To apply for a provisional licence to drive a car, you must be 17 years old.
You can apply up to three months before your 17th birthday.
If you've a Disability Living Allowance you can get your provisional licence at the age of 16.
How to apply
You must fill in a driving licence application form D1 and photocard application form D750. You can get both of these forms from your local post office. The cost for your first provisional licence is £45.
You must send a passport-sized photo of yourself taken against a white background with one of the following forms of identification: Full Valid Current Passport Birth Certificate Certificate of Registry of Birth (Provided your name is present on the certificate) Adoption certificate ID Card issued by a member state of the European Commission/EEA Travel Documents issued by the Home Office Certificate of Naturalisation or Registration
Completed forms should be sent to the DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD If you don’t want to send your ID documents through the post, you can use the Post Office Checking Service but it costs more. This means that your documents are checked at the post office so you don't have to send them onto the DVLA.
You should get it within 3 weeks, or 15 working days. If it hasn't arrived within that time, contact the DVLA by writing to: DVLA, Swansea, SA6 7JL Tel. 0870-240-0009 (Mon to Fri 8am – 8.30pm, Sat 8am – 5.30pm ) If you've impaired hearing and access to a minicom facility call 01792-782787 during the same hours.
SHOW ME TELL ME.
The 'Show Me Tell Me' questions require you to explain to your driving test examiner where and how to check tyres, brakes, fluid levels, lights, direction indicators and horn. You will be asked two questions, one 'show me' and one 'tell me' question. One or both questions answered incorrectly will result in one driving fault being recorded. Feel free to copy and paste the list for your reference.
SHOW ME TELL ME.
Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil. Identify dipstick / oil level indicator, describe how you would check the oil level against the minimum / maximum markers. Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level. Identify high / low level markings on header tank (where fitted) or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level. Identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level. Identify reservoir and check level. Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid. . Identify reservoir, check level against high / low markings. Tell me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car. Operate brake pedal, make use of any reflections in windows, garage doors etc, or ask someone to help. Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey. Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you move off. Vehicle should not pull to one side. Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked. Tyre pressures are in manufacturers manual, use a reliable pressure gauge, check tyre pressures when cold,(Once a week) don't forget spare and remember to refit dust caps. Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and their general condition is safe to use on the road. No cuts or bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central 3/4 of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire circumference. Show me / explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey. If the steering becomes heavy the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey two checks can be made. With the wheel turned slightly, maintained while the engine is started, you notice a slight movement in the wheel as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an instant indication the power steering is functioning ok. Show me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working. Turn on ignition (if necessary), operate switch for lights, walk round the vehicle. Show me how you would check the parking brake for excessive wear. Apply the parking brake. When it is fully applied it should secure itself. Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working. Apply indicators or hazard warning lights and check all indicators. Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only). Turn on ignition (if necessary). Operate horn. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash. The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. N.B. Some restraints might not be adjustable. Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti lock braking system. Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti lock braking system. Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wiper. Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen (turn ignition on if necessary). How me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens. Set all relevant controls including; fan, temperature, air direction / source and heated screen to clear windscreen and windows. Engine does not have to be started for this demonstration. Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them. (No need to exit vehicle). Switch relevant lights on and identify warning light. Visibility would need to be below 100 metres. Show me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car. Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.
First Driving Lesson Advice
If you have no previous driving experience, and are taking your first driving lesson with a UK approved driving instructor (ADI), then you will be doing what we call a controls lesson. If you have only booked a 1hr driving lesson with your driving instructor, you will hardly do a lot of actual driving, as the controls lesson involves learning the cockpit drill (DSSSM), being introduced to the controls of the car and the instructions that the instructor will be using when refering to these controls, by the time you and the instructor have been through this, you will have little time left to do the next bit which is moving off and stopping.
So here is how you can save some money on your first driving lesson.
Learn the cockpit drill by yourself or with someone who already drives. There is a lot of information on the internet about the cockpit drill (DSSSM), so this shouldn't be too difficult. Here is a video of an instructor teaching the cockpit drill click Doing this will save you about 15 minutes which on a 1hr driving lesson would mean more actual driving since the instructor should check your previous driving experience, and if you say you know how to do this, he/she should ask and watch you do it, and then just ask a few questions about your responsibilities regarding the doors and seat-belts for minors.
Learn the car controls. This would require either some reading on your part, or getting somewho who knows the controls and what they do to explain them to you. If possible ask to start the engine and try pressing the Accelerator (gas) pedal to get a feel for how sensitive it is. Get to know the gears, their selection and their use, the hand controls and the parking (hand) brake. If you learn and understand these, then you could save another 15 minutes on your first driving lesson which would be used learning to move off and stop.
Book a 2hr lesson. Even if you don't do steps 1 and 2, by booking a 2hr lesson for driving, you will learn more and get better value for your money than having 2 separate 1 hour lessons even if you have them the same week, here is why.
The time on your lesson starts ticking when your instructor picks you up, the instructor then has to drive you to a suitable training area, so depending on where you live, this could take up to 15 minutes (even though the instructor could use this driving time to explain a few things to you, I find most of my pupils hardly remember what I've told or shown them during the drive). So potentially you could only have 30 minutes available for actual tuition! If you've only booked a 1 hr driving lesson, and have not done steps 1 and 2 above, then you will not be doing any actual driving. This isn't you instructor's fault, he would probably have tried getting you to book a 2 hr lessson, but you might have insisted that you could only afford 1 hr driving tuition.
If you had done steps 1 and 2 above, but only booked 1 hr you should get to do moving off and stopping, but again that will probably be all.
Booking a 2 hr driving lesson however changes a lot of things, even if you have a 30 minute travel time, you'll have 1.5hrs of tuition time, enough to cover a controls lesson, moving off and stopping with plenty of practice, and if you have done steps 1 and 2 above then you have time to do moving off and stopping and another lesson which could either be junctions or a turn in the road. This obviously depends on your progress.
Finally until you start driving from your home, I advise you to book 2 hr lessons instead of 1hr ones, to reduce your loss during travel time. Even after you start driving from home, if you can afford it, stay with 2 hr lessons, as your first 10-15minute of a lesson are spent remembering the last lesson and not learning new things, so you generally have more time to learn new things and make better progress with 2 hr lessons.
As a learner driver with a provisional licence or indeed a newly qualified driver, you are probably well aware of the high cost of insurance. Insurance companies know that new drivers are a bigger risk than any other motoring group. The facts behind this reasoning:-
As a new driver you are more likely to have an accident in your first year after passing your test than at any other time during your driving career.
Per mile of driving, the risk of an accident involving injury or even death is about seven times greater for 17-20 year olds than those aged 40 or over.
Drivers under 21 are involved in 15% of all accident deaths.
New drivers make up just 10% of licence holders, but are involved in 29% of accidents.
There are a number of ways to keep costs as low as possible.
It is a good idea to insure yourself on a car with a small engine as this would minimise the potential damage you could do.
Make sure your car is not modified, again this will make you more attractive to insurance companies.
Explore the different types of insurances, for example- Fully comprehensive, Third party fire and theft and third party. These are explained below.
Take out a higher excess. This is the amount you have to pay before the insurance pays out. For example you damage someones property and the cost of repair is £120 and your excess is £50, then you pay £50 and the insurance pays £70.
Some companies are offering 10 month insurance policies which give a no claims discount at the end of the 10 months. Needless to say this is subject to having made no claims.
Different types of insurance.
Third party: This is the most basic insurance type, and is the minimum coverage that allows you to drive legally. Any damage you do to someone or something (not yourself or your property) "third party" is covered. All policies retain this basic cover as their basis. For a very small amount more you could upgrade to Third party fire and theft.
Third party fire and theft: This is the same as third party yet it covers you for the theft of your vehicle and or loss by fire. It is more favourable as it protects your car (against fire and theft only) as well as other people and their property. It is a cheaper way of building up a no claims bonus. If you have a more expensive vehicle which you may not have the money to replace if you were unfortunate to have an accident then Fully comprehensive may be better.
Fully comprehensive: This is the ultimate in insurance which adds you and your car to the third party fire and theft. If you write your car off it would be replaced at market value less any excess. This is the most expensive insurance but well worth it if you have a high value vehicle.
Just one final word shop around as some insurance companies really do not want young drivers and this reflects in their prices.
Cost of Tests
The Highway Code Online version
This version has been adapted for online use from the Department for Transport's current printed version of the Highway Code. In any proceedings, whether civil or criminal, only the Department for Transport's current printed version of the Code should be relied upon. To view please click the link below.