Getting ready for driving lessons

What you need to know before you learn to drive. Read our simple guide to getting behind the wheel for the first time…

You want to get your driving licence but don't know where to begin. You know you'll have to take a driving test, though you're not sure what learning to drive involves.

What to do

  1. Get your provisional licence. You can get an application form from any Post Office® or your local BSM Centre.
  2. Find a teacher. Anyone over 21 who has had a licence for 3 years can teach you to drive, but the best and safest way to learn is to take lessons with an Approved Driving Instructor.
  3. Automatic or manual? Decide what you want to drive. Automatic is easier but doesn't qualify you to drive a manual when you pass your test.
  4. Book your first driving lesson. Most people need about 45 hours of instruction before they pass their driving test.
  5. Make sure you are insured to drive any car that you intend to practise in, be it your parent's car or a used car you have recently purchased.
  6. Practice makes perfect. It's wise to get in about 20 hours of practice time before your test. By law, you need to be accompanied by someone over 21 who has had a full driving licence for at least 3 years.
  7. Get your L plates. You'll need to display L plates prominently on the front and back of any car you drive while you practise.
  8. Study for the theory test. You'll need to pass the theory exam before you take your driving test.

Avoid it

Avoid breaking the law when you learn to drive. Make sure you:

  • Do not drive unaccompanied
  • Wear glasses or contact lenses if you need them
  • Drive a car which is legal, roadworthy, properly taxed and insured for you to drive

It's also worth remembering that it is illegal for anyone to charge you for driving lessons unless they are an Approved Driving Instructor.

SuperPass, a Bristol Driving School, highly recommend doing some extra curricular revision between lessons. Although it's not compulsory, homework will help the information you receive on your lessons sink in, and will help the lessons knit together so you're less likely to forget what you've been taught by your instructor. Visit RAC Cars to find more information about used cars to buy a car that is appropriate for learner drivers.