Driving Lessons Hampshire

Learner Driver Training

Learn to Drive with Driving-Pro

To learn to drive you must:
  • Want to do it
  • Be able to do it both in terms of time and money
  • Be legal and fit to drive
What is the commitment:

What’s Involved in Learning to Drive:

For most of us there is not much point in learning to drive unless we get the licence that allows us to drive. Once we have the licence we will be allowed to drive anywhere on a public road in the UK and most of Europe. 

So what do we need to know about learning? First off we need to put time, money and effort into learning. It will not be a case of a few lessons and turning up at the test centre and getting a pass.


Man on time

In terms of time it will take as long as it takes. You must be able to drive safely. But very importantly you have to prove that to a driving examiner. The examiner can only mark what he sees at the time and place of the test. And we all get nervous and not drive as well as we normally do.

So the question for most people is how many lessons. The most quoted number is 47 hours training with 22 hours private practice. This is an average amount and will vary from person to person. Some more, others less. In general the younger you are, the less you will need. 

We hear all the time about people who passed in 10, 15, 20 hours etc.. But this can be for all sorts of reasons. Normally this might have been 15, 20 years ago when there was a lot less traffic on the road.

Other people may have forgotten to add that they were practising every day in their parents car. I have a friend who likes to say that he passed with just 6 lessons from a professional instructor. Once you look suitably impressed he will then tell you that he also did a 2 week in-house course with the police. This is what really got him through.


my money

The worst thing you can do is buy a 10 hour driving course for someone who can not take any more lessons after the 10 you have paid for. They need to be in a position to finish what they start. Also make sure that  when you take either a Theory Test or a Practical Driving Test that you have a good chance of passing it. Money wasted on tests that you are not ready for is better spent with your instructor. 

Be aware that if the lessons are cheap, why?

Hunting around for the cheapest deal is looking for the instructor or school that most needs the extra work. Why?


You will need to commit to learning. Do not worry if you don’t get everything right the first time. Everyone has to learn sometime. Keep going and it will get better. Mistakes are fine. At driving-pro they are learning opportunities! 

Sometimes it will feel difficult. But that is part of the process of learning. Keep making the effort till it is no longer an effort. Remember everyone you see driving has had to learn. For some people it was easy. But for most of us it took a bit of effort.


Your Provisional Licence:

Driving Licence 4

Before you drive any car on a public road you will need a driving licence.

You can apply for your licence 3 months before you are 17 so it is possible to have a driving lesson on your birthday. If you receive the higher rate of the mobility part of the Disability Living Allowance you can apply at 15 years and 9 months.

To apply you must:

  • Prove you are allowed to live in the UK.
  • Give addresses for the last 3 years.
  • Be able to meet the eyesight requirements.
  • Pay the money.
  • Have a UK passport or other valid form of ID.
  • Give your National Insurance number if known.

There are two ways of applying:

  • At the Post Office
  • Online


At the Post Office:

You will need form D1 which you get from the Post Office. It will cost £43 which you will need to pay by cheque or postal order which will cost more money.

Online at GOV.UK:

This will only cost £34 but you will have to pay using a card. This is normally the easiest way.

Apply for your provisional license here.

Your Eyesight:



All driving tests will start with an eyesight check. It’s a legal requirement that your eyesight is of the right standard. This means you must be able to read a number plate at 20 meters. If you can’t see something how can you deal with it.

Anyone who is a driver and certainly any professional driver should have their eyesight checked every 2 years. A professional eyesight check may reveal health problems. So for this reason it should be part of every drivers regular routines.

The distance of 20 meters is about 5 car lengths. This is the absolute minimum. A way used by a lot of driving instructors is to start at a distance well in excess of 20 meters then walk towards the number plate till you can read it.

If you take training with a professional instructor the first thing they should do is to check your eyesight. Not being able to read a number plate at this distance would mean you are not legal and therefore not safe either. Again if you cannot see it how can you deal with it.

If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident. A police officer if he suspects there is an issue with your eyesight can and will check it. Traffic Officers do carry tape measures. If your eyesight is not legal you could find your licence revoked depending local police force deals with you. There will also be an insurance problem.

Bottom line is get your eyesight checked and check it regularly.

Driving disabilities:

Learning to drive with any form of disability or condition is going to be more challenging. The driving test will be exactly the same standard for a person with disabilities or conditions as anyone else. For an ordinary driving licence (car) you can have a series of modifications that will allow you to drive safely. These modifications will be shown on the Licence Codes when you pass.

When choosing a driving instructor you will need to make them fully aware of what your needs are. The easier things for an instructor to deal with are dyslexiaautism and deafness all depending on the severity of the condition.

If your condition requires more attention. In our local area Wessex Driveability over in Southampton offer a very professional and thorough assessment. Depending on your needs it can be a transfer assessment or a driving one. The driving one will be conducted by a driving instructor with an occupational therapist sat in the back. They can be reached on 02380 554 100.

When seeking a suitable driving instructor Wessex Driveability maintain a register of suitable instructors that cover this area. You could also try Disability Driving Instructors on 0844 800 7355 who will have a nationwide register of specialist instructors.

When booking the test it is advisable for the instructor to do so over the phone. The instructor can ask for whatever special arrangements might be required. This could mean that a double space to be allocated so the examiner has the extra time to allow for any special arrangements the candidate may need.  But as stated earlier they will have to drive to the same standard as anyone else. The candidate would only be charged the normal fee. It would also be good practice for the instructor to contact The Driving Test Centre a week before so everything is clear as to what is required.

How to Learn:

You have two basic choices here. Learn with family or a friend, or use a professional instructor.

Family or friends:

The advantage of using friends and family to learn with is they are not allowed to charge money for that. Only a professional driving instructor is allowed to take money for teaching driving lessons. They can only do it for love or friendship. The exchange of goods or services for lessons would also probably be illegal.

Other advantages are you already know them so will be more comfortable with them. They will also be able to describe things better to you as they know how you think. It may well be that the car they are going to teach you in will be the one that you can drive after you have passed. You could also get more practice in as you could be doing some of life’s routine tasks like driving to the shops. 

The disadvantages of learning to drive with friends or family is they might not know what they are talking about. The driving test does change. If you spend time learning to reverse around a corner, it will be time wasted as we don’t do that anymore. Better to learn to reverse into a parking bay.

Another problem of learning with a loved one is that it can put a strain on the relationship. What might seem easy to them could well be quite difficult for the person learning. And sometimes we can be a bit too frank with our loved ones.

Professional Driving Instructor:

An instructor who makes his living from teaching driving should be pretty good at it. Or at least a lot better than someone who has never done it before. They will be up to date with the test requirements and familiar with the routines involved in taking a driving test. 

driving-pro instructor and pupil

To become an instructor you have to go through a fair amount of training. The training consists of a  theory test, but double the amount of questions the ordinary learner is asked. We then have a one hour advanced driving test. After all that, at least another week learning how to teach someone and then another test! So we do know what we are talking about. And if that was not enough we then get tested every 4 years to make sure we are still good enough.

The big disadvantage of using an instructor is that we want to be paid. That said, we do try to provide value for money. That value might just be keeping you or your loved one safe on the road.

You now have a choice of:

  • Regular lessons
  • Intensive course
  • Semi-intensive course

Regular lessons are the normal choice. They allow you to:

  • Spread the cost
  • Give you time to think and reflect on what you have learnt
  • Fits in with the rest of your life
  • Maybe get some private practice in between sessions
  • A disadvantage might be that to much time between sessions


Intensive courses are popular and they have some advantages and disadvantages:

  • It gets it done and out of the way
  • You could take a week off to do it
  • We learn quicker if we are doing something every day
  • It’s all or nothing. If you are not ready at the end you still have the test for which you might not be ready.
  • It is all paid for in one go
  • You might not like the instructor
  • Like the name says it can be quite intense
  • You could well have the instructor’s voice inside your head for the first few days as you dream of driving!

A way around some of the disadvantages of an intensive is a semi-intensive:

  • You get the back of the driving done in a short space of time
  • Then you can get the practice and experience at your leisure
  • It’s not so full on a full intensive course
  • You take the test when you are ready to pass
  • However it might not fit in with your other commitments
Manual or Automatic:

The main reason people choose automatic over manual is the clutch. The clutch allows for the selection of the best gear for the job. Because of this a manual is seen as more of a driver’s car.

Another reason for choosing a manual is that a driving licence gained in a manual car will allow you to drive an automatic as well. But a driving test passed in an automatic will only be valid for driving automatic’s.


Most cars on the road are going to be manual, but this is changing. This change is not driven by the ease of use of an automatic but more by the rise of electric cars and their low or zero emissions (clean air).

Manuals use a gear system that needs the driver to choose the best gear for the situation. The gears swop power for speed. The lower gears are more powerful. First and reverse and are used for moving the car from a stand still and the manoeuvres. Second tends to be used for turning corners. Third for bends and hills. Fourth and fifth are the higher speed cruising gears. 

To use the gears we need a clutch. A clutch connects the engine to the gears. This allows us to move from one gear to another. We separate the engine from the gear we are in. Let’s say second, and then select third and by bringing the clutch up. We reconnect the engine to the new gear. This is the process of swapping power for speed.

From a learning to drive point of view using a manual should not take too long. Most people get the hang of it pretty quickly. In general if you have to consider the gear you are in it should make you a better driver because you are more involved in the drive. Another advantage of manuals is they are a little bit cheaper to buy and run than automatics.


They are the future. But this is because electric cars are the future. With an auto there will be no decision about the gear as the car does it for you. That said most modern auto’s do have some lower gears that are a bit slower for manoeuvres and hills. 

The reason most people choose automatic is a fear of stalling (causing the engine to stop) a manual car. So the first advantage is that you can not stall. Another advantage is hill starts are made easy. By taking away the changing of gears in theory you will have more time for looking.

Petrol, Diesel or Electric :

Will it make a difference? The first thing I want to say is the most important decision will be choosing the instructor and to a lesser extent the driving school. 


If this is what you want you will also be driving an automatic.  There are instructors out there who are buying these cars and they certainly are the future. A feature of electric cars is a lot of acceleration as the power is delivered as soon as the accelerator is pressed. 

The downside of electric cars is the same for learning in an automatic. Your licence will only allow you to drive automatic.


A popular choice for driving instructors. They are less likely to stall. As driving instructors a common view is that a diesel produces an easier pass but a petrol makes for a better driver. I should point out that this refers to manual cars.

A downside is emissions. If you are learning without an instructor in an older diesel car beware of emissions charging. Check. Also if you learn in a very forgiving diesel, but have to drive a petrol it might take a bit of getting used to.


Probably the main choice for a professional driving instructor.  The clutch might be a little more difficult than a diesel but for most people that will not take long.

Independent or a School:

First and foremost the most important thing here is the instructor. If someone recommends an instructor to you that is worth following up. Here at driving-pro we like to think we have some of the best. That’s what our reviews seem to suggest. The more flexible you are with your times for lessons the more choice you will have with instructors.

Independent Instructor:


There are some excellent instructors working independently. They make their living by the quality of their instruction. They should be reasonably busy so sometimes it can be difficult to find one that fits in with you. You might have to call a few to find one that has times to match you. 

Driving School: 

Glen's Training Car

Likewise with instructors there are some excellent driving schools out there. Check out the quality of the website and also their reviews. If they care about this they will probably care about other stuff like doing a good good job.

It should be quite easy to get through to them. Beware of deals that are too good to be true. If they need to make very good offers like 5 for £55 or 10 for £99. They are not getting work based on the quality of their teaching.

Choosing a Driving Instructor:

Finding the right driving instructor for you can be hard. You have to spend a lot of time with your driving instructor, you have to be able to talk to them and take direction from them. So we’ve put together a handy list of 10 things to consider whilst you’re looking for your perfect driving instructor.

Ask a friend

1) Ask a friend! Your friends know you and they’ll know if you’ll get on with their driving instructor or an instructor they might know.

Young lady on a bus

2) The bus test. If your driving instructor sat next to you on the bus, would you move or would you stay sat next to them? If you’d move, they’re probably not the instructor for you…

giving a review

3) Reviews. In today’s world of information overload, reviews are a great way of getting answers to your questions, from real people. If your potential driving instructor has lots of (good) reviews, they’re probably doing something right! Check places like Yell.com or Facebook.

group of driving instructors

4) Professionalism. You are paying your instructor for a professional service, so as much as you need to get along with your instructor, they need to be professional too. Professionalism can be shown in lots of different ways. For example, at driving-pro, our instructors like to dress professionally and keep their cars are clean inside and out. There’s nothing worse than getting in a dirty car!

unanswered phone

5) Answering the phone. If you phone a driving instructor directly and they don’t answer, that’s a good thing! They’re probably out driving, respecting the fact they’re working and respecting the law. Don’t get put off, just leave a message and they’ll get back to you!

DVSA code of conduct

6) Code of Conduct. Has your chosen driving instructor signed a Code of Conduct? Ask this question! You should also find out if your instructor has terms and conditions, then you’ll both be on the same page!

auguring with instructor

7) Do you feel comfortable with your driving instructor? If you don’t, we suggest finding a new instructor. There’s nothing wrong with that! At driving-pro, all of our students know that if they ever have an issue or they’d like to speak to someone who isn’t their instructor, they are able to. It’s important to us that our pupils are happy and comfortable.

driving-pro pupil

8) Don’t get hung up on pass rates. It’s easy to, we know. You will pass your test. You will pass your test in your own time, and it mainly comes down to your commitment, the number of miles spent on the road and your confidence.

driving-pro passes

9) Instructor grade. There are two grades, A and B. The grade is supplied by the government. At driving-pro, although we take grades into account, most important for us is professionalism, people skills, ability and teaching methods but never be afraid to ask for credentials.

Money for driving lessons

10) Price. Learning to drive is an investment. Of course, cheap lessons or special deals such as ten hours for £99 or the first five for £55 are attractive but ask yourself, why these lessons are so cheap? A good and in demand driving instructor will charge appropriately for their service, which ultimately could end up costing you less.

If you want to find out more about any of driving-pro’s instructors, you can give us a call on 02392 75 25 25 or check out their profiles!

What should I be learning:

A course of driving lessons should follow the DVSA National Standard For Driver and Rider Training. See Link. Not all of this is tested on the actual driving test. But knowledge of this is tested on the theory test.

Driving test sign

As examples of this you should know about driving at night. But if you did all your lessons in the summer you would have done this unless out very late. Also the practical driving test is not long enough to properly test everything. And some places will not have everything that might want to be tested. An inner city test centre is unlikely to have country roads for you to be tested on.

Bearing in mind that once you have your licence you will be able to drive up to 3.5 tonnes on any public road. It is a good idea to try to cover as much as possible. Far better to have your first experience of driving at night with your instructor than when you have just passed.

Here at driving-pro we have taken the syllabus and made a helpful guide for you. See The Syllabus  link on our website. Each section will tell you what you need to know along with:

  • Further reading including the Highway Code rules for that section
  • Some notes for being on test
  • Assessment criteria on test
  • Driving examiner guidance

The bottom line with all this is to be safe on the road.

Your first lesson:

For your first lesson it’s okay to be nervous. Getting yourself prepared will help. You will have agreed on a time and place for the instructor to come and pick you up.

If you have a  driving-pro instructor you can look up his or hers profile. This way you can see a picture so you know what the instructor looks like. We also give all their contact details along with the make, model, number plate and colour of the car. 

You will need to wear comfortable clothes. In winter the car will be heated so you won’t have to wrap up. Currently due to COVID the lesson will be done with the windows partly open to maintain airflow. For your shoes wear something that you can feel the pedals with. A pair of boots might look good but a pair of slippers will give you much more control.

Sandals and bare feet could be a problem. If you have ever stubbed your toe on a piece of metal like a pedal you will know why. And travelling at 30 mph on a busy road is not the time to find out. 

On your first lesson you will need to bring your licence, some money to pay the instructor if you have not already made some other arrangement. Glasses if you wear them for distance. Your instructor will be checking your eyesight. 

If you have a health condition that might affect the driving you will need to tell the instructor. Depending on the condition you might also have to tell the DVSA. Follow this link Health Conditions and Driving for more information. If you are not sure, ask your doctor. 

Having a bottle of water for yourself is a good idea if you think your mouth might get a bit dry. A chewing gum can sometimes help. Make sure you have not been out drinking the night before. Save any birthday celebrations for after the lesson. The bottom line is you want to get the most that you can from the lessons. So be the best prepared that you can.

Your Theory Test:

Before you can take a practical driving test you must pass a theory test. This is made up of 2 parts:

  • The multi choice questions
  • Hazard perception 

You will need to pass both parts in order to pass the test.

Multi choice questions:

There is a National Standard For Driving which the driving test will be testing. But because of the limitations of time, place and circumstance the practical driving test is unable to test all of it. Though the candidate should be able to demonstrate as much as possible of the National Standard. What the theory test does, is it fills the gaps that the examiner can not test.

It is useful to read the Highway Code, Driving-The Essential Skills and Know Your Traffic Signs rather than just work your way through the question bank. Sometimes the way a question is phrased has 2 answers that could be right. But the one they want is from the book.

There are a lot of apps that have the question bank and some information about each question. This is the way that most people study for it. At driving-pro we use Theory Test Pro which we make available free of charge to our students. Your Driving-Pro instructor will sort this out for you.

When practicing if you get a question wrong. Write out the question and then the answer. Now stop and have a think as to why the answer you gave was wrong and why the correct answer is right. The process of writing it out will help you remember, and thinking about it will make you safer.

Keep practicing till you are consistently passing. This will require a mark of 43 out of 50. 

The Hazard Perception Test:

This part of the test is preparing you for the real world of driving. It is helping to train you to see and recognise danger or potential danger. There will be 14 clips with a developing hazard. One of the clips will have 2 developing hazards. The pass mark on this is 44 out of 75. 

With a developing hazard you will get maximum points the sooner you spot the developing hazard. What you can not do, is to keep clicking regardless. If you do this you will lose all points for that clip. So no rhythmic or double taping. 

Quite often there is a clue in the clip. Smoke from a building could mean a fire engine coming. A junction road sign could mean a car coming out. A child running is more of a risk than one walking. 

When practicing use a full screen rather than your mobile. Being able to see properly will make all the difference, just like in real life.

Use this link too: Book Your Theory Test

Private Practice:

Like most things, private practice with friends or family has some advantages and some disadvantages. 


  • Free
  • They know how they think
  • A bonding experience
  • You understand their capabilities
  • Awareness and responsibility

Only a driving instructor is allowed to charge for driving lessons. This does not mean just money but other benefits including fuel or a contribution for wear and tear. This will be law under The Road Traffic Act 1988. Also if the person doing the supervising is receiving some kind of reward this could have an effect on the insurance. As always these situations only come to light when everything is going wrong. And charging will only make it worse.

A big advantage in teaching a loved one is that you know how they think. You will possibly have better ways of explaining things to them than a driving instructor.

It can be a bonding experience. Sharing in the journey of learning to drive can bring you closer together. The pleasure in seeing someone master something that was difficult at first can not be overestimated. And knowing that you helped them is an added bonus.

You understand their capabilities. You know what makes them tick. You know how they have dealt with things in the past. 

It increases awareness and responsibility. It is highly unlikely that your car has dual controls. So your loved one driving will have to deal with what the road presents to them. This should sharpen them and you up as to what is happening on the road.


  • No dual controls
  • Limited signage
  • No experience of instructing
  • Not understanding the requirement
  • Potential for argument

Having dual controls and knowing when to use them is a useful skill that we driving instructors have. Normally you should be reading the road and alert to the unexpected. But by being aware of what could be expected we reduced the chance of a nasty surprise. Seeing something in a reflection will give us a heads up as to what might happen. A workman’s van might mean someone stepping out from behind it.

Most driving school cars have more signage than the basic “L” plates front and back. This might range from a roof box to a car with a full vehicle livery. Besides marketing purposes this also alerts others on the road that there is a learner on the loose.

Sometimes a bit of experience helps. An instructor will have a number of ways of doing things and explaining stuff. 

I like to think that as professional instructors we are up to date with the requirements of the driving test. It does change and it tries to reflect the changes in society around us. For instance 4 out of 5 tests will use sat nav. And no driving test will have a corner reverse.

Teaching a loved one always has the potential for argument. We can sometimes be a bit too frank with those we share our lives with. It pays to remember that we were all learners at one time. What we find easy now, was difficult before we mastered it.

What The DVSA say:

Some of the advantages are it gives greater experience and confidence. Quite often lessons with an instructor are at the same time of day each week. Private practice allows the trainee driver to widen their knowledge and experience by driving in different conditions and at different times of the day.

Talk with the instructor to get an idea as to how safe your idea might be. Get advice from them as to what to practice. Ask them loads of questions. 

Because of this it is important that the route is planned. Most driving instructors will start pupils in a quiet empty car park and then move out onto a quiet road. We call these the nursery routes. As the pupils gain confidence we then move them to more challenging routes.

What this means for private practice is making sure that the pupil is able to deal with the route. What might be easy for you as an experienced driver will be very different for someone with little or no experience. Consider having a drive around the area first with the trainee just so they know what they will be dealing with. Make sure there is nothing on the route that they can not deal with. 

When practising, consider other people. Don’t obstruct the road by driving at 20 mph when everyone else is doing 30 mph. Consider the people behind you. Be aware that a car practising reverse parking over and over again with the same parked car can be very annoying if it’s parked outside someone’s house. 

Keep off the motorway. Only a fully qualified driving instructor in a dual controlled car is allowed on the motorway with a learner. Any driving test that goes on to the motorway is terminated. The examiner is not a driving instructor, therefore cars on test are not allowed on the motorway. 

The drivers rules are your rules. So when supervising during private practice you can not use your phone. The driver has to be fit to drive and so do you. A trip to the pub will mean soft drinks for both of you. 

Supervising Driver:

Who can be a supervising driver:

  • You must be over the age of 21
  • Have had a license for at least 3 years
  • And qualified for the type of vehicle in which you are supervising

driving instructor with his pupil

Over 21:

What this will mean in practice is that the supervising driver must have already celebrated their 21st birthday. If not, the person driving the car in which they are supervising is unsupervised. This will probably only come to light if the police are involved. Which will mean the police will have at least 2 people to look at.

Licence held for 3 years:

This means the full driving licence. Or put another way 3 full years since passing the driving test.

  • The holding of a provisional licence does not count towards the 3 years
  • If you were banned for part of the time. The time you were banned for does not count towards the 3 years
  • EU licences will count but international will not
  • Any doubt get professional advice from the police Ask the Police or any reputable source

Qualified for type of vehicle being supervised:

What this will mean is if you are being supervised in a manual car. The person supervising must have a license that covers manual. One that only covers automatic will not allow you to supervise someone driving a manual car. Any doubts get professional advice from the police Ask the Police.

Being the supervising driver will also mean a number of other things:

  • You are responsible for the actions of your learner
  • You can not charge any for this, only a driving instructor can.
  • This also means that you can not accept money for fuel
  • All the rules that apply to the driver also apply to the supervising driver
  • So you must not use your mobile phone when supervising
  • You can’t go out for a drink and let your learner driver you home unless its a non-alcoholic one
  • You will need to check that you are insured to be a supervising driver on that vehicle.
  • Some insurance companies need you to be 25+ to be the supervisor.
  • Check with the insurance company.
Your Driving Test:

Pass the driving test and you can drive a vehicle up to 3.5 tonne on any public road in the UK and most of Europe. So it is vitally important that you are safe and able to pass your test.

So how will you know you are ready? The biggest mistake we see is drivers putting in for their test before they are ready just to have a go. Sometimes this is to keep the boss happy and sometimes the family is saying just have a go for the experience.

driving examiner

A good way of knowing if you are ready is being able to drive without any input from the instructor or a supervising driver. There are 3 levels with this:

  • With someone you know in an area you know
  • With someone you know in an area you do not know
  • With someone you do not know in an area that you do not know

The first bit is driving with mum or dad to college. You are comfortable with both them and the route.

The second part is going out of your comfort zone to new areas. This is where as instructors we start to see mistakes.

The third part is like a real driving test. You will not know the examiner and you will need to be able to deal with situations rather than places. Do this safely and you should be able to pass your test.

The area that you can be taken on the test is going to be roughly a 20 minute radius from the test centre. At my local centre there are 18 different routes. Even if you spent all your time driving around the test areas. Road markings change, road works or other things change the routes. So make sure you can deal with situations, not just places.

Another way of knowing is having a mock test. The change from a relaxed learning atmosphere to a more formal one can be quite a shock. If you are learning with mum and dad, get a professional instructor to take you out and give you a mock test. A stranger looking at what you are doing and being formal with it will help prepare you for the test.

If you are still thinking about how to drive rather than where you are driving to. You are probably not ready. Similarly if you go into a test thinking that you will keep remembering to check your blind spot you may very well miss something else.

If you are happy that you can take and pass a test use this link to book direct Book Your Driving Test Direct

Failing a Driving Test:

This is the worst bit of a driving instructor’s job. Your pupil has put their heart and soul into this and it’s not been successful. So, where do we go from here?

Obviously the first thing to do is have another go. There will be a minimum wait of 10 working days between tests.

But a serious question to ask is were you ready to pass. Who decided that you were going to take the test. As instructors we are often presented with pupils turning round to us and saying that they have booked their test.

What I personally do then is mentally grade my pupils chances as follows:

  • Could not pass
  • Could pass
  • Should pass

Could not pass:

They will be told to put it back or find someone else’s car to take it in. Please remember the quality of the pupil that we bring to the test will reflect back on us and the subsequent pupils that we bring to the test. So yes we do care! 

Could pass:

This is a difficult one. The pupil has chances but you would be happier with a bit longer to work with them. These are where most of our failures come from. Quite often the pupil has come under pressure from an employer to pass or sometimes the family are saying have a go if only for the experience. 

A way of viewing if they are ready which we covered earlier is. If you  can drive safely with someone you do not know in an area that you do not know. It is important that a driver can deal with situations rather than places.

Should pass:

These will normally get through. But sometimes they can get unlucky. The more skill they have the less luck that they need. 

The big mistakes that we see are:

The pupil has failed on a certain thing and they say they will fix that and they do. But something else comes up. Remember a given test route will only test part of what there is to be tested. A different route will present different challenges. But you cannot know which route that you are being tested on so you need to prepare for everything. 

Another problem with thinking about doing a certain thing is that you may well miss doing something else. Your driving should be at a point where you are thinking about where you are going rather than how to drive. Or put another way it should be working knowledge that is there under pressure.

Sometimes a pupil gets to test standard then scales down their lessons for whatever reason. Remember the hot water needs the heat.

Really annoying from an instructor’s point of view is the pupil has been driving brilliantly with us. But then on test, starts to drive differently. This is normally because:

  • They have listened to someone who does not know what they are talking about
  • They have been watching YouTube videos posted by someone who does not know what they are talking about 
  • They think that they need to drive differently on test

The last one on that list is the worst. Generally drive on the test the way you have been driving with your instructor. It will feel much more comfortable and better than that the instructor will have been dealing with any problems in your driving.

Best way of all to pass is to drive safely with a bit of confidence.

Passing your test:

This is the moment you have been waiting for. All the time, money and effort has paid off. You are now allowed to drive on any public road in the country. And most of Europe as well.

The trick now is to stay safe. As a brand new learner the first 2 years after you pass your test if you get 6 points or more. You will have to do your test again.

First thing first. Make sure you are properly insured for when you start driving on your own or even in the car you passed in! Learner insurance could be different from ordinary insurance. Most people we at driving-pro see who are resitting a test they have already passed once, are for insurance or the lack of it. Remember using a mobile phone when driving will also get you 6 points.

For your first drive find somewhere quiet. If necessary, have someone drive you there. Get used to the clutch if it’s a different car to the one you learnt in. Then build your confidence up. 

In general remember:


  • Be fit to drive: not tired, ill, stressed or upset
  • If needed rearrange or give more time for journey
  • Tell doctor or pharmacist you are a driver if using meds
  • Get a regular eyesight check every 2 years
  • Don’t drink and drive 

Your car:

  • Check your car regularly: levels, lights & tyres (show me-tell me)
  • Keep your windows and drivers footwell clear
  • Store valuables out of sight when parked
  • Park under lights not trees

Your driving:

  • Be safe, don’t rely on others for your safety
  • Give and acknowledge curtsies
  • Good driving habits make for safe driving
  • Be predictable and don’t take chances
  • Know and follow the advice in The Highway Code

If anything happens on the road that was uncomfortable for you or worse still dangerous. Think what could you have done about it. The Highway Code makes it clear that there are no rights of way. There is only an obligation to give way if that avoids an accident.

So think about your driving. Everything your instructor told you about driving was for a reason. Drive safely!

Our Driving Courses

We are proud to offer individually personalised driving lessons for beginners and experienced drivers

Our qualified, professional instructors want to get you driving in a relaxed and positive atmosphere where you will enjoy learning to drive properly.


Learner Driver Courses

Our friendly and experienced driving instructors will guide you through all of the stages of passing your driving test.

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Refresher Driver Training

Want motorway experience or never driven in the UK? We will help you to become safe and confident on the road again.

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Taxi Training

You are much more likely to pass your taxi test if you have some training beforehand. We know what the examiner is looking for.

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“I couldn’t recommend Gav enough as a driving instructor. His lessons were great fun and he was really reassuring when I struggled with certain aspects of driving. He is an amazing and supportive instructor, I couldn’t have passed my test first time without him!”


“Just pasted first time, no minors!! All thanks to Nigel Thomas 😁 amazing driving instructor. Would highly recommend. Really calming, very knowledgeable and really easy to get along with. Gonna miss you Nigel. Big thanks!.


“Brilliant driving school. Passed yesterday with Greg Wise and as an anxious driver I could not have done it without him. He has been so patient and supportive and has a very calming and knowledgeable teaching approach. Thank you so much. I will miss our chats 😊”