Q. How do I book lessons?
You have taken the first step in making enquiries. After speaking to your new instructor, an agreement will be made on how the lessons will be booked. Always better to speak to your instructor face to face or over the phone than by doing it remotely by text or online. It is very important that you understand all the terms of business (Cost, Cancellation policy, legal requirements) before agreeing.
Q. How do I pay for lessons?
There are different methods you can pay. Bank transfer, bank card or cash, even pay from your mobile.
Q. Can I pay for a block amount or pay as I go?
Block payment up front is the most preferred method. Pay as you go must have a strict “Pay at the beginning of the lesson” policy. However, do to rising costs, there are no discounts applicable.
Q. Do you provide Intensive Driving Lessons?
Changes to the DVSA’s cancellation policies will have a dramatic effect to anyone starting their Intensive training too close to their test date. If you are told you are not to standard when it is too late to cancel. You will lose the test fee, and must pay for a new one. Taking the test “for the experience” is a very bad idea and dangerous.
Q. How many lessons will I need?
That is one question that cannot be answered at the beginning of learning. The DVSA has stated, on average, a student will spend 47 hours formal training and 22 hours on private practice to get to test standard. Please remember that the figures given is an average (some learn quicker, some take a bit longer) The number of lessons is purely on how much effort the student is putting into them. Ask yourself how many lessons you would like to have? However, you do need to be realistic on how quickly you are able to get up to standard.
Q. What happens if I am unsure what to do?
Your instructor is there to help you through each step of the way. At the early stages of learning to drive, you will be given a lot of guidance in to what to do. At this stage, listen to what the instructor is telling you. They will be giving you instructions in good time for you to act on it. You may feel overwhelmed with what seems like doing a lot of things at the same time, which in fact you are really doing a lot of things one after the other. This practice starts off in slow time and builds up where it happens closer together. With repetitive correct practice, it will start to feel second nature. With the added safety of dual controlled vehicles, the instructor can share the responsibility with you. They won’t intervene your driving with them, unless a safety risk presents itself.
Q. What if I make a mistake during the lesson?
Don’t worry. You are in a vehicle where you can learn from the mistakes you make. If the mistake is down to risk of safety, your instructor would have intervened before anything bad could happen. You would get the opportunity to recognise, analyse, and correct the mistake before moving on. The three key areas in where the mistake happens are down to Attitude, Skill and Knowledge.
Q. How will I know I am ready for my test?
Remember that the driving test is not supposed to be easy. The test is designed for you to drive in a smooth and safe manner, while keeping within the boundaries of the law. In other words, drive in a manner that needs no supervision or action taken from either the Instructor or the Examiner. Any reputable Driving Instructor will not present a candidate to an Examiner if the candidate is unprepared for the test. You will be told by your instructor when to consider getting your test booked. However, If the Instructor identifies that you are not going to be at the required standard, they may cancel or delay your test. It may seem harsh if they do that. However, why would you want to waste money on an unsuccessful test?
Q. Is it the same car for my test that I have been learning in?
In a word, yes. The car you learned to drive in can be the same car for your test. If you chose to take your own car to the test, you can. However, you must make sure it complies with the DVSA requirements. Click on the following link for information. https://www.gov.uk/driving-test/using-your-own-car
Q. Can I do my lessons in my own car?
Yes. As long your own insurance covers you for formal lessons and your driving test. You must get confirmation from from the insurance company before lessons can start.
Q. How soon can I book my Theory test?
You can book your theory test as soon as you know you are ready to take it. Look at the following link for guidance. https://www.gov.uk/theory-test
You can book this yourself as it will not interfere with your instructor’s bookings.
Your Practical Test cannot be booked until you have passed your Theory Test.
Q. What happens if I fail my Theory test?
Don’t panic. Look at the topic areas where you went wrong, study for it again, and rebook.
Q. Can I book my own driving test? Or must the driving instructor book it instead?
Yes you can book your own test. However, make sure that it is a date and time that is suitable for both yourself and your driving instructor. Your driving instructor could have appointments with up to 20 other students. Dropping one student to accommodate for someone else is not professional. A lot of your instructor’s bookings are made in advance to what the customer requirements are. If you book a test without consulting your instructor, you may risk the instructor’s car not being available for your test. Quite a few instructors have their own test booking services. It is a different link into the Gov website accessing test dates and locations. It is preferable that the instructor can book the test at the most suitable time for both parties.
Q. How much is the test fee?
At present it is £62.00. This fee does not however, cover the cost of the use of the instructor’s vehicle.
Q. I have my test booked in a couple of weeks. I can drive and I want your vehicle for the test. Can I do that?
The short answer is a resounding NO. I will explain:
I haven’t trained you to drive my car efficiently and safely. A couple of lessons will not cut it. As someone who hasnt got their licence yet, you cannot convince any instructor you can drive. That is what the driving test is for.
Be mindful that you are asking someone to give you their car (which is their livelihood) to a stranger.
Q. What happens during my test?
Arrive and park up within 5 minutes before the start time. Unless the Centre’s car park is laid out differently, ensure you have reversed parked into the bay to make leaving easier. Go in the test centre’s waiting room and be ready to have your name called. There will be other test candidates in the room, and they will be nervous too. Just relax and remember your training. Have conversations with your instructor if it helps. They may be nervous for you too.
Have your Driving Licence to hand ready for inspection (and your mobile phone off).
When it is time, the Examiner will enter the waiting room and call your name. They will introduce themselves to you. They will also ask you to read some declarations on their tablet and sign in a box. While you are doing that, they will be inspecting your licence.
You will then be taken outside to read a number plate at a set distance. This is something you have would have done already with your instructor. The is the first time the Examiner has met you. They just want to make sure your eyesight is safe before getting in the car with you.
They will give you the briefing whilst walking towards the car. They will say:
How long the test will last.
What you will expect from the examiner regarding directions.
What is expected of you on the test.
What is going to happen and what may happen on the test.
They will then ask you one question on vehicle maintenance and safety (Tell Me Questions). There are 14 questions for you to learn. When learning the questions, keep the answers simple.
You will be asked to sit in the car and wait for them to finish checking the car for damages or faults.
By now, you are already about 5 mins into your test time. Now you will be asked to start the car.
When you leave the Test Centre, you will be directed to drive along various types of roads, junctions, and speed limits. This will be to test your ability to negotiate your journey safely and comply with the traffic laws.
You will be asked to pull up on the left-hand side of the road multiple times. This is to test stopping and moving off in different situations (including Hill start, Moving off with a vehicle close in front).
During the test, you will carry out an independent drive. This will be either following directions given by a sat nav or following road signs to a particular destination. This is to test your planning and awareness.
Whilst the vehicle is in motion, you will be asked to operate something from within the car (Show me Question). There are 7 The request from the Examiner will start with the words “When safe to do so..”.
Manoeuvres. Along the route, you will be required to carry out one manoeuvre. You won’t know what it will be until you are at the area to do it. One way to prepare yourself for what manoeuvre you are doing is recognise the following:
Directed into a carpark = Bay parking
Stopped near a solitary parked car = Reverse parking
Requested to pull up on the right-hand side of the road = Reverse back 2 car lengths and move off
Q. Will I have to do the Emergency stop?
You may be asked to carry out the emergency stop exercise. Not everyone does it. However, be prepared to do it.
Q. How do the Examiners mark the faults?
Faults are weighted according to what happened and in what situation. These are:
Driver Faults (DF). These are also known as “Minors” These are when a test candidate does a fault that has no serious effect to other road users or the Highway Code. However, if too many DFs happen, it can incur a serious fault and fail your test.
Serious Faults. This a fault taken more seriously than a DF. Just getting one will result as a test failure.
Dangerous Faults. The most serious of all faults.
Q. What happens if I fail my driving test?
If you get given the “I’m sorry to say you haven’t been successful this time” quote, don’t panic. Nationally, the fail rate for first time tests is very high, you are not in a minority. You may have done something that may be out of character whilst under self-induced pressure.
Your instructor will help you identify on the test report on what went wrong. You may be very disappointed about the result, and angry too. Your instructor would be disappointed too. They would have worked hard to get you to the test. It would be unfair to find blame in your instructor for something that you did that they had no control of.
Q. Rebooking my test is so far away. Why?
The test waiting time situation is the same all over the UK. Despite media attention about this situation, we all have to endure this long wait. Possible causes are:
a. Test candidates taking their test when they are not ready.
b. Test slot is wasted when the candidate has not turned up for the test.
These take up valuable test slots for genuine test candidates, who are test ready.