Your guide to the UK's driving tests

Everything from the practical test, through to Pass Plus and advanced driving courses

5 minutes

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Passing your driving test is a huge achievement at any age. And whilst many of us are pleased to just pass the standard driving test, there are extra courses and tests you can take to improve your driving over time.

  • Most learners have 40-50 hours of lessons before taking a practical test 
  • Once you've passed your practical test, taking a Pass Plus course is a great way to sharpen your skills further
  • The advanced driving test is designed to make you a safer driver by developing your skills across a wide range of competencies, including control, timing and road positioning

Taking a practical test is the final hurdle on the way to driving freedom

Learning to drive

You need to be at least 17 and have a provisional driving licence to learn to drive. Learner drivers quite often pay for some driving lessons with a professional instructor so they can get used to driving on the roads before going out to practice with friends or family.

LV= can add a learner driver to an existing car insurance policy. You just need to let us know a few details before they get behind the wheel so we can sort out their new driver insurance.

There are no hard and fast rules about how many hours of lessons you need before you take your driving test, but typical learner drivers in the UK have around 45 hours of lessons.

Taking your test

Your driving test involves a theory test and practical test. You need to pass the theory test before you can take your practical test.

Theory test

You can book your theory test online but it will take place under exam conditions in a special test centre. There are two sections: multiple choice questions and hazard perception. You need to pass both sections to pass your theory test. You’ll be told whether you’ve passed or failed whilst you’re at the test centre.

Practical test

When you've passed your theory test you can book a practical test. There are five parts to this test:

  • An eyesight test
  • 'Show me', 'tell me' vehicle safety questions
  • General driving ability
  • Reversing
  • Independent driving

Since the 4 December 2017, the test changed slightly and now includes:

  • 20 minutes of independent driving. This section was about 10 minutes long.
  • Following instructions from a satnav. The examiner now sets up the route and you follow the satnav during the independent driving section.
  • New reversing manoeuvres, such as parallel parking or parking in a bay.
  • Answering a vehicle safety question while you're driving.

Take a look at the Government website for more details.

Car insurance for new drivers

You've passed your test and you're ready to go solo on the roads. Now there's just your car insurance to sort out.

Car insurance is compulsory – you can't legally drive a car without it. But learner driver insurance for young and new drivers can be expensive. This is because insurance providers take age and driving experience into account when they calculate the price of your insurance.
Car insurance for young and new drivers can be expensive.

Pass Plus course

One way to improve your driving skills as a new driver is to take the Pass Plus course soon after you've passed your driving test. 

This course is specifically designed for new drivers to help them get familiar with different types of driving.

It takes about six hours and has six modules that cover driving:

  • In town
  • In all weathers
  • At night
  • On rural roads
  • On dual carriageways
  • On motorways

While there is no guarantee that your insurance premium as a learner driver will be affected by taking this course, it will make you a safer driver, which is likely to save you money on insurance in the long run.

Advanced driving test

The majority of road fatalities in the UK are due to driver error So it makes sense to improve your driving by taking an advanced driving test to reduce your chances of being involved in an accident.

The advanced driving test is designed to make you a safer driver by developing your skills across a wide range of competencies including:

  • Control
  • Observation
  • Timing
  • Optimum road positioning
  • Ability to read unpredictable roads and driver behaviour

Drivers who have fewer accidents and make fewer claims can build up a no claim discount with LV=. This is a discount on the usual price of insurance if you don't make a claim from one year to the next.

After four years of not making a claim, you have the option to protect your no claim discount with LV=. This means that your no claim discount is guaranteed no matter how many claims you make on your insurance.

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