Passing your driving test is a huge milestone in anyone’s life, whether your 17 or 70, the first time you drive a car after passing your test is a momentous occasion.

 

Step One: Get your Provisional Driving License

How do I apply for a provisional driving license?

You can apply for your provisional license either online or via the Post Office. If you apply online you’ll need a valid UK passport no more than five years old and there’s no need to provide a photo.

The Post Office is a slightly longer process, you’ll need to complete a D1 Application for a provisional license. You can pick these up from the post office or download them. You’ll need to include a photo, complete the application and return to the DVLA. Your license will arrive within two weeks.

Track the progress of your driving license application

How much does this cost?

  • Applying online is the cheaper option for a provisional license at £34
  • A postal application will cost £43

When you pass your driving test your provisional license will be transferred to a full license free of charge, and will only have to be renewed every 10 years.

 

Step Two: Look for a DVSA Approved Driving Instructor

One of the most important factors in choosing an instructor is to make sure they’re approved by the DVSA (driver and Vehicle Standards Agency), otherwise they’re not a real driving instructor – they’re just someone who owns a car.

 

Driving Instructor Checklist:

  • Are they local to you?
  • How long has the instructor been teaching?
  • Have they been recommended to you?
  • How much do they charge?
  • Can you try an initial lesson at a reduced rate?
  • Are there discounts offered for block bookings?
  • How long is the cancellation period?
  • Is the instructor available at times to suit you?

 

Different Instructors for Different Courses

There are a couple of different ways you can choose to learn depending on how quickly you would like to learn. A standard student will take on average 14 months, whereas you can bypass this by choosing an instructor who can provide intensive lessons which can be completed in one week.

 

 Step 3: Your Theory Test

Although this can seem daunting to some, all you need to do is practice. Once you feel confident its time to book your test.

How do I book a Theory Test?

The easiest way to book is online you’ll need your provisional driving license number, your email address and a debit or credit card.

How much is a Theory Test?

The current fee is £23 for either a car test or motorcycle.

What is a Theory Test like?

Your theory test is made up of two parts:

  • Multiple Choice: 50 multiple choice questions from the Highway Code lasting 57 minutes
  • Hazard perception: 14 video clips with 75 hazards to be identified

  

Step 4: Your Practical Driving Test

Booking your Practical Driving Test

To book practical test you will need:

  • a valid UK driving license number
  • theory test certificate number
  • debt/credit card for payment

 

What to expect on the day

Your practical test ensures you can drive confidently and safely in a number of different road and traffic conditions. Only lasting 40 minutes, this incorporates general driving alongside a couple of manoeuvres and emergency stop.

To pass you need to avoid any major faults and only have 0-15 minor faults.

A major fault is considered to be something that puts yourself, the examiner, another person or property into a dangerous position. If you have even one of these, you won’t pass your test.

A minor could be something as little as not checking your mirrors when entering a new road, or it could be nudging the kurb with your wheel while reversing around a corner.

It’s very rare to come out of your test squeaky clean, so if you’re aware you’ve made a few minor hic-cups try not to worry about these and carry on. Worrying can make the situation worse, it’s normal to rack up a couple of minors on your test.

 

Step 5: Celebrate!

Enjoy your freedom, and stay safe!

 

Print our infographic for a free poster! You can use this to guide you from start to finish, ticking off each step as you complete it.

 

 

Printable step-by-step guide to learning to drive.