Getting a UK Driving Licence (Part 1)

Eyesight and driving licence

To drive a car your eyesight must reach a minimum standard. You must be able to read a number plate, for a car made after September 1st 2001, at a distance of 20 metres in good light. If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses to do this, that's okay, but you always need to wear them when driving. Get advice from your optician about this. They can also perform other checks, for example to test your field of vision. Your driving instructor will test your eyesight at the start of your first lesson, as will your driving examiner at the start of your practical driving test.

Before you can learn to drive you must also have a uk provisional or other acceptable form of driving licence. You can apply for your first provisional driving licence on the link below or you can get a form D1 from any post office.

You must have received your driving licence before you can drive. It's not enough to have just applied for it. When you do receive it check that your personal details are correct and if not contact the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) . This can be done online below:

Successful driving test candidate with pass certificate
Ronette Passed First Time in Chester, UK

Theory and hazard perception test

Before you can book a practical driving driving test you must first pass the theory and hazard perception test. There are two parts to the exam, multiple choice theory and hazard perception, and you need to pass both parts on the same sitting. You can study for and take the exam before taking any driving lessons or while taking them. There are quite a lot of study aids available. I recommend the following books for the multiple choice theory test part of the exam:

The Highway Code

Know Your Traffic Signs

Driving The Essential Skills

The Official DVSA Theory Test

The first three of the books above contain all the information you need to know. The fourth book one the list, The Official DVSA Theory Test, is one of the best books available to test your knowledge as you study. I particularly like the study content given at the beginning of each chapter; it presents the study material in a very concise way, which in my experience with customers, really speeds up the learning process.

To prepare for the hazard perception part of the exam you will need an app for your computer, tablet or smartphone. Steve Paddy Driving School uses Theory Test Pro and provides free and full access to all our customers. Theory Test Pro will allow your driving instructor to monitor your progress and give you help where you need it most. You can sign up for a limited free account on the link below:

Theory Test Pro

I would advise that you get the help of a driving instructor to help you to understand how to pass the hazard perception part of the exam. You can also use Theory Test Pro to help you with the multiple choice element. Above all, don't underestimate the difficulty of the theory and hazard perception test. If you study hard, using the best books, apps (and help from your driving instructor, if you need it) you should be well prepared to pass first time!

Booking the theory and hazard perception test

When you are ready for the test you can book it online on the link below. Its best not to book anywhere other than on the official government website or you risk paying too much. Car and motorcycle tests currently cost £23.00.

You can find out where you local theory test centre is on the link below:

If you have difficulties reading, a voiceover is available for the test. In some cases, you may be allowed more time. Select the options when booking online.

I hope that you found this useful. Part 2 of this series is coming soon. If there is anything you like me to cover please let me know and I'll do my best. Thanks for reading.

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