HOW MANY LESSONS WILL I NEED?
This will vary between individuals as everyone learns at different rates and I'm sure you will find some areas of driving easier and therefore quicker to master and find that other areas take a bit longer. Typically I find people take around 50 hours to get to test standard, if you have had previous driving experience and/or you can get lots of practice outside of lessons it may take you less. Please bear in mind that it may also take longer than this, especially if you have additional needs. The DVSA say that on average learners who pass their test have had between 40 and 50 hours of professional training and about 20 hours of private practice.
CAN I PRACTICE WITH A FRIEND/FAMILY MEMBER?
Yes as long as they have the appropriate insurance and you are insured to drive the vehicle. It is possible to get a separate learner driver policy so it does not affect the car owner's no claims discount in the event of an accident. Click here and you could save £20 off your first policy with Collingwood insurance. The supervising driver must be aged 21+ and have held a full car licence (UK/EU) for at least 3 years. If they only hold an automatic licence they can only supervise you in an automatic, but if they hold a manual licence, they can supervise you in both a manual and an automatic. You must also ensure that 'L' plates are shown on the front and back of the car. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency recommends that learners have the opportunity to practice between lessons to give them the best chance of passing and I fully support this but I would recommend you think carefully about who you choose to supervise you as it can lead to arguments!
DOES YOUR CAR HAVE DUAL CONTROLS?
Yes, it's fitted with a dual brake - I don't use it often but it's good to know it's there and I do use it when I need to!
HOW DO I BOOK MY THEORY AND PRACTICAL TEST AND HOW MUCH DO THEY COST?
I offer a test booking service for my customers but you are welcome to book them yourself. Theory tests can be booked via the gov.uk website and cost £23. The local centres are in Torquay and Exeter. Practical tests can also be booked via the gov.uk website and cost £62. The local practical test centres are in Newton Abbot and Exeter. I would strongly recommend customers use these official sites as there are sites which charge for this service, you can book them yourself for free via gov.uk.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE THEORY AND PRACTICAL TESTS?
The theory test will be taken at a test centre on a computer. There are two sections and you will need to pass both sections at the same time to pass. The first part is multiple choice questions, you will be asked 50 questions and the pass mark is 43. The second part is hazard perception, you will be shown 14 CGI clips all with a 'developing hazard', one of the clips has two 'developing hazards'. The maximum score for each hazard is 5, the sooner you spot the hazard the higher your score. The pass mark for this section is 44 out of 75. More information is available from the gov.uk website.
The practical test cannot be booked until you have passed your theory test. The practical test is taken at one of the test centres. An examiner will assess your driving and will mark any faults on a report. Any minor faults will be recorded as 'driving faults', you are allowed a maximum of 15 driving faults during your test. Any 'serious' or 'dangerous' faults or an accumulation of 4 or more 'driving faults' for the same fault will result in a fail. During your test you will be asked two vehicle safety questions (one of which is asked on the move), undertake one reversing manoeuvre and drive for 20 minutes independently, you may also be asked to carry out the emergency stop exercise. More information is available from the gov.uk website.
IS THERE ANY HELP FOR THE THEORY TEST?
There are lots of useful materials out there for theory practice - I've listed a few of them below. If you would like more help please ask and I'll be happy to provide training during lessons or advise about further revision materials.
The Highway Code and The Official DVSA Guide to Driving - the Essential Skills are valuable books for both theory and practical tests and can be purchased from or any good book retailer. The Highway Code is also available online.
Driving Test Success - I provide free access to this for all my customers.
I can also offer virtual theory training which is tailored one-to-one training over the internet using Zoom or Skype.
WHICH AREAS DO YOU COVER?
I'm based in Kingsteignton, near Newton Abbot in Devon, but I cover Ashburton, Bovey Tracey, Chudleigh, Kingskerswell, Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot, Teignmouth and surrounding villages. If you are outside of these areas please contact me as I may still be able to help.
WHAT IS PASS PLUS?
Pass Plus is a course designed to follow on from what people learn before taking their test. It can help you to further develop your skills and a positive driving style which will help reduce your risk of being involved in an accident.
It is a course covering 6 modules, including motorway and night driving, and there is no test to take at the end, I assess your driving throughout and once you have reached the required standard you’ve passed! There is a minimum of 6 hours tuition and anyone who passed their test with me can save an extra £10.
Did you know?
New drivers are more likely to have an accident within 2 years of passing their test than at any other time.
2 people under 25 die in crashes every day in the UK.
You can save money on your insurance with a Pass Plus certificate (with selected insurers).
CAN I TAKE LESSONS IN MY OWN CAR?
Yes you can take lessons in your own car but it is your responsibility to ensure that the vehicle is appropriately insured, taxed and roadworthy. If I feel that your car is not in a suitable condition I may refuse the lesson in your vehicle but of course it can still take place in my vehicle. In order to ensure your vehicle is covered for driving lessons you will need to make sure you have checked your insurer will cover you for driving tuition. I will need to see proof of insurance cover before lessons begin. I have my own insurance in place which covers me to drive your vehicle (third party only) if required - proof of this is available on request. I will also need to check the tax and MOT status on your vehicle, 'L' plates must be displayed at the front and rear and I will check the condition the tyres, lights etc. to check the vehicle is roadworthy. Please ensure you have enough fuel for the lesson, if you would like filling up the car to be part of your lesson that is acceptable but please ensure you have means of payment.
Please note: at present, due to the risks of COVID-19, I am only able to do this if you require specific adaptations that my car does not have.
ARE YOU ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
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CAN I LEARN TO DRIVE BEFORE 17?
If you are in receipt of the higher rate of Disability Living Allowance (mobility component) you can learn to drive on public roads from aged 16.
I may also be able to offer off-road training for under 17's at Westpoint (Exeter). This is subject to insurance restrictions and the centre being available. Please contact me for more information.