Q. How old do I have to be to drive a car on the roads?
A. To be able to drive on the roads you must be 17 years old or older. You may drive on your 17th birthday if you have a valid provisional driving licence.
Q. What kind of driving licence do I need?
A. You must hold a valid provisional driving licence photo-card, (green in colour). To apply for a provisional licence, you will need to complete a D1 form. You can get this at any post office.
International driving licence holders need to check with the DVLA (driving licence authority) for current regulations.
Q. Who can teach me to drive?
A. You can drive with anybody over the age of 21 so long as they hold a full drivers licence for the type of vehicle you want to learn in for at least 3 years. Driving alone or with anybody else, whilst holding a provisional driving licence, may cause you, and anybody accompanying you, to face criminal proceedings.
Q. Can I learn to drive in my own car?
A. You can drive in your own car, though you must be insured to drive it. Your car must be roadworthy and it must be taxed and have a current MOT certificate. Your car must also have L plates displayed on both the front and back of the car (placing them in your windows is illegal as it obstructs your vision). Your accompanying driver must also have an internal rear view mirror for their sole use.
Q. Do I need to have a driving instructor?
A. You do not need a driving instructor to teach you how to drive, though it is highly recommended that you learn with one. Learning to drive with family and friends may be fun but it can also cause distractions and arguments. Learning to drive with a qualified driving instructor means you are more likely to listen and take care when on the road. A driving instructor knows what you need to learn in order for you to pass your driving test, which manoeuvres you should know, what questions might turn up and what, above all else, your examiner will be looking out for.
Q. Can I pay anybody to teach me to drive?
A. No. Only properly qualified Driving Instructors can charge you for your driving lessons under the law. Driving instructors must pass 3 exams to be qualified, these are:
- Theory test including hazard perception
- An extended driving test
- A test on instructional ability
If you have a family member or a friend over the age of 21 who holds a full driving licence for at least 3 years, we do suggest practicing what your instructor has taught you with these people. The more you practice the better you become, and before long you’ll find you’re more than ready to take your driving test.
Q. How many driving lessons will I need?
A. The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) recommends that you have at least 40 lessons with a qualified driving instructor, plus plenty of private driving practice. We feel that every driver learns at a different pace, so you may not have to take 40 lessons to be test-ready!
Q. When will I be ready for my driving test?
A. Your driving instructor will tell you and advise you when you’re ready. You will need to show that you are confident and can drive without any help from your driving instructor.
Q. What happens when I pass my driving test?
A. We’d say a big “Congratulations!” to start with. Remember though, your full driving licence is given to you on a probationary period of 2 years. If you get more than 6 points in that time you will have to re-take both the theory and the practical driving tests again.
Q. What is PASS PLUS?
A. The PASS PLUS scheme is introduced to newly qualified drivers offering even more training to make them even better and more aware of the road.
You must complete a minimum of 6 hours’ driving lessons, and achieve the required standards in order to pass. The topics covered are:
- All-weather driving,
- Night driving,
- Town/city driving,
- Dual carriage way and motorway driving,
- Driving on rural roads.
At the end of the course you will be rewarded with a certificate and when you insure your car, you could be entitled to 25% off of your insurance premium, (check with your insurance company to be certain).