Ask The Experts

Thinking of learning to drive questions

How old do I have to be to apply for a Provisional Driving Licence?

You can only start learning to drive from your 17th birthday, but you can apply for your provisional driving licence up to three months prior to your 17th birthday.
When it comes to applying for your provisional licence you can either do so online or by post by
completing a D1 application form which you can get from a Post Office or by ordering one, here.

What is the minimum age for taking the Theory and Practical Tests?

You will have to wait until you turn 17 before you can take your theory and driving tests.

Can I start driving lessons before passing the Theory Test?

It’s recommended that you start lessons while waiting for your theory test date. The practical experience will help you understand the theory and hazard perception element of learning to drive. This will greatly assist you in passing the theory test and hazard perception test first time.

Is the minimum age for driving being raised from 17 to 18?

We receive many enquiries on this topic every year from worried teenagers. There are currently no such plans. So there is nothing to worry about!!!

Should I take hourly driving lessons or an intensive driving course?

Intensive courses are regarded as the fastest way to pass the practical test. These courses are popular because tuition is taken over 6 days enabling everything learnt to remain fresh in your mind. Your 6 day intensive driving course will culminate in a practical test arranged by Britannia.

Queries on learning to drive with Britannia

What do I need to bring with me on the first driving lesson?

On your first driving lesson, whether you have driven before or not, you will need to bring your provisional driving licence and payment for the lesson, either voucher or your instructor will ask you to sign a token (if you have pre paid. Please also bring along any glasses/contact lenses if you need to wear them, and sensible footwear!

Is your service door to door?

Yes. We can pick you up from home, college or work.

Will there be another pupil in the car during my lessons?

No. All our lessons are one to one. We don’t “Piggy Back” (two or more pupils in a car during lessons).

How long are your driving lessons?

Normal driving lessons can be 1 hour or 2 hour, it’s entirely up to you. We recommend 2 hour driving lessons as this will give your instructor more time to take you further away from your home and over test routes. Beware some schools do 45 minute lessons and charge you for a full hour.

How many driving lessons will I need to pass the driving test?

This depends on how many driving lessons you take in a week. You will need fewer lessons overall if you take 2-3 driving lessons per week or an intensive driving course. According to The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency: “Those who pass their driving test have had on average, about 45 hours of professional training, combined with 22 hours of private practice.”

Can Britannia help me with Theory Test?

Yes. For your theory test preparation please visits our free Official Highway Code, Mock Theory Test and Hazard Perception Test. We also do one to one lessons in our air conditioned classroom in Wimbledon for a very reasonable charge- Please contact us by phone, email or live chat for details.

Are your instructors qualified?

Yes. All our male and female driving instructors are licensed by the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency).

Do you have female instructors?

Yes. Britannia has many female instructors-please check for availability in your area by contacting us by phone, email or live chat.

Can I take driving lessons in an automatic car?

Yes. We have a large number of dual controlled automatic cars. Automatic lessons are becoming increasingly popular as the roads become more and more congested. With Automatic Driving Lessons, you can enjoy clutch-free driving. This has the advantage of making the physical job of driving easier, giving you more time to concentrate on road and traffic conditions.

Are all your cars dual controlled?

Yes. For your safety and peace of mind, all our tuition cars have the latest dual controls.

Do you guarantee a pass?

No driving school can guarantee a pass. Driving Examiners are very experienced, impartial and professional and will test you fairly. The so-called “Guaranteed Pass” is a ploy used by some discreditable organisations to entice you to learn with them. However, Britannia does have a very high pass rate, well above the national average. Don’t just take our word for it, read through our hundreds of testimonials from successful pupils!

Do you do one week intensive driving courses?

Yes. Please visit our Intensive Driving Courses Section for more details

I’m nervous about driving, how can you help me?

Britannia instructors have had lots of experience in dealing with nervous pupils. They know that nervousness is completely normal and we do have instructors who are especially trained to teach the most anxious learners. All our instructors are friendly, patient and understanding and will help you build your confidence by teaching you on nursery routes at first. As your confidence grows they will progress you to intermediate routes and finally to advance routes.

How much do lessons at Britannia cost?

Please visit our Pricing Section for more details.

Do you charge a credit card fee if I pay with my card?

No. Most other schools charge 3% to 4% on top of your course fee if you use a credit card to book lessons.

Questions relating to the driving and theory test

Can you book my practical driving and theory test for me?

Yes. Please visit our Driving Test Booking Section for more details.

What is the current fee for the Theory & Driving Test?

Please visit our DVSA Price List for details.

Where are the Theory and Driving test centres located?

Please visit our Theory & Driving test centres for more details.

Once I pass the theory test, how long is it valid for?

Your theory test is valid for 2 years from the date you pass the test.

Do I use my instructor’ car for the driving test?

Yes. You have a far better chance of passing if you use your instructor’s car. Pupils who turn up in their own vehicles are usually those who have had no professional driving tuition, or are so dangerous the driving school has not let them use their vehicle. The examiner will be aware of this from the beginning and it’s likely to make him / her nervous.

How will I know if I’m ready to take my driving test?

When you are near driving test standard, your instructor will give you a mock driving test, and advise you accordingly. A pupil ready for the driving test should be able to drive consistently well and with confidence – without the assistance and guidance of their instructor.

What is the most common reason for failing the driving test?

Lack of practice and observations. Please visit driving test tips page for the 10 most common reasons for driving test failure.

What are the waiting times for driving test appointments?

This depends on where you live. In some areas, it’s a few weeks, in others it can be up to eight months. Please contact us by phone, email or live chat for details of waiting times in your area. We provide a quick driving test booking service for you for a small fee.

What are the start times for the driving test?

Please visit our Start Times Section for more details.

General Questions

Are Britannia instructor’s police checked?

Yes. All our instructors are police (CRB) checked for safety and peace of mind.

What is a “Pass Plus” driving course?

Please visit our Pass Plus page for details.

Do you provide refresher courses for qualified drivers?

Yes. Depending on your requirements, there is a choice of courses to help brush up your skills. Please visit our Refresher Driving Courses section for more details.

Can I exchange my non UK driving licence for a UK one?

Please visit our Non UK drivers section for details

Can you recommend any books or CD’s to help me with my theory test and practical driving test?

Yes. Please visit our Book Store details for details

Can you help me to get insured?

Yes. Please contact us email for more details.

What if my question isn’t answered here

Simply contact us by phone, email or live chat– one of our highly trained staff will be more than happy to answer your questions.