Inside the mind of a pre-learner driver
My name is Kitty, I am 16 and have just finished my GCSE’s. I am currently at the start of a very long summer break and I really want to be able to use some of the time wisely - while also enjoying it as much as possible while I’m free from school – so I’ve decided to look into if I can do anything to get ahead with the process of learning to drive.
As a keen horse rider, the sooner I can travel to the stables without making my mum drive me every time, the better. Especially since at the moment, my only way to get to the stables during the day is to have to pay for a taxi there and back, which makes it a very expensive hobby. This means that I am very eager to be able to drive myself to and from, so I’m excited that I don’t have to wait much longer.
Since I’m not 17 yet I obviously can’t get my licence or learn to drive on roads, but I’ve researched and found that I can still prepare in different ways this summer.
So, before you start to drive you must have a valid provisional licence from the DVLA. I’ve found that having a provisional driving licence means that you can ride a moped or light quad bike when you’re 16 and drive a car when you’re 17.
You can also take your theory test once your provisional licence becomes valid. I’ve found that normally the earliest date your provisional licence can become valid is your 17th birthday. But luckily for me, you can apply for the licence up to two months before your birthday which, for me, would be in August. That said, if you apply for your provisional licence before you are 17, you will still have to wait until your 17th birthday before you can book your theory test.
After my research, I’ve decided that in order to get a head start I will register for a provisional licence as soon as I can, and will look into having lessons on private tracks. There are companies that provide teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 with the chance to learn to drive a car without the need of a driving licence, in a safe, off-road environment. Doing this will give me a head start on the learning process and an idea of what it is like behind the wheel, but without the pressure of being on the road and surrounded by other drivers.
The next step is to find where I can actually have these lessons.
Wish me luck :)