Yes, it is possible to pass the driving test without taking any professional driving lessons, though the likelihood of passing will be significantly lower than a test candidate who has lessons from a professional driving instructor.
You see, it’s not just about driving the car. Many unprepared learners go into the driving test with great confidence in passing because they have good control of a car. But there’s a lot more to it; it’s about knowing how to deal with each and every situation that arises using not only control, but safety observations that are equally important. For example, if you fail to look in a specific direction at a specific time, that alone can be enough to fail the test. These are the sort of things that a driving instructor will notice, where perhaps a parent or friend might not.
But I get it, those that ask if you can pass the driving test without taking lessons are short on cash and are understandably looking to save money. The issue here, is that if you only have lessons off a family member or friend, you may well be doing it all wrong. This means you’ll fail the test and will have to look at starting the learning process over again – this time using a driving instructor. This takes time for the instructor to undo the bad habits and redo it properly, ultimately resulting in more time and money spent than if you used the instructor right from the beginning.
The best way to save money is a combination of private and professional tuition. Before any driving lessons take place, research what you need to do so when you do start private lessons, you’ll be equipped with knowledge. You can begin learning by reading through all the driving test tutorials on this website. Make sure you read them thoroughly including knowing when to make the all important observations. Also read through the teach someone to drive section which also includes a driving lesson record of training PDF that you can print and use to keep a report of your progress. Combine this knowledge with your private driving lessons making sure you cover each tutorial until you feel confident and proficient in all areas.
Why Do I Need a Driving Instructor?
A driving instructor will assess your driving ability and will tell you where improvements (if any) are needed. It often proves beneficial to use an established and local independent driving instructor as they will have an excellent knowledge of the test routes that the examiner will take you on (they are also usually a little cheaper than a national driving school). Test routes are designed by the examiners and almost always include very challenging sections – your instructor will know these areas and pass on that knowledge to you.
Finally, you can take a mock driving test with your instructor. Mock tests are hugely beneficial as they prepare you for the real test. It will provide you with knowledge and a simulation of the real test – the benefits of which cannot be underestimated.
Learner drivers that are taught solely by a driving instructor typically require around 40 hours of driving lessons (give or take). With studying the tutorials along with plenty of private driving tuition, this number can be significantly reduced, ultimately saving you time and money.
Are Driving Lessons a Legal Requirement?
No, currently driving lessons are not a legal requirement, though the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) are potentially looking into making a set minimum amount of driving lessons conducted by a qualified driving instructor mandatory. There’s also the possibility of a set minimum duration (12 months for example) that these lessons must be conducted over. These however are only considerations made by the DVSA and nothing is confirmed.