Thinking of learning to drive? Or got a teenager who’s itching to get their L plates? Why not enter this giveaway to win £250 towards driving lessons.
Have you got a teenager approaching their 17th birthday in your household? If so, I’m guessing you may have already had a chat about driving lessons. Ollie is 17 next October, and it’s definitely a regular topic of conversation in our house. He can’t wait to get behind the wheel out on the road now.
Or maybe you’re the one who wants to learn to drive? It’s one of those things that can easily get put off when life is busy – I didn’t learn to drive until I was nearly 25. Passing your driving test has all sorts of benefits, but there are a lot of things to think about before you get your driving licence. Here’s a quick run down on some of the things you need to consider:
Applying for a Provisional Licence
You can apply for a provisional licence to drive a car up to three months before your 17th birthday. So if the application goes in on time, your teen should be able to get behind the wheel legally on the day they turn 17. A provisional licence currently costs £34 if you apply online, or £43 for postal applications. You’ll need to provide a valid form of ID (such as a passport), their residential address for the last three years, and their National Insurance number if they know it. Click here for more information from the Gov.uk website.
Checking your Insurance
If you are planning to let a learner driver use your car, it’s important that they are adequately covered with the right insurance. Contact your current insurer to find out what effect a learner driver will have on your insurance premium. Also remember that if the learner driver has their own car, it’s worth them having car insurance in their own name so they can start building up their No Claims Bonus which will help reduce their premiums in the long term. Comparison sites are a great starting point for comparing costs.
Taking the Theory Test
The theory part of the driving test assesses your knowledge of the Highway code. So it’s a good idea to get hold of a copy and swot up, because the cost of the theory test is £23! You’ll need your provisional licence number when you book your theory test online.
The theory test currently consists of a computer-based multiple-choice questionnaire lasting 57 minutes, and a hazard perception test. In this test you’re shown 14 clips of every day road scenes, and you need to identify the ‘developing hazard’. The sooner you spot the hazards, the higher the score you receive.
Finding a Driving Instructor
When you’re looking for a driving instructor, it’s a good idea to ask around for personal recommendations. You might want to learn with a large well known driving school like The AA, or you might prefer to go for an individual driving instructor.
Also consider if you have any specific requirements – for instance you might feel more comfortable with a female driving instructor. Some driving schools may offer intensive driving courses, discounts for block booking lessons, or specialise in lessons for nervous drivers.
How you get on with your driving instructor is a big factor in learning to drive. Don’t be afraid to change instructors if you don’t think you’re progressing well enough.
Booking your Driving Lessons
You may be wondering how many lessons you need to pass your driving test. You can generally reckon on needing around 40-50 hours of lessons and an additional 20 hours of practice with a family member or friend. Obviously the amount varies between individuals, and you may need more or less than that.
The cost of driving lessons can certainly add up quickly, so it’s a good idea to try and save up before you start learning. You can often save money by booking lessons in blocks of 10 or more.
And if you’re keen to cut the cost of learning to drive, why not enter this competition to win £250 towards Driving Lessons from Go Girl Insurance. The competition closes on Thursday 30th November 2017 at 10am and winners will be notified by email within 7 days. Terms and conditions apply.
Taking the Practical Test
Your instructor will let you know when you are ready to take your practical test. Generally speaking, you need to be competent at the different manouevres, and comfortable driving in challenging situations without assistance from your instructor.
If you’re feeling unsure, why not ask your instructor to put you through a mock test to get an idea if you are ready for the real thing?
The practical test currently costs £62 for weekdays, or £75 for evenings, weekends and bank holidays. Remember that most people need more than one attempt, and you will probably need a few extra lessons while you wait for a repeat test.