Frequently asked questions
Is it better to pass the Theory Test before I take driving lessons?
Something I'm often asked. While I don't recommend ignoring it, I feel that you should book the Theory Test and begin to prepare for it as soon as you book your first driving lesson.
It generally takes a few weeks to get a test date and by preparing for it as you start to learn to drive, you will make a better connection between the theory and practical side of driving.
Why can it sometimes be difficult to speak to a driving instructor?
If it's difficult to speak to a driving instructor, it's usually because he's busy. And that's a good thing if you are looking for an instructor.
While on a lesson, it's illegal for an instructor to use his phone in the same way as if he is driving. The instructor is responsible for the vehicle while giving a driving lesson.
It's also pretty bad manners to ignore the pupil who has paid for a lesson and should have their full attention.
If you ring me and it goes to voicemail, leave your NAME and a contact NUMBER and I promise to return your call as soon as I can.
Is it better to use my own car or the instructor's car for the test?
It's entirely up to the pupil. Whichever you feel more comfortable using is the right car to use.
I don't make an extra charge to use my car.
It takes around two hours to do a test and I charge £50 all in. No hidden insurance cost.
30-40 minutes practice when we cover all of the maneuvers. Arrive at the test centre 15 minutes before the test, do the test, do the paperwork and then home, etc.
The advantages of using the instructor's car are:
Less likely to break down. If it does, you get your money back, including the test fee.
You will be familiar with the controls and reference points in the instructor's car.
It has dual controls! The examiner will be far more relaxed if he knows he can stop the car.
How long does it take to learn to drive?
As long as it takes!
Everyone has their own pace to learn how to drive. Some are more confident than others and some just have a more natural ability. But it's not a fault to learn at your own pace.
As a guide, reckon on between 20 and 30 hours for an absolute beginer to passed.
Private practice can reduce that time. I would recomend getting a few lessons before going out with a parent or partner. No dual controls!
Do I need a Provisional Licence before I can take driving lessons?
Applying for it is not the same as actually having one. Without a provisional licence you would not be insured to drive. You don't want penalty points on your licence before you get it.
I expect you to carry your provisional licence during your lessons and will examine it on your first lesson. I need to check that it's valid as it's possible to apply for a provisional licence three months before you are 17. It's not valid until you are 17.