How to pass your driving test – a step by step guide

Learning to drive but don’t know where to start? Here is our 7 tips to getting you on the road


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By Chloe Martell

Updated on Dec 3rd, 2020

If you want to learn to drive but don’t know where to start – we’re breaking it down for you with our step by step guide, follow the steps and get on the road to freedom before you know it!

1 Check you’re allowed to drive

Most people can start to learn to drive cars on the roads when they’re 17. You need to make sure your eyesight meets requirements!

2 Get a provisional licence

Applying for your provisional licence couldn’t be easier – you can do it all online! You can apply for your provisional when you’re 15 years and 9 months old. It costs £34 to apply online or £43 to apply by post.

3 Take your theory test

You don’t have to start learning to drive before taking your theory test, you can take it as soon as you feel ready so consider swatting up and try passing the theory before you start – it’s a good head start to have, and you’ll have 2 years after passing to pass your practical test. The theory test is designed to ensure we all drive safely. It’s designed to help us learn about the hazards we can face and how to avoid them. Since its introduction, the hazard perception test has been shown to reduce non-low-speed accidents by an estimated 11%*
The theory test is made up of two parts, multiple choice and hazard perception. You have to pass both parts of the test in order to have passed your theory, and you need to pass your theory to take your practical.

4 Find a good driving instructor

You may have a lot of questions at this point, such as:
Where can I find a good instructor?
How much will my lessons cost?
Should I learn to drive a manual or automatic car?

Our top tips to finding a good instructor are to get personal recommendations, read their reviews, check their price and ask lots of questions! You’re new to this – and they’ll answer anything you want to know.

5 Start your driving lessons

Before you start your lessons, it’s always helpful to become familiar with the Highway Code. This will help you to get an understanding of what is to come on your driving journey. Many people book in their driving lessons at 1-2 hour slots weekly, but this will be dependent on yours and your instructor’s availability. Other young drivers choose to go for an intensive driving course, which is a concentrated period of learning to drive with an aim to passing your test at the end, it’s usually around 1 weeks’ worth of training.

6 Get in private practice

Private practice can make all the difference in your driving journey. It helps learners to get in extra practice outside of their driving lessons to perfect what it is they’ve learned. The average learner needs around 20 hours of practice in addition to driving lessons with an instructor – that’s almost a full day of driving! It doesn’t have to cost a lot, either. Learner Driver Insurance from Marmalade is as little as £1.23¹ per day! Remember that if you’re taking up private practice, you’ll need to follow certain rules.
Taking your skills on to the road frequently will help to build your skill and confidence when it comes to taking your driving test.

7 Take your practical test

If you’ve completed your theory test, you’ve done plenty of driving practice and feel confident on the roads, it’s time to book your practical driving test. Be sure to check with your instructor to make sure you’re ready, and to see their availability if you’re choosing to take the test in their car. Your test will last for around 40 minutes, during which you’ll be asked to perform a reversing manoeuvre, answer a show me question, a tell me question, and to show independent driving (either with a satnav or following road signs).

Practice makes Perfect

Short term learner insurance allows you to practise in a parent's or friend's car and get test ready!
Get a quote in seconds and get covered in minutes - with no risk to the car owner's No Claims Discount
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