Driving lessons – what learner drivers must do
If you want to take driving lessons to become a safe, knowledgeable driver and take to the road independently, then you need to apply for your provisional driving licence. This is the first step towards experiencing the freedom that comes with a test pass. However, as a learner driver, there are other things you must also do before your first driving lesson.
Before taking driving lessons
As a would-be learner driver you must have a provisional driving licence before you can take driving lessons. You can apply for your provisional licence up to two months before it becomes valid, but you must not drive on the road before the day of your 17th birthday.
Fortunately, getting a provisional license is a simple process – you can apply for your provisional driving licence online or by completing the D1 application form available from the DVLA form ordering service or your local Post Office.
- When applying for your provisional driving licence, you will also need to enclose original documentation, confirming your identity, and a passport-style photograph.
- The fee for a UK provisional licence is £50.00.
- The DVLA aims to deliver your provisional driving licence to you within three weeks of receiving your application.
- If you receive Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate, you can begin taking driving lessons on your 16th birthday.
Considerations for driving lessons
As well as possessing a valid provisional licence, you must ensure any vehicle you drive is roadworthy and properly taxed and insured.
It is important for learner drivers to apply safe practices from the outset, as bad habits are hard to break. Your driving instructor will ensure that your driving lessons are conducted in a safe and roadworthy vehicle.
If you plan on taking driving lessons in a private vehicle, there are a number of considerations, amongst them:
- Learner drivers must display ‘L’ Plates (‘D’ Plates in Wales) on the front and rear of any vehicle they drive.
- You can take your driving theory test once your provisional driving licence becomes valid.
- Anyone accompanying a learner driver must be over the age of 21 and have held a full licence for at least three years.
- Only UK residents can apply for driving lessons in this country.
Got your provisional driving licence? What’s next?
Whilst driving with family and friends is helpful, allowing you to spend as much time as possible behind the wheel, it is unlikely that anyone other than an approved driving instructor will possess the experience, knowledge and training to provide you with professional driving lessons.
Professional driving instructors will be able to teach you good practices from the outset and help you pass your driving test. Many popular instructors have lengthy waiting lists, however, so it is advisable to make arrangements to take driving lessons as soon as you apply for your theory test.