Driving Lessons: What You Need To Know
The minimum age to start learning to drive in the UK is seventeen. You will also need a Provisional Driver's Licence. There are two ways to apply for this.
Provisional Licence: By Post
Ask your local Post Office for a 'D1 Pack'. Complete the D1 Form and send it to the DVLA in Swansea. You will need to include a passport photo and original proof of your identity unless you have a modern 'biometric' passport (in which case you only need give your passport number).
You can request that the D1 Pack be posted to you at https://www.gov.uk/dvlaforms
Provisional Licence: Online
Go to https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-provisional-driving-licence and follow the instructions there.
How Many Driving Lessons Will I Need?
The Department of Transport carried out a survey of thousands of people who passed their practical test over a seven year period and published their findings in 2008. The average was 47 hours of driving lessons, with an average of 20 further hours practising with friends or relatives.
Atlas recommend that your driving lessons are two hours long. If you intend to practice with a family member or friend please make sure that you are both aware of the law.
When Do You Want Your Lessons To Take Place?
At Atlas we're flexible: you decide when you would like to learn. We do recommend that you have your driving lessons at different times of day and also both during the week and at weekends.
We will pick you up from your home, or we can meet you at work for a quick lunchtime lesson or for 'rush hour' practice. It's up to you.
Choice of Instructors (ADIs)
It's important that you feel relaxed and comfortable during your lessons and that you and your instructor 'get' each other. At Atlas we have a number of different ADIs, so we can offer you a choice of instructor in most of the areas we cover.
How Soon Can I Take My Test?
No-one is allowed to apply to take their Practical Driving Test without first passing a combined Theory and Hazard Perception Test (commonly referred to as 'the theory test'). You will need your Provisional Licence to book these tests, and you can book online at https://www.gov.uk/book-theory-test
'Pass Plus': Advanced Driving Lessons
It's not a cliche when instructors say that the real learning begins after you pass your driving test. Even if you drive very often you can normally expect it to be at least 6 months before you are the safest and best driver you can be. And it's a sad fact that new drivers - particularly young drivers - are far more likely to have an accident.
Road Safety Charity Brake highlighted 2015 data from the DVLA and DfT which showed that, whilst new drivers from 17-19 made up only 1.5% of those licenced to drive in the UK, this age group was responsible (i.e. they were the driver) for 9% of accidents that involved serious injury or death. There are two main reasons:
- over-confidence and risk taking (including speeding);
- poor assessment of hazards.
Be a Safer, Better Driver with Pass Plus
To help new drivers the DVSA has developed the 'Pass Plus' training programme. There is no official test; instead, the assessment takes the form of five to six hours extra tuition covering:
Busy high streets, especially at rush hour, present many challenges.
Bad weather driving
Rain and poor light increase the danger from hazards.
Roads can be narrow, twisting and poorly surfaced.
Things look very different at night. Driving as it becomes dark and the light changes every ten minutes can be challenging too.
Dual carriageway driving
More challenging than motorways in many regards, not least because you sometimes have to exit right across oncoming traffic.
We also offer our own additional lessons specifically for this (see below).
Pass Plus: What You Gain
Pass Plus lessons with assessment are designed to help you gain quality experience behind the wheel, develop a positive driving style, and hopefully reduce the risk of you having an accident. On successful completion of the course you are issued with a certificate that entitles you to a discount on your insurance premium - as much as 50%, depending on your insurer.
Motorway Driving Lessons
Almost all new drivers feel most nervous at the prospect of driving on the motorway. Yet, once you become familiar with them, motorways are far less stressful places to be in charge of a car than your average high street! You are travelling at high speed, but everyone is going in the same direction and there are no pedestrians or parked vehicles to worry about.
Atlas' motorway lessons are specially designed for newly qualified drivers. We will give you the confidence to go on the motorway on your own by giving you in-depth tuition on:
- using slip roads to get on and off the motorway;
- reading signs and reacting in good time;
- understanding junctions;
- driving at a constant high speed; and
- overtaking and changing lane.