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Frequently asked Questions

How old do I need to be before I can learn to drive?

The Driving Standards Agency requires you to be at least 17 years of age before you can drive. You can however apply for your provisional licence three months before your 17th Birthday.

It is also legal for a student of any age to learn to drive on private land.

Please note private land does NOT refer to your local supermarket car park. If you are going to teach some one to drive under 17 years of age the land must be private with locked gates that stop other members of the public gaining access to the space.

Can I drive if I have lost my provisional licence?

Yes you can drive without your provisional licence, however all of our Approved Driving Instructors will need to see BOTH parts of your driving licence before starting you as a new pupil and you will NOT be able to take your theory or your practical tests without them.

It is also important that your provisional driving licence is in the same address as your current full time home address. It is against the law to fail to notify the DVLA of any changes and if caught you could be fined.

Is the Instructor allowed to smoke during my lesson?

No they cannot. Throughout the UK it is illegal to smoke in a workplace, an ADI’s car is considered a workplace. Your driving instructor is legally not allowed to smoke in the car with or without a pupil.

Your driving instructors car should also show a No Smoking sign in accordance with the law.

Can newly qualified drivers lose their licence with fewer points than an experienced driver?

Yes. Any new driver with less than two years experience from the date of their practical test, will automatically loose their full licence if they receive 6 points or more.

The pupil will then need to re-apply for a new provisional licence and re-sit both the Theory and Practical test in order to regain their full driving licence. The next test may even be an 'extended' driving test.

The original points will be transferred to the provisional and then moved onto the full licence once they prequalify and will remain on it for four years but are valid for three years.

Is car insurance cheaper when you have a provisional licence?

Yes your car insurance is considerably cheaper when you’re learning to drive. This is based on the simple fact that you will be driving the car on a restricted basis and always under supervision.

Once you have passed your practical exam you will no longer be restricted and the risk of an accident increases considerably, therefore the insurance companies will increase the premium.

Can I drive in a car park before I am 17?

The law allows you to drive a car at any age on private property with the landowners permission, and only if the property has a locked gate stopping you from exiting the property or other people accessing the property.

Many people think that a car park, perhaps belonging to the local supermarket is considered private land. Although this is correct to some degree it is illegal for you to drive a car on this land.

Can I start lessons on my 17th birthday?

You can apply for your provisional licence up to three months before your 17th birthday. We are happy to book your lessons in advance and will happily do so knowing your licence is in the post. However our ADI’s will need to see your licence before taking you out on the road.

You can apply for your provisional driving licence by following this link (Click Here)

The cost of your driving licence is explained here (Click Here)

How do I know how good an instructor is?

To become a qualified Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) they must pass a complex training program set by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and over 70% of people who start to take the exams fail to qualify.

So right from the start – if  your ADI (and not all are) is a qualified Approved Driving Instructor, they have already qualified to the highest standards possible and will display a green badge in the car's windscreen.

The DSA assign each ADI a grade ranging from 1-6 and only those ADI’s with a grade 4 and above (all of DSBS’s ADIs are a minimum grade 4) can become a driving instructor. Receiving a grade 1-3 is a fail.

What’s more each instructor receives regular reviews by the DSA called “Check Tests”, these tests are designed to ensure the ADI has maintained or improved on their previous grade. If the ADI has become complacent or simply failing to deliver the current syllabus correctly then the ADI can loose their grade and have the right to instruct pupils for money removed.

So the TWO most important questions to ask your Driving School are “What Grade is my Instructor?” and “How long has my instructor been an Approved Driving Instructor for?”

Grade 6 is the very best however there are only 2,745 ADI’s in the UK with this grade out of 46,336 ADI’s

When can I apply for my driving licence?

You are allowed to apply for your provisional driving licence 3 months before your 17th birthday.

You can apply for your provisional driving licence by following this link (Click Here)

The cost of your Driving Licence is explained here (Click Here)

How many lessons does it take to pass a driving test?

This is an incredibly difficult question to answer, as each pupil learns at different speeds.

The DSA suggests that the average number of hours needed to pass your practical exam is 45 hours with an additional 22 hours of private tuition (family and friends), however your Driving Instructor will put you forward for your exam once you have mastered the driving syllabus even if that falls short of 45 hours.

Over the past 25 years of experience we are happy to suggest that our average pass is approx.35 hours with DSBS instructors.

Those pupils learning in an automatic car do normally pass their exams in a shorter time frame normally 5 to 10 hours less than a manual transmission.

Do I have to pass my theory test before I can start driving?

No. You can start to drive before you take your theory exam. Many students find their theory exam easier after taking a few lessons.

Don’t forget you need to have your provisional licence before booking your theory exam – without it you will be turned away on the day of your test and you will loose your test money.

How much are driving lessons?

Driving Schools Booking Services offer driving lessons throughout the UK and our prices do vary depending upon your area and the type of car you want to learn in.

DSBS prices vary between £16.00 - £30.00 per hour for learner courses, to find out the best prices and any offers currently running please call our dedicated Customer Support Teams on 0800 080 5410 or Click Here to alternatively fill in the pricing request form.

How much does it cost to become an Approved Driving Instructor?

Becoming a driving instructor takes a lot of commitment including a large amount of study along with a sizable financial outlay of between £2,500 and £4,500.

The DSA suggest that only 30% of trainees actually qualify to become Approved Driving Instructors, so before jumping in feet first we always recommend you to take your time and look into the training before making that commitment.

If you have already decided upon becoming an instructor then please feel free to contact our Customer Support Team on 0800 080 5410 and ask for ADI training advice and costings.

How much is car insurance for a learner driver?

Car insurance for a learner is considerably cheaper than car insurance for a new driver who has just passed their driving test, however the premium will vary depending on many factors, including;

  1. The car you want to insure. Lower insurance grouped cars will always be cheaper. Check your car insurance group here (Click Here).
  2. How much the car is worth.
  3. Your age.
  4. Where you live.
  5. Your occupation.
  6. Where you work.
  7. Type of cover you require.

For more information about car insurance and saving yourself money please read the following page (Click Here)

How do I apply for a provisional driving licence?

You are allowed to apply for your UK driving licence three months before your 17th Birthday. Applying for a licence has been made easier with the Governments new online ordering process that can be found below:

Order Online Today (Click Here)

Or Alternatively you can apply by post using a D1 application form, available from your local post office or from the DVLA form service (Click Here)

To complete your application you will need an original document confirming your identity and a colour passport photograph.

Postal applications are sent to DVLA Swansea, SA99 1AF.

How much does a provisional licence cost?

When you apply for your Provisional Licence you will be charged a fee set by the DVLA, these costs are shown here (Click Here).

The DVLA will aim to return your licence within three weeks of receiving your application. It can take longer if your application means additional verification is needed.

What is the minimum age for a provisional driving licence?

You can apply for your provisional drivers licence three months before you turn 17 unless you are classed as disabled and then you can apply for your driving licence when you are 16.

What do I do if I have lost my provisional driving licence?

If you have lost your driving licence you must order a replacement licence. Your driving instructor can continue to teach you whilst the new licence has been ordered however you will NOT be allowed to take your theory or practical exams without it.

You can apply for your replacement online (Click Here) or you can apply by telephone via the DVLA Telephone: 0300 790 6801, or alternatively you can complete the D1 application form and return it via the post to the DVLA.

Telephone lines are open: Mon – Fri, 8am to 7pm and Saturday 8am to 2pm.

The D1 form is available from all post offices and also the DVLA Form ordering service. (Click Here

How do I apply for my first full driving licence?

Once you pass your practical test, your examiner will usually help you apply to the DVLA for an upgrade to a full drivers licence. The DVLA will then return your full licence within four weeks.

Alternatively you can apply yourself by post, however if your forget or fail to do this within two years you will be forced to retake your test – don’t forget as many people do.

Applying by post becomes a little more complicated and we always recommend our students to allow the examiner to complete this stage. However should you wish to do this yourself you have two different routes depending upon the type of provisional licence you hold. To read more please follow this link (click here)

What do I do if I have failed my driving test?

Don’t worry, you are not the first and you will not be the last person to fail your test. Failing your test will help highlight areas of your diving that need to be improved.

At the end of your test the examiner will run through the areas you failed on, they will normally do this with your driving instructor present helping them to plan your next few lessons. Listen to the examiner and absorb what they are telling you – this will help the next time you take your exam.

You are not allowed to retake your test for another 10 days after failing – so this time can be put to good use, working with your driving instructor to improve the areas you have been marked down by the examiner.

How much does the theory test cost?

The current cost of your theory exam is £31.00 at the time of writing, this can be changed without warning and we advise our students to check the official Governments web pages for the correct up to date pricing (Click Here)

You must have both parts of your provisional licence otherwise you will not be allowed to sit your exam and you will loose the booking fee.

How much does the practical driving test cost?

You can only book your practical exam after you have passed your theory test as you will need the certificate number in order to book your practical exam.

You only have two years to pass your practical exam before your theory exam runs out and you have to re-sit the theory exam once more.

The current cost of your practical exam is £62.00 at the time of writing, this can be changed without warning and we advise our students to check the official Governments web pages for the correct up to date pricing (Click Here)

How do I book a practical driving test?

Your driving instructor will help you to book your practical exam, however should you wish to book your exam on your own then the fastest way is by using the online booking services from the DSA (Click Here)

Please remember you cannot book your practical without passing your Theory Test.

What is the Pass Mark for the hazard perception test?

The pass marks for the hazard perception test is 44 out of 75, meaning you must obtain score of 44 or more in order to pass.

Remember the earlier you notice a hazard and click the mouse our touch the screen the higher your score will be in each section. The most you can score for each hazard is 5 points, however clicking or touching the screen too much will result in you receiving 0 for that section.

How do I book a theory test?

You can apply to sit your theory exam prior to booking your driving lessons if you prefer, however many students prefer to take a few lessons and speak with one of our driving instructors before booking.

You can book your test online (Click Here)

You must have both parts of your provisional licence otherwise you will not be allowed to sit your exam and you will loose the booking fee.

How many questions are there in the theory test?

The test lasts for 57 minutes and within this time you must answer 50 questions and achieve at least 43 correct answers in order to pass the exam.

Before starting the exam you will be given instructions to ensure you understand how to use the computer system and the interaction needed in order to answer the questions.

How can I prepare for the practical driving test?

Preparation for your practical exam can only really be achieved through practice and professional instruction. Each of our driving instructors will work with you to ensure you learn as much as possible within your lessons and we always recommend (if you can) getting additional practice with family and friends.