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New drivers advice
Legal obligations have to be followed before you can drive a car on a public road in the UK.
The preliminariesFirst of all you will need to purchase a provisional licence [compulsory for new drivers] which you can do once you have reached the age of 15 years & 9 months.
You must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres. Read about the eyesight requirements at the DVLA.
New drivers DO NOT need to pass your theory test to have driving lessons, no matter what you are told by others. A provisional licence is all that is required.
Use Your Time Wisely
Whilst waiting for your licence to come through in the post, decide how you want to learn to drive – check out your options and Familiarise yourself with the Highway Code
Check Types of Lessons Available
You will find that driving schools between them offer a variety of lessons but some offer a limited choice. Every option has its own outcome and here are a few of the options.
One2One driving lessons
Lessons and intensive driving courses at the Scottish Driving School are always on a one2one basis. This means that only you and your instructor are in the car on your lessons. Some driving schools have up to 3 new drivers in the car at the same time. This means, with these types of driving school you would be only driving for 20 minutes in every hour and sharing the costs with other students.
Types of car
Types of Tuition Car Manual or Automatic (refers to types of gearbox) [read article on learning to drive an automatic car]
Most driving school cars in Perth are manual cars and have dual controls fitted for your safety. Automatic cars are only available from a limited number of schools and the lessons will cost more.
Weekly Driving Lessons
Weekly lessons are offered by most driving schools.
You could have one lesson each week (usually lasting for one hour – cheaper lessons are usually 40 minutes).
It’s not recommend this way of learning to drive as it would take over a year to see any sort of progress. I recommend a two hour driving lesson as the second fastest way to learn without compromising safety.
Two hours, twice a week are a good alternative to the intensive driving course method
Intensive Driving Courses
Intensive driving courses help you pass your practical test in the shortest time without compromising safety. They are not designed for you to pass your test in a week if you are a beginner. They can however be used by learner drivers with some previous experience to pass their test within a week.
Some intensive driving courses that are offered by other driving schools are not specialists in this area and use the normal driving instructor who is more used to giving weekly lessons. The cheaper intensive courses can be shared tuition with other pupils.
Learn to drive with a specialist instructor
Learn to drive with the UK’s top specialist driving instructor in this field. Why is a specialist needed you might ask? Because the lessons, as the name suggests, are intense; which means your lessons have a lot more content in them than a weekly lesson would.
Hand written notes given on the spot by your instructor are an integral part of the best intensive driving courses you can book. Theory test training and advice are taught throughout your course. Check out the types of intensive driving courses you could book.
New Drivers – How Many Lessons Will You Need?
Together with the price, this question is often asked.
If I said that a typical 17 year old would need 30 lessons and a typical 40+ year old would need 40 lessons. Both answers would be wrong & yet that could be the answer you get when phoning around.
Just suppose you book, or maybe you already have booked some lessons based on the answer you had given to you.
A 17 year old, needs 30 lessons according to a few well meaning friends, you are now on your 50th lesson and no sign of passing your driving test?
What went wrong? Is it you? Was it your instructor?
Or is it because you missed a couple of lessons? Because you have had too much work from college or university?
The answer is it’s probably a combination of all those circumstances.
Further more no two people ever learn to drive at the same pace, because a lot of circumstance comes into play.
Try this quiz
Try this learning to drive quiz. It gives a very rough guide as to the number of lessons you may need based on your present circumstance and demonstrates how a sport or second language can affect the number of lessons you may need.
Life gets in the way when learning to drive because of the length of time it takes. Driving lessons taken at one per week over a six month period (30 lessons), would have many obstacles in the way. An intensive course would shorten this time down to a focused concentrated effort of a week or two. Greatly reducing the chance of life’s problems getting in the way.
What Price Should You Pay?
Lessons in Perth vary between £25 & £33 per hour. You may find a few lower priced on special introductory offers, but these will expire at the end of the introduction period. Intensive driving courses at the Scottish Driving School can be purchased from £30 per lesson [One day course of 4 lessons £120].
Choose Your Instructor
How do you choose a good driving instructor? This question is virtually impossible to answer through a single phone call or email contact. A single phone call or email contact will though show you who not to book for your lessons. Since if you can’t communicate over the phone or by email, you probably won’t communicate in the car either.
Recommendations can work in some cases, but not all. Why not go for the cheapest? You should never go down this route in isolation of the other aspects. You are going to spend the best part of 40 hours in the car with this instructor. So maybe they are the cheapest lessons on the planet. But 40 hours of agony is it worth it?
This page and website, including the Scottish Driving School website created by Malcolm. Please contact me to either book a course or if you have any questions you would like me to answer.