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What are the requirements to start having driving lessons ?

You must be 17 years old and you will need a UK provisional driving licence before you can start having driving lessons. Driving Licences are obtained from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority and can be ordered online.

What is involved in learning to drive ?

You must pass two tests before you get your full driving licence - the Theory Test and the Practical Driving Test. The Theory Test is a test of your knowledge of the Highway Code and hazard awareness, while the Practical Test is a test of your ability to drive the car safely.

While it is not a requirement to take lessons with a qualified driving instructor (you can learn to drive with a friend or your mum or dad provided that they are at least 21 and have held a full licence for at least 3 years), it is highly recommended that you do have professional lessons. A qualified driving instructor will be up to date with the latest legislation and requirements for passing your test.

What is involved in the theory test ?

There are two parts to the theory test; 50 multiple choice questions and a hazard perception test.

The multiple choice questions cover a range of topics many of which are covered in the highway code, and now include some questions that are based on a case study scenario. Click the following link to see an example of the case study questions. During the hazard perception part of the test, you will watch 14 video clips and click the mouse when you see a hazard. To score well on the hazard perception test, you have to click the mouse as soon as the hazard starts to develop.

You must pass both parts of the test at the same time or you will have to take the whole test again.

The pass mark is 43 out of 50 for the questions and 44 out of 75 for the hazard perception test.

The Theory Test can be booked online at www.direct.gov.uk. You are not able to book your practical driving test until you have passed your theory test.

Phil Brighton Driving Academy can help you with your theory test by providing you with study materials and general help in the car during lessons.

What is involved in the practical test ?

When you take your practical test, you will be asked to sign a declaration confirming that you have lived in the UK for 185 days in the last 12 months and that the car is insured for you to drive. You will then be asked to read a number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres.

Next you will be asked two "show me/tell me" questions. There are 19 possible questions and we will make sure you are familiar with the questions and the correct answers before taking your test.

After that, you will be off on your "drive". This will last approximately 35 minutes and will include town driving and driving on country roads (and this may or may not include dual carriageway).

You will also be asked to perform one of the four reversing manoeuvres:

  • Turn in the road
  • Reverse around the corner to the left
  • Bay reverse park
  • Parallel Park

There will be a period of "independent" driving and you may be asked to perform an emergency stop.

At the end of the test, you will be told whether you have passed or failed, and you will be given feedback on how you performed.

Ten Reasons Why People Fail Their Driving Test

These are the ten most common reasons that the DSA give for people failing their tests.

  • Observations at junctions - ineffective observation and pulling out in front of another vehicle
  • Reverse parking - ineffective observation or lack of accuracy
  • Use of mirrors - not checking or not acting appropriately to what you see
  • Moving away - ineffective observation or control
  • Use of signals - not given, not cancelled or misleading signals
  • Incorrect positioning - at roundabouts, on bends and where you have a choice of lanes
  • Reversing around corners - ineffective observation or lack of accuracy
  • Lack of steering control - steering too early or late (or bumping the kerb)
  • Turn in the road - ineffective observation or lack of accuracy
  • Inappropriate speed - often driving too slowly rather than too fast

At Phil Brighton Driving Academy we are not just teaching you to pass your test; we are teaching "safe driving for life".

Do I need to pass my theory test before I start having driving lessons ?

No. Provided you have a provisional licence and you meet the age requirement, you can start learning to drive straight away. It is a good idea to start getting ready for your theory test sooner rather than later, though, as you are not able to book your practical driving test until you have passed the theory test.

How many lessons will I need ?

. . . We are asked this question many times, but the truth is that we're all different . . .

According to a recent DSA survey, the average person takes 45 hours of paid tuition plus 22 hours of private practice before passing their test.

But none of us are average and some people will need more than this while others will need less.

Some people find co-ordination of the controls more difficult to master than others do, while some people have more difficulty with spatial awareness (how close you are to the parked cars). Others will find judging if they've got enough time to pull out of a junction before the next car arrives the most difficult part of driving. Everybody, it seems, has trouble with roundabouts !

At Phil Brighton Driving Academy, we work hard at ensuring you have sufficient training to be a safe driver and are able to pass your test with confidence without having to spend your hard earned cash on unnecessary lessons.

You can rest assured that we will tailor your training to your specific needs to ensure you are ready for your test in the quickest possible time.

Is it better to learn in an automatic or manual car ?

It is your choice whether you opt to take your driving test in a manual or automatic car. Most people will find it easier to learn to drive an automatic, but if you take your test in this type of vehicle, you will not be allowed to drive a car with a manual gearbox without someone with you who is qualified to "supervise" you (they must be over 21 with at least 3 years driving experience).

If you pass your test in a car with a manual transmission, you will be allowed to drive either type of car.

Where will I take my driving test ?

We have experience of Lincoln, Grantham and Boston test centres, and it is usual to take your test at the centre which is closest to you. Most people in Sleaford opt to take their test in Grantham, although Lincoln and Boston test centres are also realistic options.

Which is the best test centre for passes ?

Although each test centre is different, it is no easier to pass at one centre than any other.

For example, there are no difficult hills to deal with in Boston, but there is a lot more congestion than Lincoln and Grantham. Grantham has it's quirky one way system, while Lincoln has some busy roundabouts to contend with.