Learning to Drive a Car

Congrats on taking your first step to learning to drive in the UK, visiting this blog. To start learning to drive a car, you will need to apply for a provisional Licence, and can only drive with or without an instructor after this has arrived. You can then start preparing for the Theory test which you need to pass before thinking of booking the UK driving test. Well lets start at the beginning!

Provisional driving licence

An international or foreign driving license can not be used to prepare for the UK driving test, though you can drive here in the UK for the first 12 months after your first arrival, this means that you don't need to display 'L' plates even if you have a provisional licence while your foreign license is still valid and can still learn to drive that way.

Anyone normally resident in the UK and aged 17 or over can learn to drive here in the UK with a provisional license. If you are 16 and in receipt of the higher disability benefit you can also start learning.

To apply for a provisional licence to enable you to learn to drive, you can get application forms from the Post Office, and you can use their fast track system to get your ID checked, this avoids you having to send your passport or other ID documents through the post to the DVLA offices.

Some advise: While waiting for your provisional licence to arrive, you can start learning to drive by getting a copy of the Highway Code and reading it. Try to go through it twice before you get in the car, you will be amazed at how much progress this will enable you to make during your driving lessons.

The other thing you can do is start using your Theory Test CD/DVD material to prepare for the theory exam.

The Highway Code will start you on the way to learning, but you will need to read an additional book and practise your hazard perception skills. You can not however apply to sit the theory test until you've received your provisional license. Once you've received your provisional license, you can now start thinking about when you want to book your Theory Test and choosing an instructor who will help you to learn to drive a car and get you prepared for the UK driving test.

While learning to drive a car, if you only have a provisional license, you need to make sure you are being supervised by a full UK licence holder who has passed their test 3 years ago, and are at least aged 21, you must display "L" plates and be insured to drive the car you are using. If possible use qualified approved driving instructors to learn to drive, as you will be taught the correct way as required by the DSA and will not develop bad habits while learning to drive a car in the UK.

Driving Lessons

While there is no requirement by the driving standards agency that you need to take driving lessons with a DSA registered instructor while learning to drive a car here in the UK, it is advisable that you do use an ADI for this process.

One of the most important things you need to do as a learner driver is to build up good driving habits at the standard that would be expected by the DSA driving examiner on the test, as one of the reasons why the current pass rate is only 40% is that a lot of the pupils who present themselves for the test think that you just need to able able to drive, but the dsa want to make sure that you are safe, and that means doing things in a certain way. Taking professional tuition means that you will be taught to handle the car the way you will be expected to on the day of the test, performing maneuvers the proper way with all the required observations, learning how to deal with traffic in different situations and gaining from the vast experience and knowledge of your driving instructor. All this would mean that you as a learner driver will have a higher chance of passing the driving test.

Know your road signs

This might sound very obvious, but I know many people learning to drive who concentrate only on the driving skills, and the only road or traffic signs that they recognise and obey are traffic lights and numerical speed limits and there are many other symbols that need to be learnt. I advice you get a copy of DSA book Know Your Traffic Signs and familarise yourself with the many signs and road markings that you might encounter on the test. The few pounds spent on the book and time invested in reading it could save you an extra test fee and the car hiring charges you might encounter if you failed the test for a simple reason as not obey the national speed limit on a single carriageway.

Learning to drive in the uk might not be hard, but the standard required is high and there is no excuse for not being properly prepared!

Learning to Drive Aged 17

Learn to drive if you are aged 17

To learn to drive a car in the UK, you currently need to be aged just 17, and not 18 or 21 as some people think. This is the driving age at which you can obtain a provisional licence which you need to be in possession of before you can take any driving tuition lessons.

If you are 16 and currently receiving the higher disability benefit, the you too can also apply for a provisional driving licence at this age and start on the road to obtaining that much coveted pink full photocard license.

Personally I would advice anyone who can to take advantage of the current driving age of 17, while there is no truth in the rumors that the government is planning to change the licence or driving test age, the young you start to learn to drive, the less time you take, the sharper your brain is, and the less money you spend on driving lessons.

Take full advantage of the current 17 driving age, and make hay while the sun shines.