How to get your driving licence: costs, exam tips and post-Brexit changes

Driving School

  • The days of just turning up are over, say driving instructors, as 50 % of all people fail their test
  • Britain’s driving test has become the difficult in the field, using the pass rate standing at only 47%.

We break up what applicants are required to accomplish to pass through, common mistakes to avoid and top tips from the professionals:

Step one: getting a provisional licence:

Applicants can apply online and must:

  1. be a resident of Great Britain
  2. meet minimum age and eyesight requirements
  3. never be prevented from driving for just about any reason
  4. possess a valid passport or any other kind of identity

Cost: £ 34

Step two: Driving lessons:

  • Once applicants have a provisional licence, they’ll be allowed to start learning how exactly to drive. They’ve been advised to be taught by an approved driving instructor, but could also practise with friends and relatives under certain conditions. Learners must always have “L” plates displayed prominently on both the rear and front of a car when driving.


  • There is absolutely no set cost, as costs for official driving lessons vary widely around the world, plus some individuals will require more lessons than the others. The DVLA does not require a minimum amount of lessons, however the person with average skills will require 47 hours of lessons and 22 hours of private practice before they could pass their test, in accordance with research by the Driving Standards Agency, published because of the AA.

Step three: theory exam

  • The first part of the exam is made up of a 50-question multiple choice test that covers anything from road signs to safety questions. Applicants will have to get at the least 43 questions right within 57 minutes to be able to pass.
  • The second part is a hazard perception test, where applicants must identify 15 hazards in a few short video clips. The faster a person is in a position to identify the hazards, the greater they score. Applicants need to score at the least 44 out of 75 to pass.
  • Applicants must pass both elements of the test to proceed to the practical exam, that has to be taken within two years of passing the idea test.

Cost: £ 25

Step 4: practice exam

The practical exam consists of three parts:

  1. Applicants will need to undergo an eyesight check, that involves reading a licence plate at distance of 20m. If an applicant fails the test, they’ll certainly be struggling to continue utilizing the exam.
  2. Applicants will soon be asked vehicle safety questions, also known as “show me, tell me” questions.
  3. The examiner will likely then test an applicant’s general driving ability by instructing them to conduct different manoeuvres in various road and traffic conditions, includes reversing. Learners will likely then be viewed while they drive without instruction. This section will last roughly 40 minutes.

New changes to your practical test came into effect in December to try to bring the format as much as date by including modern driving styles and technology. They involve satnav challenges, tweaks towards the manoeuvres, longer independent driving sections and an expanded distraction test.
Applicants must ensure they bring the proper documents, otherwise the test are going to be cancelled.
Cost: £ 62 on weekdays or £ 75 on evenings, weekends and bank holidays

Common mistakes

  • You will be allowed 15 minor errors before you fail a test, says The Independent. But “one big mistake, such as speeding or answering your phone, and you’re done, of course,” it adds.
  • Less than 50 per cent of individuals pass their practical test on the first attempt, and experts say you will find often numerous things the culprit. Probably the most common mistakes include poor observation at junctions, neglecting to check blind spots during reverse parking, incorrect signal use, incorrect positioning on the road and driving at the wrong speed, based on the Car Expert.

Recommendations on passing

  • “The British driving test is the most difficult in the world,” argues driving instructor Will Dracot. “the times of turning up, driving for 40 minutes and passing are very well and truly over. You have to study with this exam”. He advises students to gain just as much practice and preparation as possible ahead of the test, and make certain that they are comfortable, relaxed and well rested on the day associated with exams.
  • Carbuyer suggests that many individuals you will need to take the test too soon. “A good instructor will recommend whenever you should book your test,” the internet site says, “so do not be too hasty.”

The RAC even offers a summary of handy ideas to allow you to pass the first occasion:

  1. Pay attention to your instructor
  2. Bring your test in a rural location
  3. Be an early bird
  4. Utilize the instructor’s car
  5. Have a backseat driver
  6. Just forget about mistakes
  7. Exaggerate those mirror checks
  8. Ask questions
  9. Don’t make an effort to second-guess the examiner
  10. Pay attention to what you’re told at the conclusion of the test

Finally: try your best to remain calm. “when you feel tense or feel you’ve lost your focus, or you feel you’ve made a mistake on your test, make sure to focus on your breathing and take a few deep breaths,” says Auto Express. “this may calm your brain, stop you dwelling in past times which help you concentrate on the next instruction.”

Can you use your licence abroad?

  • At present, British driving licences are valid in every EU or European Economic Area (EEA) countries, and Switzerland.
  • Not in the EU/EEA, British drivers might need an International Driving Permit (IDP) which can be recognised in 140 countries throughout the world and will act as temporary proof of driving ability for travellers.
  • You can get an IDP directly through the AA, the RAC or Post Office for £ 5.50. To meet the requirements you must: by a GB or Northern Ireland resident, have passed your driving test, be 18 or higher.

How about after Brexit?

  • Even though the terms of Britain’s future relationship with all the EU have yet to be agreed, there is the possibility British driving licences could become invalid after Brexit, with Brits wanting to drive in the continent obligated to pay money for an innovative new permit.
  • Last month, the European Commission recently claimed the united kingdom’s departure through the EU could begin to see the end of “mutual recognition” of licences.
  • In accordance with Auto Express, the Commission has said it was likely British licences would not be valid overseas from next year, after EU law-based rights and benefits ceased for UK nationals.
  • A recent meeting of EU officials suggested UK drivers would have to purchase an International Driving Permit (IDP), which will let them drive in the EU for up to per year.
  • As the £ 5.50 fee “might not leave a major dent in your pocket, the inconvenience of getting to be approved for the next permit could be enough to deter Brits from driving to neighbouring nations”, says the sun’s rays.
  • Leaving the EU is also expected to have an impact regarding the appearance of UK driving licences with MPs already suggesting the corner EU flag ought to be replaced because of the Union Jack and other regional banners.
  • For rules on driving in foreign countries it will always be good to check with a motoring organisation just like the AA or the RAC.

How about renting a car aboard?

  • In 2015, the DVLA introduced a greater driving licence checking system after British holidaymakers complained of difficulties in hiring cars abroad.
  • In past times, car rental companies have requested to see the green paper counterpart to a driver’s licence. Now they will be in a position to view a driver’s details on the DVLA electronic database.
  • Make it possible for a car or truck hire company or employer to visit your driving record, you need to create a “licence check code” by logging on to This single-use access code is just valid for 21 days.
  • Used alongside the very last eight characters of one’s driving licence number, it will probably permit the company to determine what vehicles it is possible to drive and any penalty points or disqualifications you’ve been given.
  • Employers who need to check on an employee’s driving record may also be able to utilize the service.
  • Motorists can check their driving record by calling DVLA. They will need their driving licence number (found in section five of these driving licence photocard), National Insurance number and postcode. Alternatively, drivers can put on by post to see what information the DVLA holds on their driving licence.
  • The green counterparts are not the same whilst the old-style paper driving licences, which were issued before photocards has been around since and generally are still utilized by around eight million drivers.

Make certain you read our full article about advanced driving school!