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Driving Lesson Questions

Q: How many hours will I need to past my test?

A: The official DSA answer would be 40-60hrs on average, combining professional driving tuition with private practice. This is rather misleading as it depends very much on the individual, their age and ability to learn. Taking account of:

  • How quickly you learn
  • How often you are taught
  • The length of your lessons
  • The regularity of the practice you get

Q: What will I need to bring to my first lesson?

A: You will need both parts of your photo licence, or your licence and another form of ID for an old style licence. If you wear glasses you will need to bring them with you, you will also need to wear comfortable footwear not boots or flip-flops.

Q: Can I learn in an Automatic?

A: Yes – We have an Automatic training vehicle; if you learn to drive and pass your test in an Automatic car you will be licenced to drive an Automatic car.

Q: Do I need to pass my Theory Test before I have driving lessons?

A: No, some pupils prefer to study and pass the Theory Test before starting driving lessons as they feel better prepared for the roads. However many pupils combine Theory study with lessons as a preferred way of learning. Your instructor will discuss what is best for you or contact Riverside Driving Academy  for advice before you start either.

Q: Will I need to book my Practical &Theory Tests myself?

A: The Practical and Theory Tests are an arrangement between you and the DSA.  Riverside Driving Academy can book either Test for you and are happy to provide this service free of charge as it is quick and simple with our experience. This also reduces the chance of you booking a test when your instructor is not available (perhaps already booked on test with another pupil). Of course the free part is us booking your test, the test fee we would collect from you. See our page for current test prices.

Q: What do I need to take to my Theory Test?

A: You will need both parts of your photo licence, or your licence and another form of ID if you have an old paper licence. You will also need the letter the DSA sent inviting you to your test. Do not forget, no licence, no Test!

Q: What do I need to take to my Practical Test?

A: You will need both parts of your photo licence, or your licence and another form of ID if you have an old paper licence. You will also need the letter the DSA sent inviting you to your test and bring along your Theory Pass Certificate. Do not forget, no licence, no Test!

Q: What do I need before I can learn to drive?

A: You must acquire a provisional licence. You can apply for a provisional licence at the post office by filling in a D1 form and sending it along with the relevant documents to the DVLA.

Q: How often should I have lessons?

A: The essential question is how regularly should I have lessons? Whatever your preferred lesson duration it is less important than keeping up regular practice. If you foresee a period where you will not be able to take lessons other than a regular holiday break, you should perhaps consider delaying the start of lessons until you can commit to a weekly lesson. Lesson formats are: 1, 1.5 or 2 hourly. We can advise what may be best for you, as from very remote rural locations a 1 hour lesson will not be adequate.

Q: Can I book a two-hour lesson?

A: Yes. And they are recommended for a variety of reasons:

  • From remote locations they are essential.
  • They give you time to practice not only a new subject but subjects previously covered.
  • When you first start they enable you to carry on past a 1 hour lesson and you will benefit from the longer duration when learning to use the pedals and hand controls.
  • They also help in the final stages of preparation for test, enabling you to practice junctions, manoeuvres, dual carriageway driving and country lanes, a more all-round driving lesson.

Q: It is a present – can I book a block of lessons in one go?

A: Yes, of course you can book a block, in fact, pay in advance and receive a discount price. We also do gift vouchers, which are designed for any special occasion you request.

Q: Can I be collected from or dropped to a different address other than my home?

A: Yes within reason, we are happy to collect you from another address than your home and again at the end of your lesson drop you somewhere else if you prefer. All we ask is notice as we would not want to be late for the next pupil’s lesson.

Q: Do lessons in the evenings and at weekends cost the same?

A: Yes we charge the same rate as weekdays.

Q: Where do I take my Theory Test?

A: There are Theory Test centres located all over the UK run by the DSA. You can discuss with your instructor which is best for you. Locally you have a choice of Sutton Coldfield or Birminghham  . However, you may wish to take a Theory Test near where you work saving you having to take a day off. Riverside Driving Academy can advise of all test centre locations

Q: What are the average waiting times for a test?

A: For a Theory Test locally it is presently 3-4 weeks. For a Practical Driving Test in Sutton Coldfield it is approx. 8 weeks. This does vary from week to week. Riverside Driving Academy always have the latest available information.

Q: Will I use the car I learn in to take my test?

A: Yes, you will take the test in your training car.

Q: Do you do intensive courses?

A: Yes we offer full 10 ten day intensives & fast track courses over a longer duration please contact for avaiabilty of instructors

Q: I am being taught by friends or family and I am not sure if I am ready to take my Test. Can you offer a mock Test?

A: Yes, This can be easily arranged and is to be recommended. You can experience how it feels to have your driving assessed by an instructor who will conduct your test to a standard similar to DSA Examiners. We may not be examiners but we prepare pupils for examiners to assess.

Q: Do you offer refresher lessons?

A: If you have already passed your test and would like to brush up on your skills, we can offer a short refresher course. This will be charged at our pass plus lesson rate. Please contact the school for details and to discuss your requirements.

Q: None of the above answers my query. What do I do?

A: For more questions on the “learn to drive” process e-mail or call us with your query and we will do our best to answer any question as quickly as possible, or direct you to the answers

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