some more information about these questions. You’ll be asked a second ‘show me’ question (for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls) later, while you’re driving.
For about 20 minutes of the test you’ll drive independently. Most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat-nav provided by the examiner. One in five driving tests won’t use a sat-nav, you’ll be asked to follow traffic signs instead. This is so you can show you’ll be able to drive safely on your own after you’ve passed your test.
You’re allowed to take your instructor with you on your test, for support and feedback. Having someone you know with you can also help you to stay calm during the test.