Starting to Drive
Driving is a life skill which will give you the freedom to go where you want, and you want without the need of waiting for public transport. However, most life skills, learning to drive takes time and can be expensive. The average cost of an hour’s driving lesson is £25. If you need 45 hours of instruction before passing your test, it’ll cost you well over £1000 to get your licence. The process should, therefore, be enjoyable.
Unless you are in receipt of disability allowance at the higher rate, you must be 17 years old in order to learn to drive. Before Starting to Drive, you must be in possession of a provisional driving licence which can be applied for three months before your 17th birthday. The quickest way to apply for your provisional licence is at GOV.UK. You’ll need a payment card, proof of your identity and your address details for the last 3 years.
Starting to Drive – Conditions
You must also be able to read a number plate at a distance of 20 meters. If required, contact lenses or glasses may be worn. The vehicle that you use must be roadworthy and properly taxed and insured for you to drive. It must also be fitted with L plates on the front and the back of the vehicle. You must be accompanied by a qualified driver who is over the age of 21 years old. They should hold a full EU driving licence and has done so for the past three years.
Starting to Drive – Beware of illegal Driving Instructors
DTC UK recommends that you take driving lessons from a registered driving instructor. Unless they are registered with the DVSA, no-one in the UK is allowed to charge you for driving lessons unless they are registered with the DVSA. All qualified driving instructors, must by law, display their green certificate on the front windscreen of the tuition vehicle. Trainee driving instructors will display a pink badge in the front windscreen. If you do not see one of these badges in the windscreen, ask the instructor to show it to you. They may be teaching you illegally.
Automatic or Manual Car
Prior to Starting to Drive, you will need to decide on a few things such as whether you wish to learn in an automatic or a manual car. It is easier to learn in an automatic but once you have passed your driving test in an automatic car will not be able to drive a manual vehicle afterwards without passing another driving test. However, if you learned to drive a manual vehicle and passed your driving test in a manual vehicle, you will be licensed to drive both automatic and manual cars. You will also need to decide whether you wish to do weekly driving lessons or take an intensive driving course. DTC UK would advise you to start off by taking one or two driving lessons before making a long-term commitment. This will give you the opportunity to make sure that you get along with your driving instructor.
First Ever Driving Lesson
When Starting to Drive, the first ever driving lesson is known as a controls lesson. During this lesson, your driving instructor will explain to you the main controls of the vehicle. Their positioning and how to safely use them is also explained. You can watch, Shak, one of our driving instructors explaining a controls lesson. You will also get an opportunity to do some driving in your first driving lesson. This will be normally moving off and then drive along a straight line before coming to a stop.
Whether you decide to learner automatic or manual car or take an intensive driving course or take weekly lessons, the team at DTC UK wishes you an enjoyable experience. If you have just got your provisional driver licence but have driving experience from abroad, you may wish to consider a Driving Test Cancellation.