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How long does it take to pass your driving test?

December 14th 2019 in FAQs

How many hours of professional driving lessons will I need to pass a UK driving test?

This question is very important to help you budget for the lessons that you will need. Because starting stopping lessons will actually increase the amount of lessons you need overall and mean it will take you longer. Since, for example, your parents took the test, it has got tougher and there are more cars on the road and also people just forget how many lessons they actually had!!

The classic thing we hear all the time is “I only had 20 lessons!!” But that maybe didn’t take into account private practice at home with family helping, which, these days happens less than ever before. Also how long were those lessons? If these twenty lessons were actually two hours long that means that this person actually had forty hours of lessons which isn’t too far off todays average anyway!

So how many hours will you need to pass the driving test?

This is actually a question that we can never answer exactly. How many lessons you will need depends on many factors.

  1. Where you live will have an impact because the test area maybe tougher in your area, for example inner city areas have lower pass rates often than rural test centres. Also if there are little or no country roads in your area for example, it will mean that you have to travel a little further out to cover lessons in that type of road. This will all take time.
  2. Your own natural ability. Naturally we are all different and have different talents. Mine was sport and practical things unlike some who are better academically and enjoy writing for example. So your natural mind set will mean that you will learn quicker or slower, so try not to compare yourself to your friends or family members. We are all different. For example people who are sporty often have better hand eye coordination so will steer more precisely more quickly, but that doesn’t mean that someone who isn’t sporty can’t be as good!
  3. Past road experience. Maybe you ride a push bike to and from college or work? This will mean that you have a basic knowledge of the roads rules but probably still no knowledge of how the car works or the coordination required to balance the pedals and steer for example. However the road knowledge will help you to make decisions faster than someone who doesn’t use the roads regularly.
  4. Most importantly! The quality of your driving instructor! Just because you have a driving instructor doesn’t mean that they are all the same. Instructors are Graded by their standard on regular tests, they are graded A or B. Most importantly though, legally TRAINEE instructors are also legally allowed to teach and take money for lessons after they have completed a basic amount of hours of training. At thi9s stage they have not passed the final teaching test and this means that they may still not be at the standard to be a fully qualified driving instructor and are basically still learning their trade. Sadly a lot of large national driving schools use trainee instructors very often without you even knowing because they don’t advertise this or tell you before hand in most cases. Here at Round The Bend Driving School all of our driving instructors are fully qualified and always will be. We even go one stage further and say that any of our team will have at least a minimum of one years experience and in most cases a lot lot more!

Here are some basic guides to help you have an idea of how many lessons you will need and keep the hours as low as possible and still be safe.

  1. The DVSA conducts surveys with test candidates and they conclude that the average person has 45 hours of professional tuition balanced with 22 hours of private practice. So if you have no private practise which is common these days the professional lessons with rise.
  2. Your age. Generally the older you are the longer it takes to learn any new skill. Driving is no different so it is always best and cheaper to learn when you are young. At 17 you also have more spare time around college timetables and less commitments so it always make sense to learn at 17 even if you will not get a car straight away. You can always have a couple of refresher driving lessons I a few years time!
  3. Your past road experience, as mentioned above.
  4. Be consistent with your lessons. Learning to drive is about building a habit. Many people have a few lessons and stop for six months and then return to a new instructor with the expectation that they will start where they left off. Regular weekly lessons or even twice a week will be more beneficial to you than starting and stopping and starting again a few months later and stopping again etc etc. Make sure that you chose a time for your lessons that you are able to commit to each week. This will stop you having to re-learn old skills that have been forgotten due to log breaks in between driving lessons.
  5. Make sure you are in the best frame of mind to learn as possible. For example make sure you have eaten and drunk enough in the time before your lessons. This will help you to retain the new information and you brain to store it. Also if you are a morning person don’t have lessons after work, maybe have them before work with an instructor who works early and vice versa. If you are no good in the morning don’t have a lesson when you are still half asleep. Here we have instructors who work both early and late shifts so we can find one of the team to suit your need for sure.
  6. Use the time between driving lessons productively. This means when you are in a car as a passenger look at what is going on and ask questions. Even on the bus watch the other cars and make mental notes of what the cars are doing.
  7. Do your theory as soon as possible but don’t try and shortcut the theory learning. This will help you to have a deeper understanding of the roads and therefore be able to practise more car control on lessons than learn theory. Also too many people put off the theory test and are then ready to take the practical test but can not because legally you have to pass the theory test before you can even book a practical test.”

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