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Learning to Drive

Before you start to drive:

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To learn to drive you must be at least 17 years of age (You can drive a car when you are 16 if you get, or have applied for, the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).) 

You must hold a valid and signed UK provisional driving licence. To apply for a UK provisional licence you must be aged 15 and 9 months old and can apply online, via the post office or by completing a form and sending it to the DVLA. Follow these links for more details on how to apply. Online - Other-ways.

You must ensure that the car you are going to drive is properly insured for you to drive and be roadworthy. As you can imagine the vehicles we use at Coles Driving Academy would follow these requirements. We have received many questions from worried teenagers and parents regarding rumours of the minimum driving age is going up to 18 in the UK. I can reassure you that currently the powers to be are considering many changes regarding learning to drive, the learner test and drivers in general however there are no plans to change the age that you can learn to drive at present. If and when we hear of any actual facts on this subject we will let you know on this page straight away.


You must be able to read the current style number plates from 2001 with narrow font from 66 feet, 20 metres, the older style number plate from 67 feet, 20.5 metres . If you are learning to drive with an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) he/she will check your eyesight before you start to drive. 

You must display L-plates (D plates can be used in Wales), these plates must be seen clearly from, in front and behind the car. If a learner is not driving the car, the L or D plates must be removed, only driving instructors can use L or D plates when no learner is driving.


There is no substitute for learning car control skills and how to deal with different road situations with a professional driving instructor before going out to practice privately. When you have enough confidence, your instructor will advise you what and where to practice. They will also be able to advise the person who is going to supervise you. You must be accompanied by a driver who; has held full EC/EEA licence for at least 3 years for the car that you are driving, is at least 21 years of age and still holds the licence. As a provisional car licence holder you are not normally allowed to drive on the motorways, however this is currently being considered and the rules may change in the future.

Practice on as many different types of roads as you can, in all sorts of traffic conditions - even in the dark and on dual carriageways where the upper (national) speed limit applies. You may be asked to drive on such roads during the test. Don't just concentrate on the exercises involved in the test.

When you practice try not to obstruct other traffic. Most drivers are tolerant of learners, but don't try their patience too much. Try not to annoy local residents; for example, don't repeatedly practice emergency stops in the same quiet residential streets, or reverse repeatedly around the same parked car.

Prior to booking or taking the practical driving test you must pass the theory & hazard perception test click on the links below for further information on the theory and practical tests.

If you require insurance for a learner driver or new driver or want to purchase a new car for a new driver with insurance included why not check out this website.

Contact us now to book your driving lessons on:

 029 2031 5355  Mobile/Text: 077 6453 0915

© Anthony Coles 2001 - 2023