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Learning to drive

As driving instructors, we often get asked the same questions when learners are enquiring about learning to drive and taking driving lessons.

All driver related tests and licences (with exception to the police) are dealt with through the Driving Standards Agency (DSA).

All theory test and practical driving test telephone numbers and website links can be found on this page.

Provided are the most frequently asked questions that potential learner drivers ask driving instructors on how to start learning to drive.Learning to drive can be time consuming and costly. The Driving Test Tips website offer plenty of tutorials and help for learner drivers, experienced drivers intending on taking the UK driving test, plus advice once passed.


What age must I be to start learning to drive?

To drive on a public road, you must be at least 17 years of age. Certain driving schools do offer driving lessons conducted on private land. In this situation, you can start learning to drive at a younger age than 17.

I'm 17, what do I need to start learning to drive?

You will need to apply for your provisional driving licence. The current fee for a provisional driving licence is £50 and can be applied for in two ways;

1. The easiest way is to apply online. By visiting the official direct.gov.uk website, you can apply for your licence providing you are:


  • Residential to Great Britain
  • Are no younger than 3 months before your 17th birthday
  • Can meet the minimum eyesight requirement
  • Are currently not prevented from driving due to a conviction or health
  • Are able to pay £50.00 by MasterCard, Visa, Electron or Delta debit or credit card
  • Hold a valid form of identification, for example a UK passport
  • Are able to produce evidence of residence for the previous 3 years
  • 2. Obtainable from most Post Offices, application form D1 and a photo card application form D750 should be completed and sent up to 3 months before your 17th birthday to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD. Once you have received your provisional driving licence, you are able to start learning to drive. Getting off to a good start is essential, 

  • The theory test

    When can I take the theory test?

    Your theory test can be booked and taken once you receive your provisional driving licence and are 17 years of age.

    Book a theory test

    To book a theory test, you will need your

    • Great Britain or Northern Ireland provisional driving licence number
    • credit or debit card
    • valid e-mail address to receive your confirmation booking details. You will not be able to book your theory test without an e-mail address

    There are 2 ways in which a theory test can be booked;

    Book theory test by phone

    Telephone the DSA on 0300 200 1122, welsh language 0300 200 1133 or textphone 0300 200 1166. You can use the telephone service from Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm.

    Book theory test online

    The easiest way to book a theory test is online



    If you did not receive a theory test confirmation e-mail or have forgotten the time and date of your theory test, you can check online when your date is. You can also use this to change or cancel your theory test. If you intend to cancel a theory test, allow at least 3 working days' notice to inform the DSA. Cancellations made within 3 working days (including Saturdays) will not be refunded. The same policy applies to changing a theory test date. A change of date is not possible unless 3 working days' notice is provided.Check or change or cancel theory test booking You will need your provisional driving licence number at hand to make any changes.


    Note; if you were unsuccessful in passing your theory test, you will need to wait 3 working days before you become eligible to re book the theory test. If you are struggling to study or pass the theory test, let your driving instructor know as learning to drive in itself combined with theory related questions and answers from your instructor will help.


  • The practical driving test

    When can I book my driving test?

    To book your driving test, you will need to have received your provisional driving licence and to have passed your theory test. Once you have chosen your driving test centre, you can book your practical driving test.

    Book a driving test

    To successfully book your driving test, you will need:

    • a valid Great Britain or Northern Ireland provisional licence number
    • a credit or debit card
    • if applicable, a theory test pass date and certificate number

    Book a driving test by phone

    Telephone the DSA on 0300 200 1122, welsh language 0300 200 1133 or textphone 0300 200 1166.

    Driving test pass certificate

    You can use the telephone service from Monday to Friday 8am to 12pm.

    Book a driving test online

    You can select your preferred driving test centre and book your driving test online. This process takes around 15 minutes.

  • Note; if you were unsuccessful in passing your driving test, ten working days must be cleared before you are entitled to retake the driving test. The current fee for the driving test is:

    • £62.00 for weekday prices
    • £75 for weekday evenings, weekends or bank holidays

    Check driving test date

    You can easily check your driving test online. Ensure that you have at hand two of the following pieces of information:

    • your valid Great Britain or Northern Ireland provisional driving licence number
    • your application reference number
    • your theory test pass certificate number
  • Cancel or reschedule a driving test

    The DSA state that 3 clear working days must be providing if you wish to cancel or reschedule the driving or theory test. To cancel, reschedule or check a practical driving test appointment, ensure you have at hand at least two of the following pieces of information:

    • your valid Great Britain or Northern Ireland provisional driving licence number
    • your application reference number
    • your theory test pass certificate number



    In this situations, the DSA will automatically rebook your practical driving test at the next earliest appointment. If this date and time is not convenient, you may change the driving test date or cancel the driving test

  • The DSA can on occasions cancel driving tests. If your driving test has been cancelled, you will receive notification in the post. Driving tests can be cancelled due to:DSA cancelling driving tests