Learning to drive can be an exciting step towards independence, but it can also be fairly intimidating. No matter what age you start learning, it’s natural to feel apprehensive about your first lesson, but there’s really nothing to worry about.

So, to help allay your fears we've put together a guide for learners and new drivers, including some great tips for learning, ways you can prepare for passing, and some frequently asked questions.

Our top tips

1. Get your license sorted

You’re going to need your provisional license in order to get behind the wheel and you can apply for that through the government website. It typically takes around three weeks to arrive, so make sure you’ve given yourself plenty of time before booking that first lesson.

2. Pick your instructor

When you're learning to drive, it's important to get an instructor that works with both you and your budget. Don't just head straight to the main driving schools; ask friends and family to see if there's a local instructor who they can recommend. These instructors tend to be cheaper too, so they're a good option to consider.

3. Revise for your theory test

There’s another important test to consider alongside your actual driving test. You can take the theory test as soon as you get your provisional license, and it can be booked online. The theory test is important and should be taken seriously; it’ll give you knowledge about road awareness, safety, and hazard perception to accompany your practical skills, to keep you and others safe on the roads. Here at Halfords, we’ve got plenty of revision tools to get you fully prepared.

It’s also worth noting that theory tests are only valid for two years, so bear that in mind if you’re in no hurry to pass your practical test.

4. Set a realistic timescale

Learning to drive can be expensive and time-consuming, so it’s important to be realistic about how long it might take to pass. Make sure that you’ve got the funds and spare time to invest before you get started.

In terms of money, you’ll need to consider the cost of lessons, insurance, the theory and practical tests, and more. In terms of time, have a talk with your driving instructor and family to work out a realistic and achievable timescale. Starting lessons now and then having to stop because you’re too busy is far from ideal and can set you back in the long-term.

5. Practice, practice, practice

The more you can practice, the more comfortable you’ll get with those tricky manoeuvres and the more familiar you’ll get with real-life driving situations that you might not come across in your lessons.

This is where friends and family members come in. As long as they’re over 21 and have had a full license for 3 years, you can get insured on their car and practice driving between your lessons under their guidance.

You can use this time to focus on elements that you’re struggling with during your lessons. Try making a checklist of the aspects that you need to improve, to help you to develop well-rounded driving skills in preparation for your test. Your instructor can help you to identify the areas you should focus on, and you can tackle them one-by-one.

6. Work on the test routes

Your driving instructor will probably take you on some of the routes that you may be tested on. This is a great way of familiarising yourself with the area and can help to make the real test a little easier.

7. Be patient

Be patient and don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t always go your way. Everyone learns at different rates, and driving comes more easily to some people than others. Take it at your own pace, don’t rush yourself and you’ll be rewarded for your patience.

Frequently asked questions

If you’re new to learning, then you may be wondering how lessons will work, how many you’ll need, or what the test consists of. We’re here to answer some of the most common questions.

You can start learning to drive on public roads from the age of 17, as long as you have a provisional license.

You can apply for a provisional license at 15 years and 9 months old.

You can apply for a provisional license on the government website here. You’ll need to be at least 15 years and 9 months old, and be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away.

It costs £34 to apply, which you can pay by credit or debit card.

Yes – you can start driving lessons while you study for your theory test. Generally, learning practical driving skills alongside driving theory should improve your overall knowledge.

This is dependent on your budget, time and preference, as well as your instructor’s schedule. Most learners will have between one and two lessons a week, but the most important thing is consistency – try to stick to the same amount every week.

There is no minimum number of hours legally required to take your test, and no fixed number of lessons to pass. It’s entirely subjective, and will depend on your abilities, confidence and free time.

For a rough idea, the DVSA says that the average learner driver will need 45 hours of driving lessons alongside 22 hours of private practice.

Again, there is no set figure, and it will vary from driver to driver. The amount of time it takes you will depend on how many hours a week you can spend practising, as well as how soon you can book your theory and practical tests.

Splitting 45 hours of lessons into one lesson per week gives an average pass time of around 10 months, not including waiting for your test date.

The Halfords Motoring Club

Once you do pass, you’ll likely want to get out on the road as soon as possible. To keep your journeys stress-free and your car in great shape, join the thousands of customers signing up to the Halfords Motoring Club today.

It’s completely free to join and you’ll receive money off your MOT, a free car health check and a welcome voucher that can be spent on any Halfords product or service.

Or choose our Premium membership for a small monthly fee (or a one-off payment) to unlock exclusive member pricing on all motoring products and services online and across our stores, garages, and Halfords Mobile Experts, as well as a variety of other benefits that will help you to keep moving for less.

With so much to enjoy, this is too good an opportunity to miss!

Join the Halfords Motoring Club

How Halfords can help

Here at Halfords, we've got plenty of items to help you on your journey when you're learning to drive, such as books and DVDs, learner plates and blind spot mirrors. Browse online at, or pop into your local store where one of our experts will be happy to help.

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