Learning to Drive – Getting Started

Obtaining a driving licence is one of the most valuable qualifications you can get in life. Many employers request that you can drive a car and for many jobs driving is an essential skill. Passing your driving test gives you incredible freedom to travel and explore. So what do you need to do to get started?

Driving Gives You Incredible Freedom To Travel & Explore

First of all you need to apply for a provisional driving licence, which can be done either online via the direct.gov website or alternatively you can make a postal application to the DVLA. It is faster and cheaper to do it online. You can pick up a D1 form from the post office or you can download the form from the DVLA’s website. Only apply for your license directly from the DVLA not through any other person or website.

In order to apply for a provisional driving licence you must live in Great Britain, be at least 15 years and 9 months old, be able to read a car registration plate from a distance of 20 metres (with glasses or contact lenses if worn), have a valid form of identification such as a UK passport, be able to supply 3 year’s worth of address data and finally not be disqualified from driving for any reason. It also helps if you have your National Insurance number (if known).

The cost of a provisional licence is £34 for online applications, which must be paid by debit / credit card at the time of applying. Furthermore, if you are applying by post (£43) you will also need to include a colour passport style photograph. The direct.gov website has more information as to what is and is not acceptable as a photograph.

The application process takes one week if done online and up to 3 weeks if sent by post. Whilst you can apply for your provisional licence at just 15 years and 9 months of age, you cannot actually start learning to drive a car on the road until you are 17 years of age. You can, however, learn to ride a moped or light quad bike when you are 16 years of age.

Your provisional licence is now made up of only 1 part; a card, which has your photograph and important personal information printed on it including your licence number and address. There is no longer a ‘paper counterpart’, which used will list any endorsements you had picked up over time as the DVLA now store this information electronically. It is important that when you attend any theory or practical driving test that you take your provisional driving licence with you otherwise your test will be voided and you will lose your fee.

Once you have your provisional driving licence you can start to think about taking driving lessons. Most people opt to take professional driving lessons with an approved driving instructor, however, this is not a legal requirement and so you can learn to drive with a friend or relative. Should you choose to learn privately, the person accompanying you must have held a full UK driving licence for a minimum of 3 years and must be over the age of 21. This route is clearly the cheaper way to learn to drive but be careful of picking up bad habits and being taught badly. Learning with a professional driving instructor will give you a sound basis of theory knowledge and driving skills, which will equip you and make you a safer driver throughout your driving test and beyond.

Did you like this? Share it:

Leave a Reply