Getting Started

How do I get my provisional driving licence? 

To start on your journey of Learning to Drive you need to get your first provisional driving licence. This can be done either online for a moped, motorbike or car you can apply either online or by post.

To apply online you need:

  • be at least 15 years and 9 months old
  • be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away
  • provide an identity document unless you have a valid UK biometric passport
  • provide addresses where you’ve lived over the last 3 years
  • pay £34 by MasterCard, Visa, Electron, Maestro or Delta debit or credit card
  • have your National Insurance number if known

Your licence should arrive within one week if you apply online. You can apply by post by completing a D1 application form, which you can get from:

  • the DVLA form ordering service
  • a Post Office
  • Postal applications take up to 3 weeks.

You must include:

  • original documents confirming your identity
  • a colour passport-style photograph
  • the fee of £43 by cheque or postal order payable to DVLA (don’t send cash)

How do I know if my eyesight meets the requirements to drive?

The easiest way to check this yourself is to try to read a vehicle number plate (with glasses or contact lenses if you require them) on a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres. At the start of your practical driving test you have to correctly read a number plate on a parked vehicle. If you can’t, you’ll fail your driving test and the test won’t continue. DVLA will be told and your licence will be revoked.

What if I have to wear glasses or contact lenses to read the number plate?

If you do need glasses to read the number plate then you must wear them whenever you drive. You are responsible for ensuring that your eyesight meets the minimum legal requirements every time you drive. You have to take an eyesight test at the beginning of your test which if you fail your test is cancelled so it is important to make sure your sight is tip top!!!

Are there any books / cd rom’s to help me whilst I am learning to drive?

Please visit our online shop. We have a variety of teaching aids available for you to purchase. We personally prefer the Driving Test Success All Tests CD Rom’s as they contain all of the information you ever need to become a safe driver.

How do I book my theory and practical driving tests?

To book your theory and driving tests you can either telephone or book online. The DVSA’s booking number is: 0300 200 1122 and is open weekdays from 8.00am to 4.00pm. Alternatively you can book your Theory Test at here or your Practical Test here!

Is there anything else I need to be aware of before getting behind the steering wheel?

Make sure you are in a fit condition to drive safely. You need to be healthy, and DON’T drive if you are under the influence of drink or drugs. Make sure you always read the label on any drugs purchased over the counter or on prescription. Also beware if you are tired as this can be very dangerous and never use a hand held phone whilst driving. We want you to have a safe and enjoyable time whilst driving!

Where should I put my L Plates?

L Plates must be displayed to the front and rear of the vehicle. Make sure they are secure and don’t obstruct your view. They should be removed if a full licence holder is driving the vehicle. L Plates can be purchased from our online shop!

Can you recommend an insurance company for me if I want to practice in my own car?

A lot of insurance companies offer quite reasonable quotes whilst you are learning as you will be supervised. However, they then increase the price considerably once you have passed as you will be driving unsupervised. We would recommend that you try a pay as you go insurancewhilst you are learning such as Collingwood Learners Insurance or Marmalade Learners Insurance if you are going to learn in a Parent or Friends car. The policy is designed to run alongside their insurance policy and offering flexible and comprehensive cover for provisional licence holders. This means you will not affect their no claims bonus if anything should happen.

If you’re a provisional licence holder and you own the car, then they have insurance policies that may be more suitable such as an annual policy that will cover you on your own car, before and after you pass your test.

www.collingwoodlearners.co.uk

www.wearemarmalade.co.uk

Once you have passed, you can then do your Pass Plus, which can help keep your insurance premiums down. The above companies also offer competitive Insurance prices when you have passed and you can build up your no claims bonus with them whilst you are learining.

Who can supervise me whilst I practise in my own car?

The person helping you to practice must be at least 21 years old and hold a full EC/EEA licence for that car type for at least the last 3 years.

Where and what should I practice?

Ask your instructor for advice on what skills you should practice after each lesson. Practice should be on all different road types; in all sorts of traffic and weather conditions; and during the day and night! When you practice try to avoid causing obstructions to other road users and please consider local residents if practising manoeuvres. Make sure you practice lots of general driving as this improves your competence and confidence as a driver!