"Tony, like a knight in a shining car, ... helped me pass my test with ease. I can't recommend his patience and teaching methods highly enough." L.A.
This page is to help you with the steps you need to become a qualified driver. Please note that the Government is in the process of centralising many of its sites and during this transition period some links may not go where intended.
The minimum age to drive a car (Category B) is 17 years, or 16 years if you are receiving Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate (mobility component).
You must be able to read an old style* number plate at a distance of 20.5 metres or at 20 metres if the new style* number plate is used. You must also have a visual acuity of at least 0.5 decimal. If you need glasses or corrective lenses for the eyesight test, then you must wear them whenever you are driving. Click here to see Eyesight Rules.
Before you can learn to drive a car you must obtain a provisional driving licence. The fees are shown below.
Apply for your provisional licence online** which costs £34, or by completing form D1 which is available from some Post Office branches, a more expensive option costing £43. You will also need to supply a passport style photograph if applying by post.
You can see more information on medical conditions that you'd need to declare including medical rules and special needs. (Although the page presently only refers to people already holding a licence).
As a Category B provisional licence holder you may only drive whilst supervised by a suitable person. Click here to get more information on supervising a learner. The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency recommend that you use a professional driving instructor for your training.
You will need to pass the combined Theory and Hazard Perception Test before you can book or take a Practical Driving Test. The pass certificate is valid for two years. Please note that although the government's target for be able to book a practical test is 6 weeks there are often very long delays for practical driving tests, so early passing of the theory test will enable earlier booking for the practical test.
You must pass the Practical Driving Test before you may drive unsupervised or on motorways.
The official DVSA fee** for the Theory and Hazard Perception Test is currently £23. A Practical Test costs £62 at normal times and £75 for 'out-of-hours' times.
You can book your Theory Test here. If you use this link you will avoid additional fees of £20-£30 charged by many sites AND choose your own appointment time and date. The total you should pay for your Theory Test should not exceed £23.
Once you have passed your practical test you may drive unaccompanied and without supervision.You may also drive on Motorways, although I would strongly advise taking the Pass Plus course, or at the very minimum, Motorway training. Note that the vehicle you drive must be roadworthy, taxed and have a current MOT. It must also be insured for you to drive,and if you were insured previously as a learner then you must inform your insurer of your test pass. In some cases this may increase your premium.
Please note that I can book your Practical Test for you. I strongly recommend this so that my car will be available for your test. There is no additional fee for this booking service, being free to my clients.
*Examples of number plate types:
Old style: A123 ABC or ABC 123A - 20.5 metres
New style: AB12 ABC - 20 metres
** Prices correct at time of writing
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