How should I learn to drive?
If time is on your side, around 2 lessons per week is ideal if spread out. Some learners find 2 hour lessons a little too long and 1 hour lessons a little too short. If your driving instructor or driving school offers 1.5 hour lessons, two of these per week is ideal. You will reach test standard in a reasonable time but with less stress to complete the course in such a short periods of time as is the case with intensives. Taking this approach to driving lessons also gives you the option to reschedule the driving test if you feel more time is required. Rescheduling the test is free and only requires that you provide the DSA with a minimum of 3 clear working days notice. The learning to drive test booking information section provides all the contact details for booking and rescheduling driving tests.
If time is not on your side, you may need to think about a semi or full intensive driving course. If possible, try and avoid a full 1 week intensive as such courses are often paid in advance and leaves you little room for any changes. If for instance you feel you are struggling with the tuition, it's unlikely the school or instructor will allow you to change your lesson plan, and will have little choice but to commit to it and take the test.
A semi-intensive is more forgiving. An example could be 2 hours every day from Monday to Friday which will gain you test standard in 3 to 4 weeks. Many driving schools don't use predetermined hours for semi-intensives and will allow you to pick and choose how intensive you want the course to be.
A semi-intensive will be less stressful as there will be less pressure on yourself. It will also allow you plenty of time to reschedule the test if need be.
Semi- intensive driving courses
Intensive driving courses
The downside of an intensive is that they are not suited for everyone. Many can find driving so intensively exhausting and stressful. Getting too tired and stressed reduces your ability to retain information leading to a higher chance of failing the test.
Fastest way to pass the driving testApplying for a provisional driving licence
A provisional driving licence can be applied for up to 3 months before you turn 17. By applying before your birthday, it will arrive in plenty of time for you to start learning to drive as soon as you reach 17.
Details on how to apply for a provisional driving licence can be found in the How to start learning to drive section.
Areas of high density such as cities will often have the longest waiting times. The longer waiting times for a test can be anywhere up to 15 weeks.
Driving test cancellations
Reaching test standard within your driving over a short period of time will help to leave the option of a test cancellation being viable. The only issue with taking a driving test cancellation is if you are relying on an instructor and their car, is if they are available for the test cancellation. If you have access to a friends or families car that you can legally use for the test will be an advantage in this situation.
Booking a driving test at an alternative test centre
Residential driving courses
It's important to understand if an intensive driving course is appropriate for you. Some learners simply find a week intensive too difficult and not a suitable way to learn. The Are intensive crash courses any good? article helps to explain the benefits and disadvantages of intensive courses. Taking a lesson or two with a local instructor will provide you with an idea if an intensive is suitable for you.
Choosing a good driving instructor
Having a good driving instructor teaching you to drive has an impact on how long it takes you to learn to drive. Whilst looking for your driving instructor or school, it's often best to go with recommendations from previous learners. Opting simply for the cheapest you can find can often be false economy as detailed in Are cheap driving schools or instructors good?
A fully qualified driving instructor with a good deal of experience teaching in the area is important as they will also have a good knowledge of the driving test routes.