Applying For A Provisional Licence
First things first, before you can even get into a car and start learning to drive, you have to get hold of a provisional driving licence. To apply for this, you must complete the application form D1 that's available from either the 'Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) form ordering service', or from your local Post Office. Alternatively you can now apply for a provisional licence online. Visit and follow the directions. It takes about 4 weeks for your application to be processed and for your licence to be sent to you - so if you want to start learning to drive as soon as you hit 17, make sure you apply early! It is your responsibility to make sure you have the correct licence for the vehicle you are driving. If you are unsure if you need to take a theory test please contact the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) or the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
Recommended Reading The Highway Code is essential reading for everybody learning to drive. It contains all of the rules and regs that relate to driving in the UK. As a driver, it's your duty to know these rules - and remember if you don't abide by them, you'll be breaking the law and could end up being prosecuted. This could lead to you losing your licence, so it's worth getting to know what's what! We recommend that you also read "Essential Skills", a DSA publication. This book is about the skills of driving a car and will help new drivers with their practical driving lessons.

These books as well as CD's are readily available from our driving instructors
Your Driving Theory Test The theory test is made up of two parts; a multiple choice section and a Hazard Perception test. The multiple choice bit is delivered using a touch screen computer and mouse, while the hazard perception test records your responses through the use of a computer mouse button. You'll need to pass both parts to successfully complete your theory test. If you pass one part and fail the other, you'll fail the whole test, and will have to take both parts again. You can book your theory test through the DSA (Driving Standards Agency) website or your Instructor can arrange it for you.
Applying for Your Practical Driving Test OK, so you've had all your driving lessons and you're ready to go - what next? You need to apply to take your test with your local DSA centre. You can do this online from the DSA website but we strongly recommend you don't apply for your test until your Driving Instructor thinks you're ready. Your Driving Instructor can also arrange your test date for you, if you want them to.
The Practical Driving Test
Before you do any driving you'll be asked to perform an eyesight check and then be asked some vehicle safety questions. You'll then be tested on your general driving ability, including two reversing exercises. The 'Driving' part of your test will last about 40 minutes. Throughout the test your examiner will be looking for evidence you've reached an overall safe standard of driving, as you carry out both general and specific manoeuvres. You can make up to 15 minor driving faults and still pass the test, but 16 or more minor faults results in a fail. However, if you commit just one serious or dangerous fault, you'll fail the test automatically. You must bring the following items with you to the test. If you don't, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) may refuse to carry out the test and you may lose your fee An appropriately insured and licensed vehicle, displaying L- Plates, that's suitable for the test.
  • The appropriate theory test pass certificate.
  • Your appointment letter confirming your test time and date.
  • Both parts of your photo card licence. If you don't take both parts of your licence, your test will not take place and you'll lose your fee.
  • If you have an old-style paper licence, you must take your signed driving licence and separate approved photo identification with you.