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Pupiline's Guide on... Starting to learn to drive

Right I'm sick of having to get lifts and the bus everywhere, I want to drive, but where the hell do I start?

  • Well before you get behind that wheel, you're going to have to get yourself a Provisional Licence, which allows you to drive car as long as supervised by an instructor or someone who is over 21 and has had a driving licence for over 3 years. You can get your Provisional Licence by applying to the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Association at



                                                SA 99 1AD

  • The application for the Provisional Licence is a pretty extensive and detailed beast, and costs the sum of £21. However some driving schools, such as BSM, will take this out of your hands, if you wish, and sort it out for you.

  • However if youíre doing it yourself, then bear in mind ALL driving licences have to bear a Ďmug shotí, sorry I mean photo, of yourself. This means that you have to fill in TWO forms, to get a Photocard Provisional Licence

    1. The D1, application for a driving licence

    2. The D750, application for a Photocard

  • You can pick these forms up from the following places

    • Driving Instructors

    • Post Offices

    • Traffic Area Offices

    • Vehicle Registration Offices

    • DVLA

  • It might be worth having an eyesight check to make sure that your sight meets the standard for driving.

Right Iíve got my provisional licence back, so whatís up next?

  • Well itís time to start learning and itís entirely up to you how you want to go about doing it. If you want to get yer mum or yer dad to take you out on Sundays, its up to you,

  • BUT research has shown that learners whoíve had lots of practice and took lessons with an Approved Instructor, do extremely well in their Practical Driving Test.

OK, I donít think Iíll get my parents to do it, but Iím still a bit in the dark over choosing an instructor, where do I go?

  • Well people may give you advice, but just because your best mateís instructor is the best thing since sliced bread, according to them, doesnít mean theyíll be the right one to teach you.

  • The two main options are to go either through a major driving school or go through a local self-employed instructor. However at the end of the day it is up to you to choose who you think will teach you better and also what you can afford. Though driving schools, such as BSM will help you choose your instructor from their team they have at each driving school centre.

See our stories on the pros and cons driving schools and self-employed instructors.

  • BUT always make sure you go with an instructor APPROVED and REGISTERED by the DSA.

  • There is also a VOLUNTARY CODE OF CONDUCT for approved driving instructors. To receive information on this phone 0115 901 2500, it will help you choose an instructor and tell you how to make a complaint if something happens you feel ought to be known.

Well Iíve now got my instructor, how many lessons shall I book, for how long and whatís it gonna cost me?

  • Well it is highly recommended that you take a 2-hour lesson each time and do this twice a week, subject to the amount of time and money you have. This wonít mean that youíll pass the test any quicker, but it will make sure that you wonít forget the essentials, and the basics should come to you more naturally.

  • Lessons with a driving school, like BSM are £17.99 for an hour and £35.98 for a two hour session, while self-employed instructorís prices vary, but are generally cheaper. However BSM offers services such as free access to theory test training computers, interactive driving programmes and can sort out all the necessary arrangements for licences and tests for you. So itís up to you whether these features are worth the extra money.

  • However, definitely the best way is to book your lessons in blocks. That way, not only will your instructor be able to set a definite programme for you to follow, but you will also definitely SAVE MONEY. Most instructors offer discount for blocks of lessons over ten hours, BSM offers £1-2 off each lesson if you book blocks of 10, 15, 20 or 30 hours, they also offer student discount.

So when am I gonna be ready for the big one, the test, so I can get on the road?

  • Unfortunately driving is not something that comes naturally to all people, as with most things different people learn at different speeds.

  • So you could be born blessed with the ability to drive or struggle through, but your instructor WILL help you and he will know when youíre ready for the Ďnext big stepí the Theory Test and then the final Practical Test.

So there you go, itís a lot to take in but itís what you need to do, to take the first tentative steps towards getting Ďon the roadí. Next up is the Theory Test, but donít panic, Pupilineís tips in the next section, will hopefully to help guide you through, to pass you test.

Back to Driving Front Page

Guide to the Theory Test

Guide to the Practical Test

Our Stories

Links To Check Out:

by ChrisM

Driving Survey
Why do you want to learn to drive?
To get some freedom from my parents
Public Transport's crap and it'll make it easier to get to around
To look cool

Driving Survey
What turns you off learning to drive?
Price of Petrol, Insurance, Tax etc.
Effect on the Environment
Too much hassle

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick