Thursday, 27 July 2017

A beginner's guide to learning how to drive

A close up of a set of Vauxhall Corsa keys
On Tuesday 27th June, a month ago today, I passed my driving test. I thought it would be helpful to share my driving experience, incase any of thinking of learning how to drive and would like to know more about the process. 

Before you can start learning to drive, you have to apply for a provisional license (£34) which you can do either at your local post office or online at If you are 16, you can apply for your provisional license up to 3 months before your 17th birthday. 

Once you receive your provisional license, providing you are 17 and over, you can legally start learning to drive. Most people learn with an instructor, lessons are typically £20-25 an hour if you are learning in a manual but prices are slightly higher if you learn in an automatic. I would recommend learning in a manual just because once you pass you can drive both manual and automatic cars whereas if you pass in an automatic, you will only be able to drive automatic cars. Every person is different so make a decision based on which gearbox you think would work best for you. 

After a few months of learning, your instructor will usually let you know that you have reached test standard and you are ready for your test. Before you can book your driving test, you have to pass your theory test. The theory test is split into two parts. The first part is multiple choice on basic road knowledge and the second is a hazard perception video test. To pass, you must answer 43 out of 50 questions in the first part correctly and 44 out of 75 questions on the hazard perception. The best way to pass your theory first time is to revise consistently in the weeks leading up to it. I found that the official DVSA theory test kit CD was really effective for revision, it costs around £14.99 and features all the possible questions you might be asked in the real thing.

Lastly, the driving test. The driving test is £62 to book including a fee of around £50 to use your instructor's car for the duration of your test. The point of the driving test is to show the examiner that you are safe and ready to face the roads alone without an instructor. My best advice is to keep calm and to tell as few people as possible to reduce the pressure. I failed my first test, rebooked it immediately and passed 4 weeks later.

Although learning to drive is a costly and time-consuming process, it's 100% worth it in the long run. It gives you more freedom, independence and you no longer have to rely on public transport or lifts from friends and family.

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