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Driving Newsletter - Tips and Advice on Passing your Driving Test

UK Wide Driving Lessons from Featured ADI Instructors

Looking for affordable and effective driving lessons from an approved driving instructor (ADI) in your area? Well we've scoured the country and have picked just two instructors for each area from a large selection of driving instructors in towns and cities across the country that we feel offer a range of driving lessons that'll meet today's modern requirements for learner drivers.

Please click the most appropriate link below to find our featured instructors in your local area.





Tips for learners

  • Booking your driving lessons
  • What sort of driving lessons do you need?
  • How many driving lessons to pass driving test?

Driving lessons are probably the most iconic part of learning to drive. They’re the first chance you get to actually feel as if you’re a real driver – or at least on your way to becoming one. It’s difficult to get a sense of driving achievement from passing your theory test (though there is a definite sense of academic achievement), but once you’ve had your first driving lesson… well, that’s it. Lewis Hamilton, watch out.

Your first few lessons are always a bit tentative, occasionally nerve-wracking and frequently comedic. That’s entirely normal, and it’s important to understand that you can’t learn to be a good driver in just a few lessons. Driving is one of those things that, in the words of your mother, “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well”.

Once you’ve had a few lessons, though, things get easier. Driving becomes more natural, more second nature and less something that you have to concentrate on all the time. It becomes fun, because you’ve stopped worrying about all those little things like indicators and being in the right gear and why on earth the windscreen wipers are on the right-hand side in this car but the left-hand side in your dad’s.

Driving lessons, sadly, don’t come cheap – certainly not at cheap as they used to, as any parent will tell you. That said, there’s a lot more choice now when it comes to picking the best way to learn. From intensive crash courses (for the more impatient among us) to lessons in automatic transmission cars (no gear changes to worry about!), there’s a way for everyone.

Putting in for your Driving Test

Then you put in for your test (technical lingo for you there) and the pace really increases as you try to cram in as much practice as possible. So in fact, the number of lessons you have increases the more you drive. This is excellent for your driving ability, but bad news, sadly, for your wallet.

There are several different ways you can go about your driving lessons, though, and you can pick the method that works best for you and your bank balance.

Intensive Lessons

Intensive lessons, also known as crash courses, are usually held over a period of 1 or 2 weeks, and involve spending the majority of each day, Monday to Friday, behind the wheel. The intention is to teach you everything in such a short space of time that it’s impossible to forget any of it. Then, at the end of the week or fortnight, they put you in for your test.
As dubious as this sounds, intensive courses do actually have an extremely good pass rate, especially for first-timers. The downside is that you’ll need a spare week or two to get it done, and the week-long courses often require you to stay at a hotel for the duration of your course. The cost of this is included in your overall price… but it does bump up the experience from a mere £600 for the lessons (a bargain compared to how much you’d spend on standard lessons) to a whopping £1000-1200.

Standard Lessons

Alternatively, stick to the standard lessons, which are usually 1-hour sessions once or twice a week depending on your budget. The DSA recommends that you have at least 40 hours of driving tuition before you take your test, so bank on it taking a good few months before you pass your test this way. That said, it’s ideal for people who work and who only have time for lessons here and there, or who need to spread the cost of their lessons over a few months anyway.

Automatic Driving Lessons

You can also opt for automatic driving lessons, which teach you to drive in an automatic, rather than a manual, car (automatic = a car with no gearstick). The BIG downside to this is that if you take your practical test in an automatic car, you’re NOT licenced to drive a manual car. However, if you take the manual practical test, you ARE licenced to drive an automatic. So unless you’re planning on living in America or you really can’t get the hang of changing gear, we’d suggest you stick to manual drive lessons.

Driving Lesson costs

Price-wise, most driving lessons cost the same, averaging at the moment around £22 per lesson. You’ll find that some companies charge more, some less, and if you live in the centre of London they’re likely to be a fair bit higher. In terms of value for money it’s very important to make sure you get a good 50 minutes to 1 hour of driving time in your lesson – many companies will charge you for a ‘lesson’ but fail to state that a lesson for them is just 20 minutes! You should be paying £22 per hour, no matter how many lessons that equates to.

Driving Test routes

One of the key aspects of driving, though, is the test – and for learner drivers, it’s handy to know the route you’re likely to take.
Sadly, due to the changes to the practical test in October 2010 (we’re referring to the independent driving section here), driving test routes are no longer being published by the DSA. That means you’re on your own when it comes to the test – so get the practice in now!

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