Everything You Need to Know About Learning to Drive in 2020
As a parent of a young learner driver, you will naturally have a number of questions, curiosities and even concerns when your son or daughter is learning to drive. The process is much more stringent and technical than when you probably first learned to drive, so it is understandable to have questions.
We have put together this handy guide to answer all of your questions and help you understand the whole process from getting started through to passing the practical driving test. Let’s get started.
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Legal Requirements and Provisional Licence
Provisional Licence – Before learning to drive a valid provisional licence will be required, you can apply for a provisional licence when you are above 15 years and 9 months of age. (The learner will still need to wait until you are of the legal age to start learning). We have the Ultimate Provisional Licence Guide which goes into great depth and answers some FAQ’s.
The learner must be able to read a number plate 20 metres away (with contact lenses or glasses, if needed). It is recommended that they get their eyes tested, but this isn’t a requirement although it can be beneficial.
Skills & Attitude
One area that is often overlooked when learning to drive is the learners’ mindset/ skill set. It would be beneficial to instil the following mind-set into the learner.
Concentration – Being able to concentrate on what they are doing is crucial.
Responsibility – the learner must show responsibility, after all, yours and other lives are at risk.
Patience & Courtesy – being impatient will increase the chances of an accident happening.
Confidence – Being confident in their own abilities will make driving more pleasant for them (confidence will come in time).
Rules of the road – An understanding of the rules of the road (this will be in their theory test).
When learning to drive it is best to encourage your son or daughter to tackle the theory first. The theory test was created by The Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVSA) to make sure that learners understand the fundamentals of driving safely. The learner can prepare and revise for their theory test at any age, but they will only be able to book their theory test from a date that falls after their 17th birthday (Two months prior).
The current Theory Test fee for car drivers in the UK is £23, and will be placed in a designated official DVSA Theory Test centre.
The theory test consists of two parts. The theory test itself, which consists of 50 multiple-choice questions, and the hazard perception test, where learners watch videos of motoring events unfolding from the point of view of a driver and need to click the screen when a hazard is developing and occurring.
The current pass mark for the theory test is a minimum score of 43 out of 50. The hazard perception test requires you to achieve a score of 44 or more out of a possible 75.
We have an article on apps that can help learners prepare for their theory test, this can be essential, as the pass rate is 47.3%, which means more than half fail.
What if your Son or Daughter Fails Their Theory Test?
If the worst happens and they fail their theory test, they will need to wait at least three working days before they are able to re-book their Theory Test. They should also revisit and revise what they didn’t understand in order to increase the chances of passing the second time.
Finding a good driving Instructor
Finding a good instructor is important, as you want to ensure that your son or daughter is in safe hands. The first thing you should do is make sure the instructor of your choosing is a DVSA approved driving instructor (also known as an ADI). If they are not DVSA approved.
To check that your chosen instructor has been approved you can search The DVSA driving instructor Database.
Finding a driving instructor for your son or daughter can be quite stressful, so we put together a handy guide on exactly how to find a good instructor.
Our ‘find a driving instructor tool’ could do the hard work for you and help you find a fully qualified, approved driving instructor near you! You just simply have to type in your postcode and the distance in miles for your search radius.
When you’re choosing a driving school, be sure to look at their social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) You might be able to see all of their posts and thank you messages from their previous passed students. It can provide comfort and social proof that your son or daughter is in safe hands with a good instructor.