In the UK, there is no legal requirement to take driving lessons prior to taking a driving test. In order to book a driving test, the only requirements are that you have a valid provisional driving licence and that you have passed the theory test within the last 2 years.
Should I take Driving Lessons?
Although you can take the driving test without doing any driving lessons, it is recommended that you take professional driving lessons as this will increase your chances of passing. There are often long waiting times at most test centres, so if you fail, you may have to wait several weeks before you can take another driving test.
For a learner driver with no previous driving experience, it takes on average around 45 hours of professional driving lessons, with an additional 20 of private practice.
If you already have a full driving licence from another country but are taking the UK driving test, you’ll benefit from refresher driving lessons. Refresher lessons are taken to top up your driving skills in preparation for the test.
The instructor will offer you insight into any bad driving habits that you’ve acquired and teach you current and safe driving techniques. The amount of refresher driving lessons you’ll need will vary on your current standard of driving, but anywhere between 5 to 10 hours should be sufficient.
Do I Need a Driving Instructor to Take the Driving Test?
No, you do not need a driving instructor to take the driving test. When you turn up to your driving test, the requirements are as follows:
- Bring your UK driving licence
- Bring your theory test pass certificate
- Bring your own car to take the test in
1. Bring Your UK Driving Licence
It’s essential that you bring your UK driving licence as without it, the examiner will not continue with your your test. If you’ve lost it, you’ll need to apply for a replacement driving licence before you can take the test.
2. Bring You Theory Test Pass Certificate
The theory test pass certificate isn’t so important. If you haven’t got it, the examiner will check to ensure you have passed the theory test before the driving test begins.
3. Bring Your Own Car to Take the Test In
UK driving test centres do not supply cars for the driving test, you must provide your own. You can use your own car if you have one, or borrow one from a friend or family member. If you hire a car for the driving test, the car must have dual controls fitted. Alternatively, some driving instructors allow you to hire their car for the driving test.
Cars for the driving test must of course be properly insured and if applicable, have tax and a current MOT. Additionally, ensure that all four road tyres are roadworthy and legal and that there are no dashboard warning lights remaining constantly lit. To find out more, see car for the driving test explained.