How many driving lessons will I need to pass my driving test?

This is the million-dollar question but unfortunately it doesn’t have a definitive answer. Everyone has a different rate of learning; we have had learners who have passed after 10 lessons, 20 lessons, 50 lessons and even 100 lessons! According to research carried out by the Driving & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the national average of driving tuition required to pass your driving test is 47 hours of professional tuition plus 20 hours of private practice. When doing our own analysis, LDS recorded an average of 32 hours. We have an excellent first time pass record, which reflects our high quality of teaching.

Do you offer automatic lessons as well as manual lessons?

Yes.  LDS offers driving lessons in both manual and automatic vehicles. The vehicles we use are Audi A3 and Nissan Leaf and we have female driving instructors. Please bear in mind if choosing automatic, your driving licence will not entitle you to drive manual vehicles. If choosing manual, you will be entitled to drive both manual and automatic.

How do I pay for my lessons?

There are a variety of payment methods

  • Debit or Credit Card via our website.
  • Bank transfer direct to your driving instructor (your instructor will give you their bank details)
  • Cash

We do not accept cheques.

How often should I have my driving lessons?

Continuity of driving lessons is important and LDS recommends that you have a minimum of 2 hours per week. You will also progress much quicker if you have two hour lessons each time.  We also offer 1½ hour and 1 hour lessons.

Can I learn to drive with friends/family?

LDS always recommends private practice. Gaining extra hours of experience and practising what you have already learnt, helps a great deal.  In most cases it can reduce the number of driving lessons needed.  Anyone you practise your driving with must:

  • be over 21
  • be qualified to drive the type of vehicle you want to learn in, e.g. they must have a manual car licence if they’re supervising you in a manual car
  • have had their full driving licence for a minimum of 3 years (from countries in the European Union or European Economic Area)

You can be fined up to £1,000 and get up to 6 penalty points on your provisional licence if you drive without the right supervision.

You can drive with as many passengers as the vehicle can legally hold.

What insurance do I need for private practice as a learner driver?

You need your own insurance as a learner driver if you’re practising in your own car.  Your family member or friend who is supervising you will usually be covered on this policy as a named driver.

If you’re practising in someone else’s car, you need to make sure their insurance policy covers you as a learner driver.  You can get separate, short term, Learner Driver Insurance cover.  These policies work well for driving friends/relatives vehicles, as they won’t affect anyone else’s no claims bonus.  You will be sent a list of Learner Driver Insurance companies in your “welcome pack”.

You can get an unlimited fine, be banned from driving and get up to 8 penalty points for driving without insurance.

Do I need to have passed my theory test before I can start driving lessons?

No. You do not need to have passed a theory test before you can learn with LDS. However, it is an advantage because you can go full steam ahead with booking your driving test without being held back by the lack of a passed theory test.

The advantage of learning with LDS is that we provide you with free theory test training through our partnership with www.theorytestpro.co.uk, an online service which provides complete training for you to pass your theory test from scratch.

1. LDS will enrol you on Theory Test Pro free of charge.

2. You will be sent a welcome email with your login details.

3. You can then download the Theory Test Pro app for free from the App Store or Google Play.

4. You then sign into the app using the login details from your welcome email and all of the features are automatically unlocked.

Where do I take my theory test and how do I book it?

There are several theory test centres across the UK. We don’t have a theory test centre in St Albans. The nearest to us are Watford or Luton or you may prefer to take it near your place of work, for instance. You can find a full list of test centres and book your theory test online here.

Please remember to take your provisional licence card (your test will be refused without it and you will have to pay again to rebook) and arrive around 15 minutes early.

What car do I drive on my driving test?

You will drive the car you have used during your driving lessons.  So if you normally use your driving instructors car, then you will use the same car for test.  If you have your lessons in your own car, then we suggest you use your car for the test.

How long is the driving test?

The duration of the test is around 40 minutes.  You will drive in various road and traffic conditions, but not on motorways.

For half the time, the examiner will give you directions that you should follow. For the other 20 minutes you will be asked to drive independently and will follow either:

  • directions from a sat nav
  • traffic signs

The examiner will tell you which you have to follow. They will set the sat nav up for you. You cannot use your own sat nav.

There are 5 parts to the driving test:

  • an eyesight check
  • ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions
  • general driving ability
  • reversing your vehicle
  • independent driving

The test is the same for both manual and automatic cars.

What are the “show me/tell me questions”?

You will be asked 2 vehicle safety questions during your car driving test.

The examiner will ask you one:

  • ‘tell me’ question(where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving
  • ‘show me’ question(where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving

A full list of the questions, including videos can be seen here 

Why is there an extended lesson on my test day?

We need to allocate 3 hours in our diary, although the actual time used is usually approx 2¾ hours.  On the day of your test, your driving instructor will normally arrange to meet you 1½ hours before your test time.  This gives enough time, without rushing, to carry out any last minute practice and arrive at the test centre 10 minutes before your test time.  You will then go on your driving test, which normally lasts around 40 minutes, although tests do often overrun due to traffic, driving off route etc.  When you arrive back at the test centre, the examiner will ask you to wait a little while in order for them to complete their paperwork.

They will then tell you the result and offer a debrief of any/all of the faults they have marked.  If you have passed, they will then ask you to hand over your provisional licence card (which they will deal with on behalf of the DVLA) and write out your Pass Certificate.  Your instructor will then drive you home, or to another agreed address.

What is the instructor’s role on test day?

On the test day itself you have the option of taking your instructor or a friend/relative (if they are over 16) with you on the test. If you feel having your instructor in the back will ease your nerves, by all means make this clear with your instructor before the test day. All our instructors at LDS will ask you in advance about your intended choice to avoid any confusion on test day. Your instructor cannot help you in any way during the test and will be present solely as an observer.

It’s worth mentioning that an examining supervisor can be present in order to watch the examiner’s performance and having them present is not something you can challenge. This is a necessary procedure practised by the DVSA to ensure the constant high competence and fairness of driving test examiners is maintained. If this happens on your test, you will probably forget the supervisor is there after a few minutes so don’t let it affect you too much.

What is Pass Plus?

Pass Plus is a practical training course for drivers to improve their skills and drive more safely.

It can be taken at any time, although it is most useful to new drivers in the year after passing their test.

LDS driving instructors are registered and approved to teach Pass Plus.

It may help you get a car insurance discount if you successfully complete the course, depending on the insurance company you choose.

Pass Plus training takes at least 6 hours. It has 6 modules, covering driving:

  • in town
  • in all weathers
  • on rural roads
  • at night
  • on dual carriageways
  • on motorways

All modules should be practical sessions, although local conditions, such as weather, may mean some are theory based.

You will not take a test but you will be assessed throughout the course. To pass you will have to reach the required standard in all modules.

Can learners drive on the motorway?

The law changed on 4th June 2018 to allow learner drivers to gain motorway experience before they pass their driving test.  LDS are delighted that the change in law now allows us to add motorway driving into our syllabus. For our pupil’s, motorway driving will be a natural progression from dual carriageway driving.

As a provisional licence holder you will ONLY be allowed to drive on a motorway with a FULLY QUALIFIED DRIVING INSTRUCTOR in a dual controlled car… so no practisingwith friends/relatives is allowed.

What do I do if I need to cancel a lesson?

Please give your instructor as much notice as possible via text or phone in the event of you having to cancel your lesson. The contact details for your instructor are in your Welcome pack along with a copy of our full Terms & Conditions and Code of Practice.  48 hours notice is required for cancellations, otherwise the full cost of your lesson will be payable.