Licence Information

The Provisional Licence

To drive legally and unaccompanied in the UK you must pass the Driving Test. Until you have passed the driving test you must hold a valid, signed Provisional Driving Licence for the category being driven. You must display “L” plates and be accompanied and supervised by someone who is at least 21 years old and who presently holds, and has held a full licence for the vehicle being driven for at least three years. You must also be insured on the car you are driving. To drive a motor car you must be 17 years old or older.

Applying

You must apply for your provisional licence at www.direct.gov.uk you will need to complete an application form online or pick a form up from you local DSA centre. You can apply for you provisional licence before your 17th birthday although it will only become live on that day. You will require one passport sized photograph and photographic identification i.e. current passport together with the licence fee currently at £50.00. Prices can change without notice.

The most asked question by candidates is always “how many lessons will I need? There is no specific answer to this question as there is a tremendous variation between different people in their ability to learn the co-ordination and observational skills required to drive safely. Factors affecting this include physical dexterity and age of the candidate. The DSA have recently released figures and stated that, on average it is not unreasonable to have a combination of 45 professional training (driving lessons) together with 22 private lessons (family or friend), around a total of 67 hours. Remember this is an average and some clients will need less and some more.

At the time of your Theory Test you must present your Provisional License (card and counterpart). Failure to do so will result in the test being canceled with the loss of your test fee. Your Theory Test Pass Certificate may be required on your Practical Test.

The Theory Test

To become a fully qualified license holder you must pass both the Theory and the Practical Driving Test. These tests are both conducted by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). You can commence driving lessons before attempting either of these tests but you must pass the Theory test before you are allowed to book a Practical test. Information on qualifying marks is available on the DSA website.

The Practical Driving Test

When you have passed the Theory test, you can apply for a Driving test appointment. The Driving Test lasts for about 40-45 minutes during which you must demonstrate to the examiner that you have, at all times, full control of the car, are aware of the actions of all other road users and are able to deal with them even in unusual or unexpected circumstances. You will be asked to perform one manoeuvre and a 10min inderpendent drive, maybe a hill start and an emergency stop. You will be expected to drive on busy roads and dual carriageways.

The examiner will mark your driving according to three criteria:

Dangerous faults

Faults which cause actual danger to other road users.

Serious faults

Faults which could potentially cause danger to other road users

Driving faults

Faults which do not constitute a danger to other road users

Committing one dangerous or serious fault or more than fifteen driving faults will result in failure. This reflects the skills required to drive on modern roads in modern traffic conditions, without being a danger to yourself or any other road user. You will be given the result at the end of the test together with an explanation of any problems that the examiner feels need highlighting.

What our students say

Mark is an excellent teacher, very flexible with lesson times and days, easy to contact and I felt he was extremley easy to get on with and always very supportive - Sophie (Solihull) ----- " A good guy, excellent teacher, explains everything clearly.Teaches safe driving rather than just to pass the test - has also taught my sisters" - Jon (Solihull) ----- "With Big Fish, I passed the test first time. I also did Pass Plus and found it extremely helpful!" - Jonathan (West Midlands) ----- "Would recommend Mark to anyone who wants to learn to drive" - Lucy (Birmingham)