In order to get your driving licence and legally drive on your own in the UK, you have to pass both your theory and practical driving tests. You can hold a provisional licence for a moped, motorbike or car from the age of 15 years and 9 months old, and can start to take driving lessons from the age of 17.

If you are studying to pass your theory, or are working towards your practical test, we have compiled information to help you to book, study and get your licence.

 

Your Theory Test

Revision

There are a number of sites, apps and books to help you revise for your theory test. The central point of reference for study should always be the Highway Code, which has the answers to all of the questions in the theory test and is required reading for all new drivers.

 

Other good theory test sites and tools are:

 

How do you know when you are ready?

When you are able to successfully pass a majority of your mock theory tests, and feel you have a good understanding of road safety, then you will likely be ready to book your theory test.

 

Booking your test

You can book your test through the GOV.uk website, which will allow you to book for the closest location to you. Test centres offer options to book very far in advance, so it is a good idea to choose a date as early as possible to make sure you get a time and date which suits you.
 

Theory test

Advice for the day

When the day comes for you to sit your theory exam, here is some advice to help you during the day.

  • Keep calm - Though it may be stressful and you may be anxious sitting your first exam, take a deep breath and try to relax yourself before the test. Leave yourself plenty of time so that you don’t have to rush.
  • Bring your provisional licence - In order to sit your theory exam you MUST bring your provisional licence. Make absolutely certain you have this with you before you leave the house.
  • Use all of the allocated time - Even if you think you are finished early, take advantage of the extra time and double check all of your answers.
  • Flag questions to come back to - If you come across a difficult question you can’t quite think of the answer to, flag it and come back to it at the end. This means you won’t spend too much time on one question and miss out on answering others.

 

What to do if you pass

When you finish your test, the examiner will print out a piece of paper and fold it over before giving it to you, revealing whether you passed or failed your test. If you pass then congratulations! Make sure you keep this safe, and bring the paper with you to your practical test, as you will need to show it in order to sit the practical exam.

 

What to do if you fail

Try not to be disheartened. Make sure to book another test as soon as you can and brush up on your revision before you sit the test again.

 

 

Practical

Revision

How many lessons you need to take before you are ready for your test greatly depends on how quickly you pick up the skill, and how well you handle the different situations that you encounter during lessons. There is a handy form on the GOV.uk website which allows you to track your progress during lessons, and will help give you an indication as to when you have learnt enough to apply for your practical exam.

 

Booking your test

Booking your practical exam is done in the same way as your theory exam, through the GOV.uk website. Simply fill out the form and select your chosen test centre at a time and date which is best for you. Similarly to the theory test, dates can be booked up very quickly, so make sure that you book your test as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

 

Advice for the day

  • Bring your provisional and theory test information - In order to sit a driving practical test you will need to bring your provisional licence and theory test certificate with you.
  • Keep calm - Make sure that you get to the test centre early and try to keep as calm as possible when you drive. If you finding yourself becoming anxious take a moment and take a deep breath. During the test your examiner will instruct you on where to go, and will be happy to repeat any instructions if you didn't understand something. Remember that mistakes you make might just be minor, rather than major, meaning that you can still pass the test.
  • Know your car inside and out - Before your test, make sure you are fully aware of how to find things like your dipstick, brake and engine coolant levels, as well as knowing where you add your windscreen washer fluid, as this is used on a more regular basis - and empties the quickest. Why? Well, you will be asked a few questions, which may involve these elements, before you set off.

 

What to do if you pass

After your exam the examiner will sit with you and explain whether you passed or failed the test. If you pass you will then be given a pass certificate, which will double as your driving licence until the official licence arrives some time after. Your instructor will normally be happy to have further lessons with you after you pass to help you tackle more advanced driving like motorway driving, and there is also Pass Plus which is a Government approved scheme to help with these aspects of driving. Some insurers will even deduct some money for drivers who have completed Pass Plus.

What to do if you fail

If you fail then the examiner will sit and talk through the reasons why. Following this you can book your next test as soon as you wish. Make sure to bring your feedback with you to future driving lessons as your instructor will be able to help you brush up before your next test.

 

Hopefully it won't be long until you have successfully attained your full licence, and are free to enjoy driving unaccompanied in your own car.