You can apply for your provisional car driving licence up to three months before your seventeenth birthday (however, it would not become valid until you are seventeen). If you hold a driving licence issued in another country, please visit the DVSA website.
Once you're seventeen, and although you can start your driving lessons as soon as your provisional driving licence becomes valid, you cannot book the driving test until you have passed the theory test.
You can book your theory test to take place on or shortly after your seventeenth birthday provided you have a provisional driving licence. You should be able to book your test with a few days notice.
Once you have your theory test certificate you can then book your practical driving test. Typically, the waiting time is around 28 days. Sooner dates are usually available through test appointment cancellations.
Provided you have a valid provisional driving licence you can start your driving lessons before you take your theory test. In doing so we can combine your theory study with the early part of your driving course. This gives you the added advantage of being able to consult me on various matters relating to the theory test and your theory study.
Once you have passed your theory test I can then book your practical driving test and schedule the remaining part of your driving lessons. Please note, I always book the driving test for you. Because I cover the Hastings and Tunbridge Wells driving test centres, this prevents double-booking.
When booking any DVSA test online be careful as there are many companies charging an additional fee of £20 or more if you use their website to book the test. To book online without any hidden fees use the DVSA's online booking service, where you need only pay the standard test fees.
The theory test is in two parts. The first part being the multiple choice test and the second part the hazard perception test.
The multiple choice part consists of 50 question, and you will be given 57 minutes to complete this part of the test. To pass you need to correctly answer 43 out of the 50 questions (86%).
The second and final part of the test is the hazard perception test. You are shown 14 hazard perception video clips of approximately one minute each. There will be 15 developing hazards to find - at least one on each clip. However, one clip will have 2 developing hazards. To pass this part of the test you must obtain a score of 44 out of a possible 75.
As previously mentioned, I like to book the driving test for you to prevent double-booking.
The driving test for car drivers is about 40 minutes long, give or take 5 minutes. During which, you will be required to read a number plate (at 20 metres), answer two 'Show and Tell' questions, complete one of a possible three parking manoeuvres, possibly undertake an emergency stop (this happens only in 1 in 3 tests) and also follow a series of directions known as the independant drive, either by SatNav or following sign posts. To pass, you may have a maximum of 15 minor points and have no series or dangerous faults.