Help for learners

Getting started

You can normally start to drive in the UK at the age of 17, with anyone receiving disability allowance at the higher rate being able to start at 16.

Before you can drive in the UK on public roads, you must obtain a provisional licence from the DVLA. You can apply for a licence up to 3 months before your 17th birthday, either by filling in a form available at the post office or you can: 

Apply online for a first provisional driving licence.

The best way to go about learning to drive

The best way to learn to drive is to have regular planned lessons with a qualified driving instructor and where possible private practice with a family member or friend. Nationwide the average number of lessons required to pass the driving test is around 44 hours of professional instruction and 22 hours of private practice (as quoted by the Driving Standards Agency). The time it takes will vary considerably from person to person, however, choosing a good instructor and keeping a record of your progress will help ensure you are making the most of the time spent.

Find a suitable driving instructor


The Learners Guide will help  in your search for a suitable driving instructor. For the key considerations when making your choice see choosing your driving instructor

The Learners Guide has carefully selected driving schools who are independent, fully qualified Driving Standards Agency Approved. On average you will find the instructors on this site have more experience, higher pass rates and are more competitively priced than the large driving schools (the large driving schools often have large franchise fees to pay, so most charge more than average).

Check out the driving school profiles on the Learners Guide found under ”Instructors” and enter your postcode or Town in the search box to find details about your closest Approved Driving Instructor.

Lesson plans

When learning to drive, you can’t beat practical experience on as many different roads as possible and plenty of practice on the manoeuvres. In order to help you gain confidence and speed up success the Learners Guide has provided lesson plans. These can be viewed in advance of you needing to carry out in practice, which should save you time on lessons and therefore money! If you are about to take your very first driving lesson, you would need to know about the “cockpit drill ” and  ”moving off and stopping “, so these would be the lesson plans to view. Early driving lessons will include basic turns “Approaching Junctions” to turn left or right, with left hand turns being the easier and “Emerging” into a new road to turn left or right (at T Junctions), again with left turns the best to start with. Emerging at crossroads would be ideally dealt with after you have practiced T Junctions, especially busy crossroads as they are more challenging.

The area you are carrying out driving lessons will often influence your driving instructors choice of what to cover on each lesson as well as your level of ability. If you were in an area with many “roundabouts“, “country roads“, “pedestrian crossings” etc, then it’s likely you may cover the topic sooner. One of the first manoeuvres you are likely to carry out on lessons is the “Turn in the Road“, as this gives good practice for improving clutch control, therefor the skill gained can be put into good use when controlling the car on hills and at low speeds like when creeping out at junctions. The lesson plans, especially the manoeuvres will be a guide to what you can expect with the main rules and considerations, however your driving instructor will be able to give you all the advise you need for each lesson topic and carrying out in practice is where you’ll learn far more.