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:
www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/Motoringtransactions/BeforeyouapplyA/DG_10032690

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

A) See www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/DriverLicensing/NeedANewOrUpdatedLicence/DG_4022085 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 www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/LearnerAndNewDrivers/TheoryTest/DG_4022531 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
www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/LearnerAndNewDrivers/TheoryTest/DG_4022531 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
  in.

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 www.tsoshop.co.uk/bookstore.asp?FO=1162842 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
  standard.

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
  standard.

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 www.rm-ds.co.uk/#/prices/4552977773 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
  Sheffield
  South Yorkshire
  S1 2GY.

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

  Sheffield (Handsworth)
Orgreave Way
Handsworth
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
S13 9LT.

  Sheffield (Middlewood Road)
  508 Middlewood Road
  Sheffield
  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.

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