Learning to drive remains one of the most coveted of skills and it is one that can be achieved fairly simply following a course of driving lessons, usually from one of the many driving schools that operate across the UK. Every year around 1.6 million people sit the driving test in the UK, but fewer than half of those taking the test achieve a pass.
A test of skill and knowledge
The driving test is open to anyone in the UK from aged 17 who must apply for a provisional licence, then – following an appropriate number of driving lessons – can sit two tests set by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA).
The first is a theory/hazard perception test designed to reveal knowledge of the Highway Code, then the practical driving examination, taken at a DSA test centre, which will ensure the learner can drive safely and is competent in the basic skills.
The practical test starts with an eyesight exam in which the student must read a number plate from a certain distance followed by around 40 minutes of road driving that includes two out of three reversing manoeuvres and an emergency stop. To pass, you must not commit any serious or dangerous faults and cannot commit more than 15 errors of a less serious nature.
Learner drivers cannot sit the practical test until they have passed the theory test and only once both examinations have been passed can you go out on the road unaccompanied.
Meeting the driving challenge
In Leeds, one of the biggest cities in the UK, learner drivers keen to pass their test and take to the road can choose from a large number of driving schools. While driving is a skill virtually anyone can learn, learning to drive can be a challenge and the more driving lessons you can have the more likely you are to pass both tests first time.
Anyone looking to learn to drive will usually look at a number of driving schools to find one that suits the timescale they have set for themselves to pass as well as their wallet.
Driving schools will use Approved Driving Instructors who are graded regularly by the DSA on their ability. It’s important that the instructor assesses the learner’s ability during every lesson and also remains patient, transmitting a calm aura to a learner who is likely to be nervous and tense, particularly during early driving lessons.
Get the price right
Cost can often determine how many driving lessons a learner will take and many driving schools offer block bookings for a set number of hours that work out cheaper than booking a single lesson at a time. Most driving lessons will last for an hour but some driving schools will offer longer lessons or double sessions which might be important as a test date gets closer. If you’re a student, shop around for driving schools that offer you a discount on your lessons.