Driving Test Cancellations - What Is The Process For Getting A Driving Licence In The UK?

For the large portion of the population in the UK, driving is their primary form of transportation, and there is a good reason so, its quick, easy and convenient. However, before drivers can legally drive on the UK road network, they must hold a valid driving licence, though, but new drivers must carry out a few vital steps to prove that they are prepared to have a licence.

So that you are fully prepared, the team at Earlier Driving Test have created this informative guide covering the whole process required to obtain a full UK driving licence.

Get your provisional licence

The very first step you need to complete is obtaining your provisional driving licence. For this, you will need to head over to the GOV.UK website, where you can quickly check that you are eligible to drive, as several limitations are in place to guarantee the safety of yourself and other road users. Two of the most apparent criteria include age, where you are legally required to be at least 15 years and 9 months old to apply, but also behold the ability to read a number plate from 20 metres away.

If you meet all of the given criteria, it’s then time to apply for the provisional licence. This can be completed on GOV.UK once more, where you will need to pay a small fee, as well as verifying your identity to guarantee that the licence is correct and legal to use.

It’s also worth noting that despite the young age of being able to own a provisional licence, it can’t necessarily be used on the road limit just yet. You can use the licence if you wish to ride a moped or light quad bike until the age of 16, but you can’t legally drive a car until you are at least 17.

Start your driving lessons

Once you have turned 17, it’s then time to begin your driving lessons. The first thing that you do is find the most suitable driving instructor or school that you can. Many notable driving schools offer their services across the country, but you must find an instructor that you feel comfortable to drive with.

When you have found the ideal driving instructor, it’s then time to start your lessons. The number of driving lessons that you should be doing each week should depend on a variety of personal factors, such as your ability to remember, time availability and costs. If you aren’t in a rush to pass quickly, having at least one lesson a week is the ideal time to learn, though there is no reason you can’t do more than one lesson a week if you have the time and learning capacity.

Prepare and book your theory test

Whilst you are completing your driving lessons, it’s also the perfect time to learn and book your driving theory test. This needs to be completed before you can book your practical driving test, as it shows that you know the theoretical side of driving. The learning side isn’t too difficult, as you will pick up many of the points covered during your lessons, though it’s still recommended that you practice as much as you can outside of your lessons.

Taking mock tests is also suggested to check your knowledge of driving, as well as giving yourself a clear indication of whether or not you are prepared to take your theory test. Once you feel that you are ready, you will need to take the theory test, which will consist of two parts - the multiple-choice questionnaire and the hazard perception test.

Multiple-choice questionnaire

During the multiple-choice test, you will be asked a total of 50 questions with 57 minutes to complete the test. In order to pass, you will need to get at least 43 of the 50 questions correct, which might seem hard, but isn’t if you have practised enough. Before the test, you will also have the opportunity to complete a 15-minute practice session so that you can gain a better idea of the test format, though you don’t have to do this if you would prefer not to.

Hazard perception test

The second half of the theory test will involve a hazard perception test. During this part, you will be shown numerous clips of different drivers on the UK road network, where several hazards will appear that you will need to point out by clicking the computer at the appropriate time. This is designed to show the DVLA that you recognise and will act upon hazards that occur around your vehicle.

Book your practical driving test

When you finally have passed your theory test, it’s then time to evaluate if you are prepared to take your practical driving test. Your driving instructor will likely inform you when they feel that you are ready, as it’s their job to prepare you enough for your test.

Unfortunately, trying to find a driving test date within a few weeks might be difficult due to the sheer number of other learners that are looking to book their driving test, making the list very long. For this reason, it’s important to try and book your practical test with your nearest test centre as soon as you are prepared, this way, you will have a confirmed day to prepare for.

Eyesight check

For the practical test itself, you will have to complete and demonstrate numerous actions to show that you are fully prepared to drive safely on the road. Before you even get into the car, you will be required to complete an eyesight check, where you will be asked to read a number plate from 20 metres away, which you will need to pass to continue.

Show me, tell me questions

You will also be asked two vehicle safety questions during your test, also known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions. The ‘show me’ question revolves showing the examiner how you would carry out a safety task as you drive, such as demisting the front windscreen. For the ‘tell me’ question, you are required to tell the examiner about a safety check, for instance, checking the tyres are inflated correctly.

Practical driving

The final and most important part of the driving test is to show that you can drive safely on the road network. On average, the test will last around 40 minutes, which will include 20 minutes of independent driving, as well as using the sat-nav and following the examiner’s instructions for the remaining time.

You will also be asked to demonstrate a couple of manoeuvres, as well as an emergency stop whilst you are driving to prove that you have complete control of the vehicle. All of these individual tests would have been shown and practised extensively during your driving lessons, so it’s important that you simply follow what you have been taught.

How you are marked

Whilst you are driving, you will be continuously observed by the driving examiner to check that you are prepared to drive. For this, they will check your general driving ability by using a report card which they score you against the various criteria points that have been set by the DVLA. Similarly, you will be asked to show how well you can reverse a vehicle, which will most likely occur during a manoeuvre.

Upon completion of your test, you will be given the results as soon as you arrive back at the test centre. For those that pass first time - well done, you will receive a certificate with a signature from the examiner to say that you have passed. Regardless if you pass or fail, you will also receive the report card which will state how many minors or majors that you have received. If you received any, and you failed, it can help you obtain a better idea of the areas that you might need to practice before you consider taking your test again.

Struggling to book your driving test?

As we mentioned above, booking your practical driving test can be a long waiting process if you aren’t lucky, which is where we can help. Across the country, a considerable amount of learner drivers are continuously changing their driving test, cancelling their tests or simply booking the examination without being prepared, which is where we can help.

Here at Earlier Driving Test, we help you to find you an earlier test by booking driving test cancellations that you don’t have the time to identify. By signing up to our network, you will be sent a text and email with suitable driving test dates based on the parameters that you set when you sign up with us.

To find out more, we suggest heading over to our website, where you can read about the whole process in full, as well as having the opportunity to read through our frequently asked questions if you have any queries.