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Essential Tips For Learners

Provisional Licence

Before you can start driving on the road you'll need a provisional licence, which currently costs £34. The quickest way to apply for your provisional licence is online at GOV.UK. You'll need a debit or credit card, proof of your identity (such as your passport) and your address details for the last three years.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Hours Will I need?

  • There are many factors that need to be taken into account when asking how many driving lessons it will take you to reach test standard, but more importantly to become a safe and competent driver.

  • Learning to drive is an investment in your future and independence and something most of us will only do once in our life time. 

  • Generally, it should take around 45 hours of professional driving tuition to reach test standard and 20 hours of private practise.

  • However there are other factors to consider including an individual's learning capability, availabilities and continuity.  

  • You should never compare yourself to others as your learning plan will be structured to your needs.

  • Similar cost that you might purchase more often Iphone £700, Holiday £1000, Body Art £100-500, Night-out £50-£100 per

Automatic or Manual

  • If you pass your test in an automatic car then that will be the only type you will be able to drive, if you pass your test in a manual then you will have the option of being able to drive both types of vehicles.

  • We would recommend that you learn to drive in the car that would suit you the most and what you are likely to be driving after you have passed your test. 

  • Although the automatic does not have a clutch pedel you still have to be competent and a safe driver in all aspects of driving as you would in a manual.

Payments Accepted

  • You can pay for lessons through the website processed by Paypal. & Stripe

  • You do not need to have a Paypal account as they will process card payments as well.

I'm qualified from another country and wish to pass the UK driving test do I need driving lessons.

The answer is often yes, although not usually many. In this situation, it’s often a case of eradicating bad habits gained over the years. If you are asking the question ‘do I need driving lessons?’ then the answer is likely yes if you are not entirely confident in these areas:

  • Correct use of all mirrors, to include appropriate mirrors at certain times

  • Excellent observations, including general driving, all the driving test manoeuvres, changing lanes and moving off (blind spot)

How long is a typical driving lesson?

We recommend that you take at least a 1 x  two hour driving lesson per week, to get the benefit of learning and then practising the new skills introduced. You can request single hours, however these would be subject to avaiability and you would need to do 3 single hours per week to gain the same amount of training from a two hour lesson. This would prolong your learning and also increase the number of hours you would need to take to pass your test on average up to a 3rd more.

Will you just teach the test routes?

No, learning to drive by just memorising a pre-defined test route or routes would not teach people to drive "safely and independently". Especially with the introduction of independent driving, which will test candidates on their ability to drive safely in more realistic driving situations.

Do you do 1-2-1 training in the car?

Yes we only do 1-2-1 training with no other student in the car also know as piggy backing. However, the DVSA examiners at regular intervals are checked to ensure that their examining is of the correct standard. To do this a senior examiner will sit in the back to watch the test. The examiner in the back will make no difference on the outcome of the test and is there purely to watch the examiner.

What is your cancellation Policy?

SDS requires a minimum of 2 working days notice to cancel or rearrange a driving lesson, otherwise you will be liable to pay for 100% of said lesson.

Do I have to pass my Theory Test first?

No you do not have to pass your Theory Test to start learning to drive but you will have to pass it to book your practical test.
It is recommended early on in your training that you study and pass your Theory as this will help you with the understanding and knowledge of what your driving instructor is teaching you in your practical lessons.

What help will you give me with the Theory and Hazard Perception Test

As a benefit of learning to drive with SDS you will get a free link to the Theory Test Pro to study all the questions and Hazard Perception. This will allow your driving instructor to monitor your progress and help with questions that you may not understand. Also during your lessons your instructor will be testing your knowledge and Hazard Perception awareness.

Do I have to have a Mock Practical Test?

Yes and as a benefit of taking lessons with SDS it is completely free when you have completed 10 hours or more with your instructor. The driving test is unlike other types of tests that we are accustomed to and for many, sitting the driving test is one of the most nervous moments of their life.


  • It can significantly improve your chances of passing the real exam 1st time.

  • It allows you and your instructor to identify any areas of your driving that need improvement before taking the DVSA practical driving test.

  • Significantly cheaper if you have failed a mock driving test and not the real one. Failing the real DVSA test involves more test booking fees, often further driving lessons and there is also the driving test waiting times to take into account.

  • Using a different instructor for a mock test is also an advantage. A ‘fresh’ set of eyes on your driving standard will certainly filter out any areas that are in need of  improvement.

  • Although the real practical driving test will only involve a single manoeuvre and a 1-in-3 possibility of the emergency stop, we will conduct an extended mock driving  test. An extended mock driving test should last a little over 1 hour and will involve all driving manoeuvres and the emergency stop.

When will I be ready to have privtate practise with familiy or friend?

Your driving instructor will tell you when they feel you are safe to go out and practise privately. 

  • Remember you need to make sure that the person who sits with you is over 21 has a full driving licence and has held that for more than 3 years.

  • You must ensure that you have the relevant insurance cover for the car you are driving.

  • You must clearly display 'L' plates on the front and back of the car.

  • Finally an extra mirror attached to the windscreen on the passenger side of the car. Although not a legal requirement, one of these mirrors is so the  person accompanying you can see behind them.

Useful Links

Find below useful links to other road safety training sites

The Honest Truth

The Honest Truth




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