You can’t start your driving lessons until you have a provisional driving licence for Great Britain or Northern Ireland.
To apply for your provisional licence you must be at least 17 years old. If you are disabled and in receipt of Mobility Allowance the minimum age is 16. These are issued by the DVLA.
Your first driving lesson
On your first driving lesson your driving instructor will collect you from your chosen collection point and introduce themselves. It’s normal to feel nervous. But don’t worry – our instructor will put you at ease.
You will be asked to produce your provisional driving licence and read a number plate at 20.5 metres. This is to make sure that your eyesight meets the legal requirement for driving. If you need glasses to read the number plate you must wear them whenever you drive.
If you have never driven before, your instructor will introduce you to the controls of the cars and will make sure you are on a quiet bit of road before they ask you to do anything at all.
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency Tests
In order to obtain a full UK driving licence you will need to pass a theory and practical test.
Driving Theory Test
This is a computerised test held in two parts, one immediately after the other. You will need to pass both parts in order to be successful.
Part One – Theory Test
The driving theory test is a 50 question, multiple choice test. To pass, you must answer 43 or more questions correctly within 57 minutes. The questions are chosen at random from a bank of over 1,000 questions covering all driving topics.
Part Two – The Hazard Perception Test
Part Two of your driving theory test shows you a series of 14 one-minute video clips, each showing potential hazards involving road conditions, pedestrians or road users. The pass mark is 44 out of 75. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lBi1S2M8P0U
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency Practical Test
You must complete your Driving Theory Test before you can book your Practical Driving Test. Your instructor will monitor your progress closely and will know when best to recommend making the test appointment. To pass the test it is essential that you are fully prepared for all aspects, including:
- Eyesight check. Before driving the car you will be asked to read a number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres, or 20 metres for the new style number plates.
- Show me, Tell me. A test of knowledge of basic car maintenance and safety checks on your vehicle. You will be asked two ‘show and tell’ questions, getting one or both of them wrong will count as a driving fault in your test.
Your driving instructor will go through the items during your practical lessons.
- Driving the car. A practical test of about 40 minutes duration, including 20 minutes of independent driving. You will be examined on your ability to drive safely and carry out one of the following reversing exercises.
- parallel park at the side of the road
- park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out
- pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic
You may also be asked to carry out a controlled emergency stop.
Change to the Practical Driving Test
Independent driving was introduced as part of the practical driving test in October last year. Find out more at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Nl1/Newsroom/DG_188282