Questions about learning to Drive

It is important to ask Questions about learning to drive so that you fully understand what will be expected

Frequently Asked Questions

“How long will it take me to pass my test?”

The official figures published by the DSA say that on average it takes 47 hours of driving lessons plus 22 hours of private practice to pass a driving test. These are average figures taken from all age groups across the country. As such, it can vary widely between individuals. In general, the older you are when you start driving lessons, the longer it may take. Your Leeds and District Driving Instructors Association registered driving instructor will be able to give you a better idea of how long you will take, after you’ve had a few driving lessons. it will also depend on the driving instructors grade.

 “How much is all this going to cost ?” If you are trying to decide how much it will cost to learn to drive, remember to include test costs as well. If you allow somewhere in the region of £1000 – £1200 pounds in total, you should be ok – depending on how much knowledge you are starting out with. Also think about buying a car and insurance costs as in your first year an insurance policy will be from £1500.

“How do I know that the instructor is good?”

All driving instructors are graded. Recently the grading system has changed although many instructors will still use the grading system of either being a grade 4, 5 or 6. read about the difference as it will have an effect on how much money you invest. obviously the higher the grade the better quality of tuition which will have an impact on the number of lessons you will take. i.e the higher the grade the less lessons – Driving Instructor grades

“How many driving lessons should I have per week?”

The number of driving lessons per week will depend upon many factors. Your budget. Your availability. Your determination. In general it’s not so much the quantity that’s important, it’s the quality. If you have too many driving lessons in a week, you may find it difficult and tiring, and that’s not good for your motivation. Most people will do one lesson a week, some two and a few maybe even three! The MOST important factor to consider is the regularity. Make sure you make a commitment to learn and stick to your regular driving lessons. Missing lessons is never a good idea because this interrupts the learning process.

“How long should a driving lesson be?”

There are various opinions about how long a driving lesson should be. Some instructors recommend 2 hour lessons, others only 1 hour.  However, Laugh n Pass registered instructor will always recommend a course of lessons which is best suited to fill your needs and which also complements the style in which the instructor works. Because we are all individuals, we all have different styles.

 “I can’t get my bite and I stall the car I want to go automatic is it easier?”

this is a myth in my opinion. Unless an instructor advice’s you to change i would strongly recommend you continue in a manual. Learning in an automatic will take just the same amount of lessons as it covers the same lesson plans bar the gears lesson which initially is an hour long. Learning to drive is all about your observations, reading the road and making decisions. If you are taught the correct procedures the gears do not get in the way. Many instructors simply confuse matters.

If you are struggling with the bite and stalling then that is not your fault it is your instructors who should not be allowing you to stall in busy areas and who should be talking you through at the time.

I also say think back to when you have learnt in college there is always an initial part of the learning where confusion sets in this is normal and how humans learn. As you push on the confusion starts to clear and you start to get it. Many give up too soon. Auto lessons and cars are more expensive, and you will never be able to drive a manual unless you do another test. you don’t know where /what you will be doing in 5 yrs from now and you might regret it.

Does the size of the car make a difference”?

The norm is that most driving instructors have small cars with a small engine size as this saves the driving instructor on fuel and running costs, they also can have a preference between petrol and diesel, however a learner can drive in any size car it really does not matter its all about the quality of tuition you are given. We have small and larger  4×4 cars and learners can feel a little dubious at 1st but once behind the wheel they are fine in fact some prefer the larger car as they feel higher up and in more control.

 “Diesel verses petrol whats the difference”?

Diesels are generally easier than petrol cars to drive as they are less likely to stall & are far more forgiving than petrol cars when it comes to bad clutch control. This is because the diesel engine tends to have more torque (pulling power) than a petrol engine, so much so that you can pull away from a standing start using nothing but the clutch. They also tend to be more fuel efficient than the standard petrol car so you can go much further on a tank of diesel than you can with a tank of petrol, but at the end of the  of the day neither is better or worse than the other its down to personal preference. One thing I might add is if you feel you are struggling with the biting point in the current car you are learning try a diesel before opting for automatic.

“My brothers been driving a year and he can take me out “

Untrue if you are going out with anyone they have to have been driving for 3 yrs and be over 21yrs old

 “Ive heard there are different types of Instructors, can you tell me about them?”

There are two type of Instructors that are allowed by the DSA to charge for giving tuition.

ADI – Fully qualified and registered Approved Driving Instructors. (These are known as ADI’s.) ADI’s must display a square green licence in the front windscreen of their car whilst giving instruction.




PDI -Trainee driving instructors are allowed to give paid instruction if they have obtained a special trainee licence from the DSA. These are known as Provisional Driving Instructors or PDI’s. A trainee licence has a triangular symbol on it, is pink in colour and is valid for six months.