Haven't started on the road to being an independent driver yet? Don't know what to do? Never fear, Love Driving has everything you'll need to know.
You'll need your provisional driving license, with entitlement for cars (category B) before you can take any driving lessons on public roads.
The green photo-card you'll need is easy to apply for - just follow the link to the UK government below (opens in a new window).
Before you can take your practical driving test, you'll need to pass your theory test.
You can take driving lessons without passing, but you'll need to pass before booking an intensive course.
I'm pleased to offer access to Theory Test Pro for any learners taking lessons with me, who haven't passed yet. Click here for more details.
Ready to book your theory test? Great! Visit the government booking site directly to fix the date online.
Lessons with a driving instructor, or with friends/family, are the usual ways to gain the skills you need for your practical driving test.
Government stats show you're vastly more likely to pass your test if you're taking lessons with a professional instructor.
According to the latest government data (2008), the average person learning to drive in the UK will buy 52 hours of driving lessons with an Approved Driving Instructor. They'll also take 19 hours with friends or family. It'll also take them an average of 14 months.
Some people learn more quickly, some take a little more time. There's no such thing as 'normal'.
Keep going, try your best, and you'll be ready when the time is right.
So you've got the skills to pay the bills, and filled up your driver record?
Learned your "Show Me Tell Me" questions and answers?
Then it might be time to book your practical driving test.
If you're learning to drive with a driving instructor, you should talk with them first before booking. That's to make sure they're available on the date you want to book, and will avoid disappointment.
The big day is here. Whether you've got sweaty palms, or you're as cool as a cucumber, it's one of the biggest days of your life.
Aim to arrive 10 minutes before your test begins; you won't block up the car park by being too early, but you'll have time for a loo break.
An examiner will call out your name, then guide you through a short bit of paperwork. They'll ask if anyone else is coming on the test with you (it's your call!)
Outside they'll test your eyesight, then ask which car you're using. You'll answer the "Tell Me" question, then you'll be told what to expect on your test.
You'll drive for around 35-40 minutes, including around 20 minutes known as the 'independent drive'. That means you'll be following a sat nav for around 20 minutes, or you may be asked to follow road signs and instructions instead (1 in 5 tests will do this).
You'll also complete one reversing manoeuvre, and answer a "Show Me" question on the move. These can happen at any time on your test, including during the independent drive. You may also be asked to complete an emergency stop.
In what will seem like no time at all, it'll all be over.
When you're back at the test centre, you'll get the news you've been waiting for...
So you got somewhere between 0 and 15 driver faults, and no serious or dangerous faults. That means you've passed. Well done!
You'll be offered feedback on your driving, and the examiner will do some more paperwork. They may have words of advice for you.
It's over. You can go home! It's usually a moment of great excitement, and driving can be hard when you're buzzing. That means your driving instructor will usually drive you home.
Oh. Bum. You've achieved 16 or more driver faults, or at least one serious or dangerous fault. Not the best way to end the day.
Your examiner will offer some valuable feedback to help understand what happened, and why. It's an essential part of helping you to improve ready for your next attempt.
It's hard to keep a straight head after getting such disappointing news, but try to remain calm. The examiner's job is to make sure you're safe to be let loose alone, and the result isn't personal. Please don't be angry or respond using bad language, or worse.
It's hard to focus on driving when you've failed, so your instructor will probably take you home. Along the way you may talk things through, and maybe even consider a plan for having another go.