Frequently Asked Questions

Browse the Frequently Asked Questions below, or visit our ‘Useful Information’ page for more detailed information. If you can’t find the answer to your query, post your question and one of our approved driving instructors may be able to answer it for you.

How old do you need to be to start driving lessons?

You can start learning to drive at 17 years old. At this age you are allowed on public roads as long as you hold a provisional driving licence, are with an appropriate person and are driving an appropriate vehicle.

What do I need to be legally allowed on the roads?

You need to be at least 17 years old, hold a provisional driving licence, be with someone who is legally allowed to supervise me, and be in a legally allowed vehicle (which includes displaying Learner plates).

When can you apply for your provisional driving licence?

You can apply for your provisional driving licence when you are 15 years and 9 months old.

How do I get my provisional driving licence?

To get your provisional driving licence, you need to apply to the DVLA.

How much does a provisional driving licence cost?

At time of writing (July 2023), a provisional driving licence costs £34 if you apply online.

What will I need in order to apply for my provisional driving licence?

You’ll need an identity document such as your passport, the addresses you’ve lived at for the past 3 years. You must be at least 15 years and 9 months old and have been given permission to live in Great Britain for at least 185 days. You also need to be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away.

Who is legally allowed to supervise me?

As well as a qualified, approved driving instructors (ADI), you can also be supervised by family or friends, as long as they are over 21 years of age, be qualified to drive the type of vehicle you’re learning in and have had their full driving licence for 3 years (from one of the countries listed on the website).

How much do driving lessons cost?

The cost of driving lessons varies. We recommend contacting two or three driving instructors in your area to compare costs.

How many driving lessons will I need?

There is no minimum number of lessons that you need to have. Everyone is different in how many lessons they need. It also depends on how much private practice you are able to do. As a guide, the DVSA shows it takes an average of around 40hrs of driving lessons plus 11hrs of private practice to pass the driving test. It is important that you feel confident with your driving before taking your test.

Should I learn to drive in a manual or automatic?

That decision is up to you, but there’s a few things to bear in mind, including what car you can afford after your test (if you learn to drive and take the test in an automatic, you can’t then drive a manual car unless you take the manual test).

How can I get a manual licence after passing my automatic test?

You don’t need to apply for another provisional licence or take another theory test. You must follow the same ‘learning to drive’ rules as before, including wearing ‘Learner’ plates on your car. Once you’re ready, you’ll need to pass your manual driving test, in the same way you had to pass your automatic driving test.

How good does my eyesight need to be?

You must be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away. If you need glasses to be able to do this, then you must always wear your glasses when you’re driving. You must meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving and have an adequate field of vision. You can read more about this and see further information about the rules about telling the DVLA if you have any problems with your eyesight here.

How much does the driving test cost?

You can see the correct cost of driving tests here.

How long is the driving test?

The theory test takes up to 1hr 20 mins. The practical driving test includes an eyesight test, some safety questions and then about 40 minutes of driving.

What do I need to take to my driving test?

For both your theory and practical driving test you need to take your photocard driving licence. If you have the old type of licence, also take your signed driving licence and your valid passport. For your practical driving test, you also need to take your theory pass certificate. You need to provide the car for your test, so a car you’re legally allowed to drive (such as your instructor’s car).

How long do I have to pass my driving test once I’ve passed the theory test?

You have 2 years to pass your driving test after passing your theory test. If you don’t pass it in this time, you’ll have to retake the theory test.

What happens in the driving test?

See our page ‘What Happens in the Driving Test’ for more information on what happens on the day.