Driving Lessons in Stoke on Trent
So then, you’ve decided that you want to learn to drive, but you’re not sure what you need to do to get ready for your driving lessons. This blog post gives you a guide about what documents you will need and how to get them, as well as what to expect on your first driving lesson, along with useful website and contact details.
How old must I be to learn to drive?
You can drive from your 17th birthday. However, you can apply for your provisional driving licence up to 3 months before your 17th birthday. If you’d like a driving lesson on your 17th birthday then I’d advise you to start applying for your licence at the earliest opportunity.
How to get your provisional driving licence
Before you even think about getting in a car to drive you must have a provisional driving licence. There are 2 ways to obtain your driving licence. Firstly you can pick up an application form from the Post Office, fill it in, then post it off to the DVLA. Secondly, you can apply online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-provisional-driving-licence, this is much easier and quicker, and once you’ve completed your application you’ll normally receive your driving licence within 1 week. The cost of the driving licence is currently £50 and you must also provide passport photos (although if you have a passport already and apply online then they will use the same photo that was used for your passport).
When you receive your driving licence your photo card will be attached to a paper counterpart. It is important to keep both parts of your driving licence safe, you will need to show them to your driving instructor on your first driving lesson, and they need to be taken with you when you take your driving test.
If at any time your driving licence is lost or damaged then you can apply for a replacement. The easiest way to do this is online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-online-to-replace-a-driving-licence. This currently costs £20.
You’ve got you licence, you’re now ready to book your driving lessons?
As long as you have your licence and either it’s approaching your 17th Birthday or your 17 or older already you can now go ahead and book your driving lessons. At present Drive Ahead School of Motoring offer driving lessons in Stoke on Trent, Newcastle under Lyme, and all surrounding areas. When booking your driving lessons you’ll need to decide whether you’d like to learn in a manual or automatic car. To book a driving lesson call us today on 01782 906010
Manual or Automatic – What’s the difference?
The majority of cars have a manual gearbox, although there is growing number of automatic cars around due to the increase in hybrid and electric cars being used. If you decide to learn in a manual car this means that you’ll need to change the gears, and use the clutch to control the car. In an automatic car you don’t need to change through the gears, the car ‘automatically’ does it for you. If you pass your test in a manual car then you are also permitted to drive an automatic, however if you pass in an automatic car and later decide you’d like to drive a manual car, you will need to retake your driving test in a manual car.
You’ve booked your driving lesson, what can you expect?
Your driving instructor will arrive at the location you arranged when booking your driving lessons. This might be your home, college, a place of work or any other prearranged location. You will be required to bring your driving licence with you on your first lesson. Also, if you’ve been told you require glasses for driving then you must bring them with you to all of your driving lessons. By law you are required to read a new style car number plate from 20 metres away. You will be asked to do this before you drive on your first lesson. If you cannot read the number plate, or you don’t bring your glasses with you, then you will not be permitted to drive.
When you are picked up for your first lesson, your driving instructor will normally drive you to a suitable location to start your learning. When taking driving lessons in Stoke there’s loads of great places to get you started. This will normally be a quiet housing or industrial estate where the amount of hazards are minimal, and the roads are suitable for you to start your learning. You will normally start off by learning about the cockpit drill. The cockpit drill is 5 checks that make sure you are sitting in the correct position, can reach all of the controls properly and can see everything you need to see. The instructor will find your knowledge of the controls of the car and how they work, but don’t worry, if there’s anything you don’t know or are not sure off then your instructor will help out.
Once you’ve got a basic understanding of the car and it’s controls you will then look at how to get the car moving, travel a short distance, then bring the car to a stop in a safe location. Your instructor will always make sure you are safe and if needed can help you out by using their dual controls. If you’ve taken a 1 hour lesson then your first lesson will probably end at this point. The driving instructor may drive you home dependant on the progress made.
We always recommend a 2 hour lesson for your first driving lesson to give you the most benefit when starting out. This means that you may move on to dealing with basic junctions, looking at how to make left and right turns.
It’s important to remember that every person learns at a different rate, and what one person does in one hour, may take another several hours. Your driving instructor will guide you throughout the learning process, but if at any point you feel you don’t understand the subject and would like the instructor to slow things down a bit then just tell them. Also, if you feel you should be making more progress then also speak to your instructor, they’ll be more than happy to discuss it with you.
At the end of the lesson your instructor will give you a debrief about the learning that you’ve done, as well as setting an agenda for the next lesson with you.
If you’ve got any further questions or would like to book a driving lesson in Stoke then call us today on 01782 906010