TOP 10 ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR LEARNER DRIVERS
By Dan Murphy | Murphy's Driving Tuition
BEFORE YOU START
Apply for you provisional licence from the DVLA, Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency.
Get your eye sight checked you must be able to read a regular vehicle number plate at a minimum distance of 20.5 meters away.
It all depends, they're are so many variants in learning to drive it can take a few hours to hundreds of hours.
The DVSA's research would suggest the average learner drive requires around 45 hours of professional driving lessons and 20 hours private practice to successfully pass the driving test.
This means it costs most people around £1200 in lesson not including test fees,
Theory test are £23
Driving test are £62
BOOKING YOUR FIRST LESSON
Choosing a driving instructor can be hard. They must be a DVSA approved driving instructor. All approved driving instructors have a green badge that should be valid and in date.
Go with recommended or well reviewed driving instructors. Friends, family, google and Facebook can be helpful to review your potential driving instructor.
Driving instructors are regularly checked by the DVSA to meet the high standard of tuition required to drive in UK.
THE FIRST LESSON
It can be nerve racking if you've never sat in the drivers seat before but don't worry, your instructor will not expect you to know how to drive the car just yet. First lessons start with setting the car up ready to drive and understanding the controls and responsibilities, with some moving off, stopping in straight lines before we master corners. Your instructor will help you through every aspect of learning to drive at a pace and understanding that suits you.
Don't forget your provisional, glasses / contacts if required. Driving can be tiring so be sure to have something to eat before your lesson. Make sure you're ready and on time for your lesson.
WHAT DO I NEED TO LEARN?
The highway code is great place to start. This will help you understand the rules and responsibilities of driving.
To obtain your full UK car licence, you need to pass the Theory test and Practical test.
When learning to drive you should be shown, basic car control and how to use the accelerator, brake, clutch, steering & gears, manoeuvres including the ones in the test, like bay parking & parallel parking, junctions including, roundabouts, traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, dual carriageways and motorways, country and rural roads, planning and anticipation including using roads signs or sat-nav to navigate you way around.
THE THEORY TEST
The theory test consists of of two parts the Multiple Choice Questions and Hazard Perception. The passmark is 86%, so you'll need to answer 43 out of 50 multiple choice questions correctly to pass. For the Hazard Perception section of the test, you need to score 44 out of 75. You must score a pass in both sections of the Theory Test to pass the overall test.
The test is taken at your local Driving Theory test centre.
To help practice there are many apps, downloads, DVDS and books.
We recommend Driving Test Success, who have a range of products available in many different formats to help you revise and learn.
THE PRACTICAL TEST
The Practical driving test is approximately 45 minutes long and consist of, of one manoeuvre, 20 minutes of independent driving either using road signs or sat-nav, one show me and tell me question. You can expect to drive through a variant of traffic conditions, including but not limited to, rural roads, dual carriageways, in town roads, roundabouts, junctions, pedestrian crossings, traffic lights.
To Pass, you can not get more than 15 driver errors and no serious or dangerous faults.
Driver errors are errors that are not dangerous to yourself or others but could do with improving.
Serious errors are a danger to yourself and others.
Dangerous errors are usually used for when the examiner has intervened to prevent an accident or damage to the vehicle or yourself.
The test is usually taken in your instructor car although you can use your own car as long as it meets the DVSA requirements. The test will be carried out by DVSA examiner from a local driving test centre.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE...
Once you've learned all the skills you need to drive, you will need to practice those skills so you can drive at a good standard consistently. Going over things you're not so confident at may feel a little repetitive and scary at times, but the more you practice the easier it becomes.
Last year the DVSA UK national pass rate for learner drivers was just 45.8% for 2018/2019. This was mainly down to people rushing to pass their test and having to take 2-3 attempts at the test before passing. Your instructor will tell you when you're ready. Mock tests with your instructor or even a different instructor can be a great way to help get over driving test nerves.
WHAT HAPPENS ON TEST DAY
On the day of your test you will need to make sure you have your provisional and theory pass certificate.
Your instructor will usually pick you up for a pre-test lesson an hour or so before your test. This may change depending on location of test centre or if you're planning on taking your own car.
Arrive at the test at least 10 minutes before test and park in the candidate parking spaces where available. The waiting room is where you will meet you're examiner. They will call your name and ask you to present your provisional so they can check your ID they will also get you to sign on the test form the same signature that is on your provisional.
Once the checks are done, they will ask if you'd like your instructor or accompanying driver to sit in during the test, this is your decision to make. The examiner will also ask if youd like your instructor or accompanying driver at the debrief.
You will then head out to the car, on the way the examiner will check your eye sight to make sure you can read a number plate at 20.5 meters away.
The examiner will do some checks around the car to make sure its road worthy, whilst you get in the car and ready to drive, you will then be asked a tell me question. From here the examiner will start the test, and give you a brief on what will happen during the test. You will be expected to follow the road ahead at all times unless the examiner tells you todo something different. They will get you todo one manoeuvre, 20 minutes independent driving, a show me on the move, and various traffic conditions.
On returning to the test centre the examiner will end the test and tell your result, followed by a debrief of your drive.
The Learning still continues....
Once you've passed your test, learning to drive doesn't stop there. During your learning to drive journey you probably haven't experienced a variant of conditions that can not always be simulated whilst learning. Don't feel like now you've passed you don't have to have lessons you still can, and there are plenty of driving experiences to be had, from motorway lessons, pass plus, track days, to the institute of advance motorist courses, along with learning to drive or ride other vehicles.
We also need to be mindful of the responsibility of owning a vehicle. Always make sure your car is road worthy, with a valid MOT, tax and insurance for you to drive it. Failing to do so could leave you with out a car, points on your licence or being banned from driving.
NEW DRIVER ACT, In the UK once you pass your driving test, you are not allowed to obtain 6 or more penalty points on your licence in the first 2 years of driving. Doing so will result in your licence being revoked and having to do it all again.
I hope that's helped some of you understand whats involved in learning to drive.
Feel free to contact us if you have an questions on learing to drive.
Murphy's Driving Tuition
Driving School: Bournemouth, Poole, Salisbury. UK
Driving lessons: Bournemouth, Poole, Salisbury.