Learning to Drive

The best way to learn to drive is to take professional lessons with an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI).

The best way to learn to drive is to take professional lessons with an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI).

Driving Instructors

The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) recommends that you take driving lessons with an ADI (approved driving instructor). A family member or friend can also teach you, but it’s a good idea to combine this with expert instruction from a driving instructor to give yourself the best chance of test pass success. Statistically nine out of ten learners who pass the practical test on their first attempt have been taught by an approved driving instructor.

All driving instructors are required to take and pass a DBS (criminal record check) and are registered with the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). The DVSA regularly assess all driving instructors and grade them accordingly on their performance. Driving instructors are specially trained to teach you to drive correctly and be safe on the road they have the knowledge and expertise to help you become a safe and confident driver.

Finding the right driving instructor

Try to choose an instructor on recommendations from friends and family, don't just go for the cheapest. It’s important to make sure your instructor is right for you. Try to choose an instructor who chooses to follow the  ADI voluntary code of practice. Look for an instructor/driving school that has a good reputation, is reliable and has a good pass rate and plenty of customer reviews. If you start your lessons and find you don’t like your driving instructor, look for a new one, it’s important that you get on well with whoever is teaching you to drive.

How much does learning to drive cost?

Learning to drive isn’t cheap, which is why it’s important to choose the right instructor or driving school. The average cost of an hour’s driving lesson is around £26 to £31. Driving lesson prices will vary depending on the driving instructor or driving school you choose and where you live. Some driving schools offer special beginner deals or discounts for block-booking lessons, so it’s worth asking what deals are available when you book. Doing some research locally will help make sure you're happy with the lesson price of your chosen instructor.

The cost of driving lessons is an important factor when choosing your driving tuition provider, if for example you take 40 hours of instruction, it will cost on average around £1000 to get your licence including the cost of your licence and your tests. Finding a cheap instructor or driving school and trying to pass your test with too few lessons, isn’t likely to save you money. You might think you are saving money, but the trade-off could be that you need double the amount of lessons to obtain your driving licence. Check out the DVSAs own infographic which demonstrates the cost of learning to drive.

How many driving lessons will you need?

How many driving lessons you need really depends on how quick you pick it up and any previous experience you have. Everybody learns to drive at a different pace and in different ways that reflect their own way of learning, so there’s no set amount of lessons you’ll need to take. The DVSA average it out at around 40 hours of driving tuition with an approved driving instructor and 20 hours of private practice before passing the practical driving test.

A good driving instructor will follow the DVSA syllabus and focus on client centred learning and coaching techniques. This is a way of teaching that takes into account how the pupil prefers to learn and is based on each pupil’s individual needs. A good driving instructor will check your progress on every driving lesson and give you honest feedback on your progress. But like any new skill, the more you practise, the better you’ll get.

What car choices do I have?

The most popular choice is to learn to drive in a manual car. However, you can also take lessons in an automatic car. The main difference is that a manual car has gears and a clutch that is operated with the left foot. An automatic car has an automatic gearbox that changes the gears for you and you only use the accelerator with your right foot. It’s entirely up to you what type of car you choose to learn in, but remember that if you pass the practical driving test in an automatic car you will not be able to drive a manual. If you pass in a manual you can drive both types legally.

The Driving Tests – Practical and Theory

The UK driving test is made up the theory test and the practical driving test. You must pass the theory test before you can apply for and take the practical driving test. The theory test consists of 50 multiple choice questions and a 14 video clip hazard perception test. You must pass both parts of the theory test and the practical driving test to obtain your full driving licence.

Newly Qualified Drivers

If you’re a newly qualified driver you will have a probationary period of two years which starts from the day you pass your test. If in the 2 year probationary period you commit any driving offences which incur a total of 6 penalty points or more the courts will withdraw your licence. This will result in you having to reapply and pay for another provisional licence and retake both the theory and practical tests. Offences could include but are not limited to driving while using a mobile phone, speeding, having bald tyres on your car.

Pass plus Course

Newly qualified drivers can take the Pass plus course. The Pass plus course involves extra practice and experience on the roads and is taken with an ADI the course consists of six modules to work through. The pass plus modules will give you more experience in town driving and country lanes, dual carriageways and motorways, all weather and night time driving. There is no test at the end of the course and drivers can obtain insurance discounts from most insurance companies after successfully completing the full course.

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us and we will help with any questions you may have.

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Customer Reviews

With over 3000 driving test passes and 650 customer reviews on our website, who will you trust with your driving tuition? Read what our customers have to say about us.

Meet The Team

Want to check out your driving instructor?  Meet our team of DVSA qualified, expert and hardworking local manual driving instructors who are waiting to deliver your driving lessons.

Areas Covered

Topclass driving school provides manual and automatic driving lessons across most areas of Kent and surrounding areas.
Find a local driving instructor near you.


Topclass Driving School, 8 Willowby Gardens, Gillingham, Kent, ME8 8TB

Office Hours

Mon to Sat: 9am - 6pm
Sun: 10am - 4pm
(Closed Bank Holidays)


0333 772 0393