Getting Started

Your Licence

Firstly you need to apply for a provisional driving licence, you can apply online at the cost of £34 or you can print the application form off and post it at the cost of £43. You can apply 3 months before your 17th birthday but it is not valid until your 17th birthday. Once you have passed your test there is no cost to upgrade your provisional licence to a full licence. Your licence must be renewed every 10 years at the cost of £20, you must also include an up-to-date photograph, each time it is renewed. 

Click to apply online through GOV.UK  


How many hours to pass a Driving Test

How long is a piece of string?  The DVSA recommends 20 hours of private practice and 47 hours of professional tuition; it could be less, it could be more. You should have structured practice either use the DVSA drivers record or the BirchaLL School of Motoring track record, anything where your Instructor can log your achievements.

You need to drive in all types of weather conditions and all types of roads, excluding motorways.


Theory Test

The theory test consists of 2 parts.  Part 1 is multiple choice, where you need to get 43 out of 50 questions correct to pass.  Part 2 is hazard perception where you need 44 out of 75 correct to pass, (this is 14 video clips which contain at least one “developing hazard” and one video clip will show 2 “developing hazards”.

I would advise you to try and pass the Theory Test within the first 2 months of learning to drive.  The Theory Test pass will last for 2 years. You can book your Theory Test online or by phone and make the appointment to suit you. 

Click to book your theory test on GOV.UK


Choosing an Approved Driving Instructor

If you are paying someone to teach you to drive they must be approved and registered with Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, (DVSA).  ONLY registered Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) can charge money for teaching you to drive. Taken from the DSA recent survey indicated that 9 out of 10 learners who passed the theory and practical test first time were taught by a qualified Instructor. A fully qualified ADI must display a green certificate on their windscreen.  Some trainee driving instructors are graded a pink licence, which they must display, so they can gain experience before their final exam.  


Click to find a driving instructor from GOV.UK


The Practical Driving Test

At the test centre you will have the eyesight check and the vehicle safety check questions.

You will then drive in as many different roads and traffic conditions as time allows.  You will be examined on 1 manoeuvre:  

  • Turn in the road

  • Reverse park

  • Reverse round the corner or bay parking

You may have to do an emergency stop.

There will be about a 10 minute independent drive where you will follow a set of directions or road signs or a combination of both.  You can ask for a reminder of the directions and if you go the wrong way you will not fail, providing you don’t make a driving error. BirchaLL School of Motoring recommends you allow the instructor to book your practical test so they are able to make sure that they are free before and during that time for you.

Click to book your practical test from GOV.UK




Driving with Someone Else

Anyone can sit next to you while practicing as long as they have held a full driving licence for at least 3 years, are 21 years or over and the learner is covered by the insurance of the car they are driving. However, the driving test and methods have changed.  When driving with your parents or someone else eligible to be sitting with you, it is always best to ask your instructor for any new rules and regulations. 

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