Learning to Drive in the UK

When can I start?
In the UK you will need to be 17 years of age and hold a UK provisional driving licence before you can legally drive a vehicle on public roads. However, if you receive the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, you can qualify to drive from 16 years of age.
How many lessons will I need?
On average, it is thought that up to 40 hours of lessons alongside 20 hours of practice on your own (with a relative or a friend holding a full and current driving licence) will get you to the stage where you can book to sit your practical driving test. You will not be able to book the practical test unless you have passed the driving theory test.
How much will it cost?
The total cost of passing your test will depend on a number of factors:
• The number of lessons it takes before you are ready to sit your practical driving test.
• The cost of booking a driving theory test (starting at A�31.00).
• The cost of booking a practical driving test (NB the cost will depend on whether you sit your driving test on a weekday/evening, weekend or bank holiday).
• Buying, borrowing or hiring a car to get ‘on the road’ practice.
• Car insurance.
• Learning aids such as books, CDs and DVDs
Unfortunately, no matter what pass rate your particular driving school says it has, there are no guarantees that you will pass your driving test first time. So also factor in the cost of further lessons and the booking fees for sitting any retests. Phew, it’s starting to look expensive! You can help minimise the cost of passing your driving test by carrying out a bit of research; speaking with friends and family and using the internet to carry out a couple of quick online reviews. There will be number of driving instructors and driving schools in your local area and it’s always a good idea to shop around before you commit yourself to any one driving school or instructor. Also, bear in mind, there are a number of unofficial booking websites giving you the option to book theory and practical tests through their own websites. These websites are perfectly legal. But always check the small print as some may add extra administrative fees on top of the actual booking fee. It is recommended that you book your test directly through the official Direct Gov driving test booking website, so you only ever pay the real cost of booking both driving theory and practical tests.

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