The interactive website that partners The Car and Motorcycle Theory Test book

Starting to drive

Learning to DriveLearning to drive is one of the most complicated skills you will ever have to acquire. As well as learning the many controls and pedals in the car, you will have to obey the rules of the road, take into account the differing road and weather conditions and be aware of other road users and anticipate their potential actions – in most driving scenarios you will have to use all of these skills at the same time.

Virtually all learners (98%) have professional tuition and you will probably benefit the most from that tuition when you first start to learn. To develop confidence it is important that your experience of learning to drive is a positive one from the outset. A professional instructor can ensure this will be the case by:

  • Providing you with a structured course of tuition
  • Selecting routes and roads that are appropriate to your experience
  • Not overloading you by asking you to perform tasks that are too advanced or taking you into inappropriate traffic situations
  • Providing a well-maintained vehicle usually fitted with dual controls for your safety and comfort.

The DSA have set out a driving syllabus of topics that you need to learn, practice and master to be able pass the UK practical driving test and to become a competent driver. It is called the "Driver's Record for Pupils" and can acquire a copy from our Download Section.

It lists the main topics and skills required, and as each topic is introduced your instructor can then grade your progress according to your ability. The grades are as follows:

  • topic introduced
  • under full instruction
  • prompted
  • seldom prompted
  • independant

You can see that the higher the grade the more competent you are becoming at a particular skill and, consequently, less reliant on your instructor.

Remember, you are not merely preparing to pass a test, you are learning the driving skills you will require for the next 50 or 60 years (hopefully). So it is important that you have thorough training via a comprehensive and structured course.