We are often asked, 'How long is a course of lessons?' A favourite reply is 'How long does it take to bake a potato?' For those of you who have ever tried, you need to keep prodding it until you know it's ready.
We have found over the years it is best for instructor and pupil to make a joint decision on when to book the theory test and the driving test. It is of no use to either party if a pupil goes in for it too early or too late. To be honest most of our pupils know full well when they are ready.
Once the driving theory test has been passed we normally book a mock driving test with a different instructor. If the mock test goes OK we will book the driving test shortly afterwards.
The Big Red L Company monitors each of its driving instructors to ensure they don't spin driving lessons out to make more money. We know the national average number of hour's tuition to get up to test standard is about 40 hours. We have an average of less than 35 hours and intend to keep it that way. But we must also point out that some pupils may need many more hours of driving lessons.
It's a bit different to when your parents took their test. Any advice you get from them will need to be checked out with your instructor!
For a bit of history, check out Driving Test Time Line
You should arrive 10 minutes before your practical driving test. This will give you time to relax and calm your nerves. Before you leave your house for the test, make sure you have your photo card or ID and your theory test pass certificate. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, make sure you take them with you. Failing to produce any of these items at the test will result in failure and you will not be eligible for a refund.
When you get to the car park, you'll be asked to read a number plate situated around 67 feet (20.5m) away. Should you fail to read the number plate, the test will end and you will have failed. If there is any doubt, the examiner will measure the distance between the number plate and you to make sure it's not too far away.
Once you have passed the eyesight test you'll walk to the car. You will be asked two details about car safety and maintenance as a part of the new show me, tell me section of the test.
You'll now be briefed on what you'll be expected to do in the next 35 - 40 minutes. This will include driving around in various conditions, such as through town, on empty roads and on roads that are of a higher speed limit than 30mph. You'll also be asked to do one of the test manoeuvres (turn in the road, reverse park, reverse park into a car-park space and reverse around a corner). At some test centres, without car parking spaces, you will not be asked to do a bay park. One in three tests include the emergency stop. After the driving examiner has explained all there is to explain about the test you're about to take, they'll ask you to start the car and pull away.
You will be asked to perform part of the driving test with out the examiner telling you where to go at each junction. For 6 to 9 minutes you will be asked to follow road signs. Where there are no signs, or where they are obscured by trees or vehicles the examiner will step in and tell you where you should be going.
Have a look at this video to help you understand how this works.
All we want from you is a good drive and for you to gain your independence.
Pass Plus is probably the only time we want to see you back again!
That's the trouble with this job - we keep losing our best customers!
Note - If DSA cancel a test at short notice here is the link to make a claim for out of pocket expenses - Click here
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