07810 717 251

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Richard Mountain Driving School

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Fully qualified Approved Driving Instructor with over 18 years experience.

Catering for all levels of ability, from complete beginner to Pass Plus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) What age do I have to be before I can drive in the UK?


A) You can start driving from your 17th birthday onwards, as long as you have already got your provisional licence.

Q) Do I have to be 17 before I can get my provisional licence?


A) No, you can apply for a provisional licence up to 3 months before your 17th birthday.

Q) Do I have to have a provisional licence before I take any lessons?


A) Yes. it is illegal to drive without having recieved your provisional licence from the DVLA.

Q) How can I apply for my provisional licence?


A) You can pick up a D1 form from most post offices or do it online at:

Q) I have lost my provisional driving licence where can I get a replacement?


A) See for more information.

Q) I have passed my theory test for my motorbike/moped, do I need to take a car theory test aswell?


A) You will have to take the car theory test if you want a licence for a new category of vehicle.

   If you want to upgrade your licence you may not need to retake the theory test.

   See for more information.

Q) I have a foriegn licence, how long can I use it before it is invalid in the UK?


A) It depends  which country you passed your driving test in, for how long it remains valid.  As to whether you  will need

   to apply for a provisional licence and then take and pass a  practical test in the UK see for more information.

Q) How many lessons will it take to learn to drive?


A) A very common question, but one which is virtually impossible to answer honestly.

   Everyone learns at a different pace. Some pupils may pick up some tasks quicker than others, it depends on  

   what experience you have had behind the wheel prior to starting your lessons (ie. moped rider, practice

   with a friend or relative).

    I would go as far to say that if some one quoted you a specific number of hours, I would be inclined to say

   that they were just telling you what you wanted  to hear. The DVSA's  (Government dept. for driving tests)  

   research shows that on average those  who pass have had 47  hours trained tuition with  20 hours of

   private practice.  So effectively,  before you step into the driving test centre, the examiner is expecting you  

   to have done at least 67 hours as a minimum!

    No, the examiner isnt expecting your driving to be as good as an experienced driver, but you will be

   expected to be able to deal with any situation that you may come across whilst on the test. If you honestly

   admit you are probably not that good - you should not be at the test centre.

Q) How long is a normal lesson?


A) My standard lessons last for two hours, starting from the time you are picked up until the time you are dropped

   off. It can be possible to arrange a one hour lesson but only in  rare circumstances. I strongly discourage against  

   one hour lessons due to the fact  that pupils struggle to  pick things up in shorter lessons, and  progress at  a

   much slower rate  than  two hour pupils.

    Also, it  is often not practical due to time spent travelling across the city. By the time you get there, its time to

   come back - so effectively not getting much needed time to practice on the situations that matter the most.

Q) Is there a limit on how many lessons I can have in a week?


A) No, the  only  restrictions are  down to how  much time is  available  in my diary  to fit in  the lessons  you  require.

   It is quite possible  to do  up to  one lesson  per day and  possibly learn  in about a  month or so (depending on ability). 

   Any more than 2 hours a day  and the pupil may  suffer from over  work and crucial information  may be lost due to too

   much information going into their heads too quickly.

Q) I've done some lessons with another instructor but I'm not happy, and feel I'm wasting my money, what should I do?


A) If this is the  case it sounds like you would   possibly benefit from changing instructors.  However, often when teaching a pupil

    they hit a  learning plateau when things get tough  and from the pupils point of view nothing is improving. During this plateau,

    things may well be improving but  its hard for the pupil to see the benefits as they arent so black and white. It is often difficult

    to take a step back and look at the benefits from lesson to lesson rather than month to month.

Q) I have failed a test, whats the point in continuing?


A) There  is every point,  you have probably spent  a great deal of time,  effort and money to get  to the stage you have achieved.

    Although  you still have more work to do,  it would be a terrible waste to  hang up your driving gloves.  Only to decide a year or

    two later to  give it another  try, but then discover  that you have seriously  lost touch and  will need to  spend a lot more time

    and money to get back to the level you are currently at. Don't give up!

Q) I don't understand what my instructor is asking me to do on my lessons, what should I do?


A) One simple word...ASK! Remember, you are paying for the instructors time, knowledge and experience. Regardless of how silly

    you  may feel, to  simply ask them  to explain the  issue to you again  so that you  fully understand it could save you hours of

    wasted instruction. Plus,  the issue may be solved  very quickly and you will then wonder how you ever struggled with it in the

    first place.

Q) How much money will it cost me to pass my test?


A) That depends on many factors. Your age,  driving experience, ability to  pick things up,  co-ordination skills, even your patience

    with yourself. Every pupil learns at a different rate and as much as an instructor may want to get you to progress sooner, that

    is simply impossible if  you aren't capable of dealing with what  you've been asked to do.  Trying to skip steps to reach a goal of

    passing your  test sooner will  most likely leave you  falling flat on  your face on the day of your practical test when reality sets


Q) What theory books/dvd's/cd-roms should I buy?


A) There are a great deal of publications on the market, the DVSA do an exellent range, after all it's the DVSA who set the theory    

    and practical test. See for more information.

Q) What does the theory test comprise of?


A) The theory test is  split into two parts.  The Theory section is 50 questions  of multiple choice and you have 57 minutes to get

    43/50 in order to pass. The other section is called Hazard Perception and you watch 14 video clips and have to click the mouse

    when  you see a  developing  hazard.  Within the  14 clips there  are 15  Hazards to  spot and  you need  44/75 to  pass.  Both

    sections must be passed on the same day in order to fully pass the entire test and get a theory certificate.

Q) Will I get to do a mock test?


A) Yes, a mock  test is very  inportant.  There are two  ways they can be done.  Either a full mock tesy by myself during a normal

    lesson,  which is included in the  standard lesson price.  The other costs £25  on top of the  normal lesson  fee and for this we

    arrange for  a separate Instructor  to role play exactly  how the real test  will go.  Well worth the cost for the experience alone.

Q) How does a practical test work?


A) Quite simply,  on your test day  the examiner will  watch you drive  and assess the errors that you make throughout the test.

    Depending on  how you  deal with  the  situations  you encounter depends on  how severe  the examiner  marks you. You  are

    allowed up to  and including 15  driver errors and no serious or dangerous faults to pass. You will be told at the end of the test

    how you have done and what the result of the test is.

Q) What happens on the day of a practical test?


A) You will  arrive at the test  cente and  then the  examiner will check your licence, ask you to read a number plate, ask you two

    vehicle  check  questions  and  then  you  will  start to  drive. At  some point  during the  test you  will complete  one reversing

    manoeuvre, the independent driving  section (which lasts aprox.10 minutes) and possibly a  controlled stop.  At the end of the

    test the examiner will debrief you on the mistakes you made and tell you the result.

Q) Will my instructor sit in the back whilst I'm on my test?


A) That entirely depends  on each pupil.  If the pupil wishes for the instructor  to come along on the test,  they will be asked at the

    start of the test by the examiner.

Q) Is my instructor allowed to refuse me from booking my test?


A) Yes.  It's your  instructors  responsibility  to the  examiners to  ensure that  pupils presented  for test  are up  to the  required


Q) Is my instructor allowed to refuse to take me for my practical test?


A) Yes.  It's your  instructors  responsibility  to the  examiners to  ensure that  pupils presented  for test  are up  to the  required    


Q) What is the pass plus course, does it include a test?


A) The pass plus  course is designed to improve a new drivers skills.  It is a 6 hour course split into 6 sections  (motorway, dual-

    carriageway, night driving, bad weather, country roads and town centre driving). There is not a test but throughout the course

    the  pupil is  continually assessed  by the  instructor,  so if  any issues   arise  then they can be remedied.  If the pupil fails  to

    improve on the problem then an additional hours may be necessary to complete the course to a satisfactory standard.

Q) Should I take the pass plus course after ive passed?


A) Yes, statistics  say that new  drivers are the most  vunerable users on the road.  So any chance to  reduce that risk  would be

    most valuable. Also taking the pass plus course can offer discounts on a persons premium from various insurance companies.

    So in effect the person could save at least the pass plus course fee and more!

Q) How much does it cost to take the pass plus course?


A) The course lasts for 6 hours (minimum) so it depends what lesson price the pupil would be paying.

    See for more information.

Q) Where is the nearest theory and practical test centre in Sheffield?


A) The Sheffield Theory Test Centre is located at:-


    Orchard House (3rd floor)

    Leopold Street


    South Yorkshire

    S1 2GY.


    There are 2 driving Test Centres in Sheffield, they are:-


    Sheffield (Handsworth)

   Orgreave Way



   South Yorkshire

   S13 9LT.


    Sheffield (Middlewood Road)

    508 Middlewood Road


    South Yorkshire

    S6 1TQ.


    Your  instructor will  most likely  decide as  to which  Test Centre you  will be using. Pupils should not avoid  one particular test

    centre in  fear of an examiners supposed reputation.  If you are good enough,  you will pass regardless of  which examiner you

    get on the day.