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Block driving lessons: a guide to cost & availability

Block driving lessons: a guide to prices and availability

Learners usually choose block driving lessons for a good reason.

 

Maybe they need a fast pass for a new job opportunity or so that they can drive themselves to college or university.

 

Perhaps they’ve already started learning how to drive and they’re getting fed up with stagnant driving lessons.

 

They could even be eyeing up an intensive because they've failed a driving test in the past and want to get over the line as quickly as possible.

 

Whatever the motivation, crash courses are tempting because they deliver the goods fast. Does one of these scenarios sound familiar?

 

If so, you might be wondering how many sessions you’ll need, how much block driving lessons cost and where you can find them?

 

So, here’s the inside scoop…

 

How many lessons does it take to drive?

 

With normal driving lessons, on average, learners take 52 hours of tuition before they pass their test. With intensive courses, they don’t need nearly as much.

 

Complete beginners can learn to drive and pass their test with 40 hours of block driving lessons. Some people might even be able to do it in 32.

 

Learners who’ve had instruction before will need fewer lessons. 

 

They can choose between 12 and 32 hours of lesson time depending on their experience and level of comfort.

 

How much is a block of driving lessons?

 

Crash course prices vary depending on the intensive you choose and at Learn, Think, Drive, all our packages offer great value. 

 

Whether you’re looking for cheap intensive driving courses for beginners or after cost-effective refresher lessons for experienced learners, we’ll always help you save money.

 

Take the average Joe or Jane as a quick example. 

 

When they’re learning to drive, they’ll normally shell out a minimum of £1,248 (52 hours of driving lessons x £24, the average cost of a driving lesson in the UK). 

 

That price doesn’t include tests and the whole learning process will take at least a year.

 

Meanwhile, a block booking of 40 hours would cost a learner £1,375 to get their pass. That price includes both the theory (if required) and practical tests. Plus, everything would be done and dusted in 2 weeks.

 

In summary, intensives save you time, money and hassle.

 

What is the best intensive course?

 

The best intensive driving course is the one that suits your level of skill and experience, plus your ability to cope under pressure.

 

If you’re new to driving, one of the longer courses is needed. Much as you’d like to, you can’t expect to learn how to drive in a week from scratch and breeze through your test in 5 days flat.

 

By contrast, if you’ve had lessons before, one of the shorter courses will be more suitable. There’s no point having a long intensive because you don’t require as many lessons - these courses are just about plugging a few holes here and there.

 

Ultimately, there is no best intensive course as such. Assuming that you’ve found a reliable driving school with good reviews, the key to success is in picking the right course for you.

 

Where can I find block driving lessons near me?

 

The bigger the driving school, the wider the area it will cover. We offer block driving lessons all over the UK (we cover 99% of postcodes to be precise).

 

Basically, when you book with us, you’ll always be able to find a local course no matter where you live. Finding an intensive course near you is really simple.

 

Just head here and follow the instructions. And if you’ve got any questions, please fire away. We’re here to help.

 

Are block driving lessons worth it?

 

Intensive courses are incredible and solve a huge problem. They teach people how to do something complicated and frustrating in a short period of time.

 

Learning to drive is a big thing and intensive driving courses help pupils pass their test quickly, saving them time, money and hassle in the process.

 

Intensive lessons are available all over the country and so long as you can block out a week or two of your time to dedicate to a course, you’re good to go.

Are you ready for a driving course?

Let's reserve your spot today.

Ready to start?

Let's reserve you a spot on a course right away.

Need help?

Read our ultimate guide to intensive courses.

How to pass your Theory Test [epic 2019 guide]

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Using an intensive to complete your training

Using an intensive course to complete your training

If you’ve had driving lessons in the past and you’re thinking of booking yourself onto an intensive course to complete your training, that could be a good move. 

 

You see, not all intensive driving courses are for complete beginners.

 

In fact, many of them are specifically designed for learners who’ve had tuition before and desperately want to pass their test.

 

If you’ve got some driving experience and you’re wondering whether an intensive will work for you, we're here to help. There tend to be 3 main scenarios where a crash course can step in and save the day, so let us explain. 

 

Reason 1: You’re going nowhere with your regular lessons

 

If you’re having weekly lessons with a driving instructor, it’s very easy to slip into a routine, reach a plateau and find yourself stagnating.

 

Maybe it’s got something to do with how often you get behind the wheel. After all, it’s hard to push on as quickly as you’d like when you’re only driving for an hour or two every so often.

 

Perhaps your instructor can’t connect with you very well and you’re not getting lessons that are tailored to your strengths and weaknesses. 

 

Your instructor is probably teaching other pupils. Maybe they’re taking you out for spin immediately after someone else and it’s hard for them to focus accurately on your progress.

 

Perhaps they can’t understand what you’re capable because they only see you every so often.

 

Whatever the reason, don’t be like most UK learners, who take over a year to pass their test and waste a lot of money taking pointless lessons. 

 

If you’re getting fed up with doing the same old thing every session and you don’t feel like you’re constantly progressing towards your test, you should stop.

 

Instead, take an intensive driving course for experienced pupils – that will fill in the gaps, bring you up to speed and help you pass your test quickly.

 

After all, as Einstein once said, the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

 

Reason 2: You’ve failed a driving test in the past 

 

Failing a driving test isn’t nice, but the pass rate in the UK is about 46%. In other words, over half of all learners fail their test, so if this has happened to you, you’re definitely not alone.

 

You still desperately want to pass your test and drive, so the key thing is to decide what to do next. Do you want to go back to your old instructor? Because that didn’t work out last time.

 

Are you going to have additional lessons with a different driving school? That’s an option, but there’s no guarantee that more of the same won’t mean getting another fail.

 

There’s the cost issue of scheduling more sessions as well, since you won’t really know how many lessons you’ll need next time around. Once again, you’ll have to blindly take your instructor’s lead and hope that they know what they’re doing.

 

And aside from the money, what about the time implications? Just the thought of taking more lessons for months on end is depressing enough.

 

However, an intensive driving course that's been created precisely for learners who have failed one or more tests is a brilliant alternative.

 

Reason 3: You’ve taken driving lessons a while ago and stopped

 

Many people start learning to drive and are put off driving for some reason, causing them to temporarily abandon their L-plates for a while. 

 

That could be because of a failed test, a bad experience with a driving instructor or perhaps a crisis of confidence from something that's gone wrong. 

 

If this sounds like you, it doesn’t really matter why you've stopped learning to drive as we have a number of refresher courses that will repair any damage and get you over the line.

 

These intensive courses have been created to get you back behind the wheel, touch up on the basics and get you to where you need to be.

 

Our driving instructors are incredibly experienced. They’ve seen everything before and there’s nothing that they can’t fix.

 

Trust us, an intensive course will get the job done

 

There are many flaws with taking traditional driving lessons. 

 

Driving is a complex thing to master and pupils understandably want to learn everything as quickly as possible so that they can pass their test and hit the road without delay.

 

Mixing infrequent and ineffective tuition with impatient learners isn’t going to end well. However, we can take what you already know about driving and make this happen.

 

Whatever your level of experience, our intensives will complete your training once and for all. That pass is within your reach. 


Are you ready for a driving course?

Let's reserve your spot today.

Ready to start?

Let's reserve you a spot on a course right away.

Need help?

Read our ultimate guide to intensive courses.

How to pass your Theory Test [epic 2019 guide]

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11 myths about intensive driving courses

Revealed: 11 myths about intensive driving courses

Are you on the fence about taking an intensive driving course?


If you are, it might be because of all the myths out there about intensives, most of which are either unhelpful or just flat out untrue.


It’s no wonder that you’re not sure what to do. Learning to drive is a memorable moment in life: a rite of passage. Committing to an intensive course is a big decision and inaccurate rumours don’t help anyone. 


With this in mind, we decided to take 11 of the most common myths about intensive driving courses in a bid to expose the truth and give you some clarity. Then you can make an informed decision about whether taking one of these courses is right for you.


Problem 1: Will I be guaranteed a pass with an intensive? 


Myth: If you take an intensive driving course, you're guaranteed to pass your test


The truth:


We probably get asked more about guaranteed passes than anything else. A lot of people mistakenly assume that simply taking an intensive course is enough to get them a pass.


However, all UK driving tests are arranged through the government and are carried out by independent examiners. It’s quite simple: no driving school can test a learner, so no driving school can guarantee a pass. 


But it’s not all bad news. We think that you’re entitled to some assurances when you’re booking an intensive and at Learn, Think, Drive, we promise that you’ll be completely ready for your driving test after taking one of our courses. 


We’ll ensure that you have all the tools, skills and knowledge you need to pass your driving test easily. And given our impressive stats, we think that’s as close to a guaranteed pass as you’ll get.


Plus, you know what? If you’re the type of person who needs some sort of security, then don’t worry. Should the unthinkable happen and you do fail your test, we won’t just leave you in the lurch. We have a tried and trusted plan for what happens next.


Problem 2: How difficult are intensive driving courses?


Myth: Taking an intensive course is easier than having traditional lessons


The truth:


Intensives are more effective than regular lessons in terms of pass rates because of the heightened level of focus. However, it doesn’t change the fact that driving is a complex activity that requires both physical and mental training.


We’re not sure why people would assume that taking an intensive course is easy. Maybe they think intensives miss out certain things in order to meet the shorter deadlines?


In reality, the requirements are exactly the same regardless of whether you’re learning to drive across 14 days or 14 months. But obviously the shorter the timeframe, the more of a challenge it will be for the average Joe or Jane.


Taking an intensive is definitely more difficult than having non-intensive lessons.


Problem 3: Is the Theory Test still required with an intensive?


Myth: If you're taking an intensive course, learners don't need to pass a Theory Test


The truth:


Many learners are so seduced by the thought of learning to drive and passing their test in a week or so, that they forget about the rules of the road.


By law, all UK learners must pass a Theory Test before they can take a practical test. You definitely need your theory - absolutely nothing changes just because you’re being fast-tracked via an intensive course. 


Okay, so is this an issue? Well, if you take an intensive having already passed your Theory Test, then no. But if you book yourself onto a course and you haven’t got your theory, there are a couple of potential scenarios which are worth knowing about.


Intensive or otherwise, both your theory and practical test must be arranged through a third-party (the government). If you book an intensive with us, we’ll organise and pay for both your tests, but obviously we can’t guarantee exactly when your tests will take place.


Most of the time, everything will flow smoothly and run according to plan. You’ll start your intensive, take your theory test and then have your practical at the end of your course.


However, if you fail your theory, this might cause an issue. We’ll need to rearrange another theory test and if there’s delay, this means cancelling and rescheduling your practical too. It’s unlikely to happen, but it’s good to be aware. 


It’s also worth mentioning that if your practical test has to be rescheduled, there might be a delay between the end of your course and the test taking place. 


Again, that won’t normally happen. We have ways and means of finding you the earliest tests available in your area (plus we’ll keep you posted on any last-minute cancellations that you can take advantage of). And most of the time, your practical test will take place as soon as your course ends.


For these reasons, we always advise pupils to take and pass their Theory Test before booking an intensive driving course. It just makes everything way easier going forward. 


However, it’s not obligatory. If you just want to start your intensive, that’s fine too. Just be aware of what can happen from time to time and be prepared to show a bit of flexibility if required. 


By the way, if you'd like help passing your Theory Test, check out our epic guide.


Problem 4: Are intensive courses a good thing? 


Myth: Learners don't get enough driving experience and intensives aren't very safe


The truth:


Intensives are perfectly safe. For starters, pupils on crash courses don’t skip over anything on the driving syllabus. You’ll learn exactly the same things on an intensive as you would taking weekly lessons – you’ll just be on a much tighter schedule.


The driving test is there to ensure that a learner is fit, able and responsible enough to drive on UK roads in a safe and reliable manner. An intensive course needs to bring learners up to that standard.


When people refer to these courses as being unsafe and dangerous, they tend to talk about the lack of comparative experience that a learner gets on an intensive in relation to when you have regular, more traditional driving lessons.


But this just isn’t accurate. 


For starters, experience is entirely subjective. Who dictates how much experience a driver needs? And whether an individual learner requires more or less experience than someone else? 


Intensives aren’t about just passing a test. We believe in creating drivers with good, ingrained habits who will drive safely for the rest of their lives. After passing their test, experience is just something they’ll acquire day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.


Let’s be more granular, too.


Many of our shorter intensives aren’t for rookie driver and require learners to have various degrees of experience. Meanwhile, our 40-hour intensive (which is for complete beginners) is incredibly thorough and stands up well to a learner who has one lesson per week for a year (52 hours).


Moreover, we’d argue that the method of learning with an intensive is more effective. In other words, a learner is more likely to develop long-lasting skills if it’s all they’re doing for a few weeks. 


If anything, someone taking weekly lessons in a less intensive environment is much more likely to forget a lot of what they’ve been taught over time. 


Really, the only genuine point about experience that holds any weight at all is the fact that pupils on an intensive course don’t get to practise driving in various weather conditions.


But look, we live in the UK. Unless we’re in some sort of freakish heatwave, chances are you’ll see sun, cloud, rain, fog, mist and maybe more even if your intensive only lasts a week. 


Problem 5: Will I save much money with an intensive?


Myth: Intensive driving courses are an expensive way to learn how to drive


The truth:


It’s easy for the price of an intensive driving course to cause a sharp intake of breath. But are they expensive in comparison to singular lessons? 


Most driving lessons will cost between £20-35 depending on where you live. The average cost of a lesson is £24 and the average number of hours’ tuition required is 52. 


So, if you’re taking the normal route, you’d better set aside at least £1,248 (don’t forget that figure doesn’t include one or more tests).


Now take a look at our intensive driving course prices. 


Our pass-in-a-week course is £1,199 and includes both tests. Basically, you’ll save a lot of money with an intensive (and time, too).


Problem 6: Can I take an intensive course in an automatic car?


Myth: Intensive driving courses are only for people who want to drive manual cars


The truth:


Yes, you can. And the good news is that learning to drive in an automatic is easier. 

There is a slight downer with automatic driving lessons though.


Automatic intensive driving courses are slightly more expensive because they’re extremely popular, plus it’s sometimes a little trickier to align an automatic car for learners with a trained instructor.


Problem 7: Are crash courses worth it?


Myth: Intensive courses are unpredictable and unreliable


The truth:


Intensive driving courses are actually very reliable and extremely effective.


The pass rate for intensives is really high at most driving schools; much better than the percentage that the average learner faces if they take a test after having lessons in the traditional way.


The average pass rate for UK learners has been hovering at around 47% for the last 10 years or so, meaning that over half of all people fail their test.


At Learn, Think, Drive, our pass rate is over 90%.

Are you ready for a driving course?

Let's reserve your spot today.

Ready to start?

Let's reserve you a spot on a course right away.

Need help?

Read our ultimate guide to intensive courses.

How to pass your Theory Test [epic 2019 guide]

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Should I take crash course driving lessons?

Should I take crash course driving lessons? 

If you want to learn how to drive and you’re considering whether to book crash course driving lessons, this article is for you.


Taking a crash course means learning to drive and passing your test in a very short space of time.


For instance, although we offer a variety of intensives, it’s possible to get everything done and dusted in a week. ​What’s more, you’ll even save money, too. But as awesome as all this sounds, they’re definitely not for everyone.


Many people assume intensives are easy, so we’re going to take a close look at how they work and what you need to prepare for.


What to expect from an intensive course


Book yourself onto a crash course and you’ll be busy for a week or two.


You’ll need to block out a large chunk of your time and be ready for 4 hours of tuition each day, normally starting at either 8am or 1pm.


(Please note that these times are just our recommended schedule options - we can be flexible and work around your schedule).


Your intensive will begin with your instructor going over some of the basics and quickly ascertaining your level of driving skill and experience.


That won’t take long. Don’t forget that your instructor will already have some idea of your driving ability from the initial introduction made after the booking.


After that, the strategy will depend on your situation.


For example, if you’re a beginner, you’ll need to follow a different path to that of an experienced learner who has failed a test before and just wants to complete their training.


How to handle driving every day


Are multiple 4-hour driving sessions tiring? It depends on the individual. They certainly can be if you’re not used to it, but equally, some people find it a breeze.


For them, learning to drive is exciting and fun, whilst the promise of what awaits is motivation enough. We hope that’s the same for everyone who books with us.


Just in case you’re concerned about handling 12-40 hours of driving in the space of 1-2 weeks, remember there are things you can do to help.


Be sure to get a good night’s sleep before each session and avoid alcohol or any stodgy foods that might slow your brain down.


Stay fresh and everything will be easier.


Try not to get emotional when you’re put under pressure


If you book yourself onto an intensive, you must accept that having 4 hours of driving tuition every day (with a test at the end of the course) brings with it a certain amount of pressure.


If you’re taking non-intensive driving lessons and you struggle to master a particular maneuver, it’s not really a big deal. Your instructor can leave that aspect of driving for a while and come back to it in a few weeks.


However, you obviously don’t have that luxury with an intensive and you’ll need to push through.


But don’t fret. Remember that you’ll have an instructor by your side who is experienced at delivering intensives - they’ll have seen everything before and will be very understanding.


Will I cope with an intensive driving course?


Picking the right course is key to coping. As a general guideline, most learners will need at least 40 hours of professional driving instruction.


So, if you’re a total beginner, you can’t book yourself onto a pass-in-a-week intensive course since it only involves 20 hours of lessons - it won’t be enough.


Equally, if you’re an experienced learner who just needs to perfect a couple of things, there’s no point in booking a 40-hour intensive course. You don’t need that much tuition.


But assuming that you’ve chosen an intensive course that matches your existing level of driving experience and skill, you’ll do amazing.


In fact, you’ll probably surprise yourself. Learners who begin an intensive and initially feel a bit overwhelmed tend to adapt quickly as the course goes on, because their confidence increases as they build on all their new skills.


Does that help fill in the blanks?


Be realistic when you’re deciding whether you should take an intensive course.


They certainly work, but understand that learning to drive in 1-2 weeks is a sizeable task. Essentially, most people will be fine so long as they’re on the appropriate course.


Many driving schools will let you book an intensive and will happily take your money without batting an eyelid. They won’t care whether you’ll be able to cope.


But we’re different. We want you to be totally comfortable when you book a course with us. You now know the pros and cons, so can you cope? Is an intensive driving course worth it for you?


Learning to drive and passing your test should be fun and exciting, not a painful chore to be endured.


Take your time to consider whether an intensive is right for you. Ultimately, the final decision is yours but hopefully this article has put things into perspective.

Are you ready for a driving course?

Let's reserve your spot today.

Ready to start?

Let's reserve you a spot on a course right away.

Need help?

Read our ultimate guide to intensive courses.

How to pass your Theory Test [epic 2019 guide]

A man looking worried

Do intensive driving courses work?

Do intensive driving courses work?

On average, learners require 52 hours of lessons and take over a year to pass their test, so the idea of passing your test in a week or so is a tempting one. 

 

An intensive driving course is pretty appealing, especially when you consider that an intensive saves you money as well as time.

 

However, it’s important to be realistic and practical. 

 

We’ve specifically looked at whether it’s really possible to learn to drive in a week before, but let’s now be a little more general: 

 

As a concept, do intensive driving courses actually work?

 

And if they do, why?

 

If you’re wondering whether you should take an intensive course, we’re going to look at the facts behind them so that you can make a more informed and rational decision.


Intensive courses have really high pass rates

 

If you take an intensive, you're really likely to pass the test at the end of the course.


Seriously, if you were to look at the stats, it's not even funny.


Intensive courses have a great pass rate, especially when compared to the average pass rate for normal lessons in the UK (which is only about 46%). 


Let us explain why...

 

Learning to drive is demanding. There’s plenty to think about and it you take lessons every week, it’s easy to forget what you were taught (certainly some of the more subtle things).

 

By contrast, intensives don’t allow for this to happen. Because of the frequency of the lessons, learners tend to pick up the fundamentals much quicker.

 

And of course, with an intensive, you’re usually taking a test after your last session whilst everything’s still fresh in your mind.


However, despite all this, let's make one thing really clear:


If you take an intensive course, we can’t guarantee that you’ll pass the test at the end. 


But no driving school can. All driving tests are carried out by independent examiners, so there’s no such thing as a guaranteed pass. 

 

And that's also the case if you were taking traditional driving lessons.


Ultimately, we can't speak for other driving schools. But if you choose to take an intensive course with us, we’re really confident that we can help any learner, so long as they choose a course befitting their level of skill, knowledge and experience.


How long does it take to pass a crash course?

 

It depends on the course you choose. 

 

We offer a number of different options, from short refresher courses for learners who’ve had lessons before, through to 40-hour intensives for beginners.

 

Everything comes down to previous driving experience and your level of skill, confidence and comfort.


And we give our pupils the chance to adjust the course (in terms of duration, plus adding lessons and removing sessions). So, the course schedule will also play a role. 

 

Are intensive driving courses safe?

 

Pupils learn exactly the same things on an intensive as they do when they’re taking lessons on a weekly basis, so they’re perfectly safe.

 

One argument against intensives is that pupils don’t pick up as much driving experience as they do with traditional lesson schedules.

 

That’s kind of true. Certainly as far as weather conditions go. If you book an intensive course in the summer, then you won’t know what it’s like to drive in icy conditions.

 

But if we stop and think about it, is this a truly valid argument? How much extra experience will you actually build up with one lesson a week over a number of months? It’s debatable.

 

And anyway, experience is relative. The likelihood is that you’ll see something new every time you get behind the wheel, so where do you draw the line?

 

Ultimately, we think that the test is there for a reason – to prove that you can drive safely. And if you can pass the test, you’re good to go.

 

Some people wonder if intensives are a good thing, but there are no short cuts and experience can be built up over time after you've passed your test.

 

Are intensive driving courses worth it?

 

You might be wondering whether intensive driving courses are worth it in terms of value. Well, in terms of time, it’s a no-brainer. 

 

The average learner in the UK takes over a year to become test-ready, so even if you were to take the longest course we offer and stretch it out over a few weeks, you’d still be saving months of your life.

 

That’s particularly important if you’ve got to pass your test quickly because of a job opportunity or if you need to travel to college.

 

As for money, a crash course will save you cash too. 

 

On the surface, it’s easy to become put off at the cost of most intensives.


They don’t seem that cheap at first glance, particularly when you’re laying down a deposit and then having to pay the rest quite soon after.

 

But, in reality, this is a mere inconvenience. A crash course will put money back in your pocket over the long-term. 

 

Suppose you were to have one lesson a week for a year (which is a conservative guess). If you had lessons with a driving instructor who charged £35 an hour, you’d be forking out £1,820.

 

That doesn't guarantee you a pass, nor does it include a theory test or a practical driving test.

 

Compare that to our pass-in-a-week course for instance, where you’ll pay £1,199, get all your tests arranged and paid for as part of the service, plus be much more likely to pass.

 

Money-wise, there's a huge difference – in this case, a saving of over £600. Then you've got the time element and the luxury of having everything sorted out for you.


Surely that’s got to be worth the short-term financial hit?

 

Can you handle what an intensive brings?

 

Many people ask if an intensive course is easy and the answer is no. Some people might find them okay but it’s challenging for most learners.

 

You learn the same things on an intensive as you would during traditional, long-term driving lessons… only on a much tighter schedule. Whilst a crash course might seem doable, don’t underestimate the extra stress that comes with having a test looming.

 

Suddenly, failing to grasp a particular manoeuvre becomes more frustrating and you need to prepare for a pretty hectic time.

 

Essentially, intensive driving courses are for people who need to pass their test quickly (maybe for a job or students who have to travel to college).


The point is, unless you're someone that works well under pressure, you need a reason for taking an intensive. You need a clear incentive.

 

If not, just wanting to pass quicker might not be a good enough reason to take one of these courses.

 

If you’re having second thoughts, don’t worry. Deciding whether to take an intensive or not isn't a question of coping with either a week of hell or boring lessons for months on end - there are plenty of options which will offer the best of both worlds.


How about a semi-intensive driving course as a compromise?

 

A semi-intensive driving course is spread out over a little more time. So, instead of racing through everything you need to learn in just a week or two, you could stretch out the schedule.

 

You’d still be saving loads of time and money. 

 

What happens if I start an intensive and don’t like it?

 

You might find an intensive course really easy, but we think it's important to be upfront about the demands that come with them so that you make the right decision for you. 


Because of the logistical demands of organising an intensive (from blocking out extensive sessions in an instructor's calendar through to booking tests), we don’t offer refunds once a course has started.


There might be an opportunity to adjust how the course plays out once it's started, but this is at your instructor's discretion. Once it's begun, it must be completed one way or another.

 

And whilst it’s our job to make sure you get a pass, we’ll need your help as well.

 

A crash course will require hard work and dedication. As such, for an intensive course to get the desire result, you’ll need to be highly motivated and to be good at coping under pressure. 


In summary, intensive driving courses definitely work, but only with the right learner.

Are you ready for a driving course?

Let's reserve your spot today.

Ready to start?

Let's reserve you a spot on a course right away.

Need help?

Read our ultimate guide to intensive courses.

How to pass your Theory Test [2019 guide]

A driver looking thoughtful

Failed your driving test? Here’s an 11-step action plan

Failed your driving test? Here's an 11-step
action plan to get you that pass

If you’ve recently failed your driving test, we feel your pain.

 

The thought of taking all those lessons and putting in so much hard work for nothing is pretty depressing, right?

 

But don’t chuck in the towel yet. 

 

For starters, realise that you’re not alone - failing a driving test is actually both perfectly normal and a very common occurrence. 

 

In fact, the pass rate in Britain has been hovering around 46% for the past decade. That’s right, around 1.4million people take a test every year and less than half of them pass it.

 

(And remember, we're talking about a general pass rate for drivers across the board. The specific rate for passing a test first time is even lower.)

 

Therefore, given how often this happens, the important thing is to work out why you failed, how to cope, how you can improve and precisely what you should do next.

 

You’ve probably got loads of questions and if you’re wondering where to go from here, don't worry - we've got your back.


This article will put your mind at rest, give you the answers you need and offer you direction.

 

We're going to start by running through some of the more common questions that learners ask themselves at this stage and putting things into perspective. Then we'll assemble all the info into an 11-step action plan to get you the pass you so desperately want.


If you’re still dreaming of freedom, let’s make this happen.


Why did I fail my driving test?

 

It’s important to remember what your examiner explained to you when your test finished.  


Hearing the awful confirmation is upsetting. But whilst you might have zoned out to your tester's summary, try to recall any feedback. You should also have a test report to look at, which will highlight the mistakes you made.


It's important to fully understand how you're actually tested.

 

No one drives perfectly and every time you take a test, you’ll be judged on how many faults you make. Examiners divide faults into 2 categories – minor and major faults.

 

Minor faults are errors that typically aren’t dangerous. Suppose you didn’t check your mirror when moving around a parked car. It's not ideal, but equally, it’s not something that will affect any other road users.

 

Major faults tend to be mistakes that potentially put you, the public or property in danger. Let's use the same example. Perhaps you didn’t check a mirror when moving around a parked car, but this time a cyclist was close behind.


It's the same error, but now someone's life was put in danger. This time, it's categorised as a major or serious incident.


How many errors can you make during a driving test?

 

On the driving test, pupils can make 15 minor faults and still pass, so it's not like you have to drive perfectly. Most people will make at least one fault during their test (last year, only 1% of UK learners passed their test with no mistakes).

 

However, it’s possible to make less than 15 minors and fail. It just depends on the type of minors being made. 

 

In other words, are they all related to same sort of thing?

 

For instance, consider a learner who was repeated making minor errors when it comes to checking mirrors. Even though we're talking about small faults in different scenarios, an examiner might assume a pattern of behaviour is developing and fail the pupil.

 

Meanwhile, it's a lot simpler at the other end of the spectrum - any major faults would automatically induce a fail. Anything serious and it's game over.


What's the most common reason for failing a driving test?

 

Obviously there are endless reasons why a learner driver might fail their driving test.


But whether you want reassurance or ideas of things to work on, the common reasons make for interesting reading.


In order, the top 10 reasons for UK learners failing the driving test are:


  1. Observation at junctions (11.9%)
  2. Use of mirrors (8.2%)
  3. Inappropriate speed (5.1%)
  4. Steering control (4.7%)
  5. Reversing around a corner (4.3%)
  6. Incorrect positioning (4.2%)
  7. Moving away safely (4.2%)
  8. Use of signals (4.1%)
  9. Reverse parking (3.7%)
  10. Turn in the road (3.5%)

How long do you have to wait until you can rebook your driving test?

 

Learners have to wait a minimum of 10 days before they can book and retake a driving course. However, some of the larger test centres have long waiting lists and you could be waiting a while.


But maybe that's not a bad thing?

 

Really, if you're trying to work out when you should book another driving test, you should consider the context of your previous disappointment.


In other words, did you fail just because of nerves? Or was the fail down to technical driving errors? And if so, how many errors are we talking about?

 

The answers to these questions will dictate the amount of extra tuition and practice you'll need in order to improve your chances of passing next time.


What happens if you fail a driving test multiple times?

 

In short, nothing. If you’ve failed your driving test more than once, don’t fret - there’s no maximum number of tests you can take.

 

Yes it’s frustrating to fail the driving test 3 times, 4 times or more (and your pride might take a hit), but it can easily happen. Again, you're not alone.

 

In 2017, 15,000 people took their test for the 6th time and their pass rate was a mere 38%. And in 2016, the DVSA announced that England’s worst 20 learner drivers had attempted the practical test more than 700 times between them.

 

And this should make you feel better:


The cheapest driving test costs £62, so if they paid that amount each time, that would equate to £43,000 spent solely on tests.

 

We don’t know whether any there are any world records for having the most failed driving tests, but the UK has its fair share of bad test results.

 

And whilst we can applaud the determination of someone who has taken 100s of tests, at some point, you have to take a step back and examine the method of instruction.

 

Perhaps some of these learners would have been better off with a more intensive and focused approach to driving tuition.


Why not use an intensive driving course to complete your training?

 

The natural urge might be to call up your previous driving instructor, tell them about your feedback, schedule in some more lessons, book another test and go again.

 

But are you sure that he or she can rebuild your confidence, interpret the driving test report well and bring you up to speed?

 

Using your previous instructor isn’t always the right thing to do. Their job is to make sure that you’re ready for your test and they previously thought you were up to standard before.


Whatever you did wrong, they essentially failed too and it might be an idea to get a fresh pair of eyes on your driving skills. 

 

And whilst you can always find a new instructor or choose a fresh driving school, it might be better to opt for an intensive course that’s specifically designed to complete your training and deliver a quick pass.

 

We offer an intensive courses that's especially for learners who’ve had lessons at other schools, failed their test and don’t want to wait ages for a pass.

 

Our intensives fill in any gaps and get the job done quickly.


It's a 12-hour course that's usually completed over 3 days and if you were to book yourself in, we'd arrange and pay for your test as part of the service.


But the point is, our crash course is delivered by a driving instructor who is trained to quickly ascertain what happened in your test and to make sure it doesn't happen again.


The level of sheer focus makes for a different ball game.


For us, that seems like a much better option than going back to the same driving instructor who couldn't get the job done last time.


It's also better than taking more of the same sorts of driving lessons, with no real idea whether they'll ultimately deliver what you want.


Something important to remember

 

Whether you return to your old instructor or not, it’s important to get back behind the wheel as soon as possible after your failed test. Just like a kid failing off a bike, you don’t want to overthink things and leave it too long.

 

Any extended break from driving can cause anxiety and worry to build up, which won’t help matters. Instead, see your fail for what it is… part of the journey.


Right, let's wrap all this up into something you can sink your teeth into...

How to recover and get a pass after 

failing a driving test (an 11-step action plan)

1

Take a w​​​​​ell-ea​rned break

There's no harm in forgetting about driving for a bit. Chill out for a day or two, put things into perspective and realise that in the UK, over 50% of people fail their driving test at any given time. What's happened is quite normal, no matter why you failed.

2

Examine the facts

Don't drive yourself mad thinking about what happened. Memories are imperfect

and your mind will play tricks on you. Look at your driving test report and revisit

the feedback from your examiner, because awareness is key.

3

Speak openly with other drivers

Again, loads of people fail driving tests. Many fail more than one. So talk about

what happened with friends and family members. Don’t bottle anything up because

that will hinder your ability to put this disappointment behind you.

4

Make a technical assessment

Decide the primary reason for failing. Was it nerves or was there one or more

technical issues that need working on? Either way, write it down on a piece of paper,

pin it up on a wall and be clear on what you need to improve for next time.

5

It's time to get driving again

Once your mini-break is over, it's important to get back behind

the wheel for a drive as soon as possible. Ask a friend or family member

to hop in a motor, even if you just go round the block.

6

Evaluate your previous tuition

Think about your previous driving lessons in conjunction with the errors that

caused the failure. Analyse whether your previous driving instructor is the right

person to bring you up to speed or if a fresh approach would be best.

7

Take some strategic action

Either call up your previous driving instructor, find a new driving school or

pick an intensive driving course that focuses on getting learners who have

previously failed a test to pass next time around.

8

Book another driving test

If you’re using a driving instructor, work on your skills and then book yourself

in for another driving test when you both think you’re ready. If you’re on an intensive,

don’t worry – the test will happen at the end of the crash course.

9

Prepare for the next test

Get ready for your next driving test by paying special attention to the areas 

where you struggled last time. Having a laser-focused approach and strengthening

your weaknesses will pay dividends when it comes to the big day.

10

Get your mentality right

The last time was just a blip. Think of the previous test as simply practice

and make sure you're confident. You were probably ready for your driving test

last time, but you're definitely in a much better position now.

11

It's time to grab that pass

Okay, it's showtime again. You have the necessary driving skills to pass

and because you've already experienced failure, you're actually in a solid position

mentally. The worst has happened before so there's nothing to fear.

Now it's over to you...

 

You might have failed a test, but it happens. Maybe you’ve failed more than once. It doesn’t matter. It’s time to move on and set your sights on the next target.

 

With us, you’re in safe hands.

 

You understand how many people fail tests and why. You also know what happened in your situation. And now have a logical and reliable plan to follow.


Something that will help you cope with and process what happened last time around.


Something that will give you a path to follow.


Something that's been created with just one goal in mind:

 

To help you pass your test.

 

Let’s get it done.

Are you ready for a driving course?

Let's reserve your spot today.

Ready to start?

Let's reserve you a spot on a course right away.

Need help?

Read our ultimate guide to intensive courses.

How to pass your Theory Test [2019 guide]

A hand planting seeds

How a refresher driving course can save the day

How a refresher driving course can save the day

People stop learning to drive for a variety of reasons.

 

It could be because of a failed test.


Maybe a specific maneuver has proved to be particularly tricky to master and frustration has boiled over. 

 

Perhaps it’s down to a bad experience with a driving instructor.

 

And sometimes there’s no real reason at all; life might have just gotten in the way. 


Regardless, stuff happens.

 

If you’ve stopped taking driving lessons but you haven’t given up hope of passing your test, you’re in luck. 


A refresher driving course is the answer to your problems.

 

What is a refresher driving course?

 

It’s a set of driving lessons with a very specific goal:

 

To bring people who’ve previously had lessons back up to speed, to complete their training and to help them pass their test (which is taken at the end of the course).

 

And, as a type of intensive course, the aim is to do all this as quickly as possible.

 

After all, if you’ve had some sort of driving tuition in the past, you don’t want to feel like you’re re-committing to lessons for months on end again.

 

How do refresher driving courses work?

 

After booking yourself onto a course, your instructor will give you a call to say hello and find out a bit about your driving background.

 

Once your course begins, he or she will use the first session to  assess your ability. 


Don’t worry – this isn’t something to worry about.


This is done so your instructor can quickly map out the course to make it as effective as possible.

 

This fact-finding mission needs to be done because everyone’s different. Some people are nervous drivers. Many struggle with reversing. Others can't negotiate roundabouts. 

 

Some learners aren't good with signs. A few pupils are essentially test-ready and competent drivers but they just need a few bad habits ironed out.

 

Your level of skill really doesn’t matter. Our talented team of instructors have been teaching people to drive for a long time and have seen it all before.

 

The end goal is the same – to tailor each refresher course accordingly so that each learner can pass their test a week or two.


Which is why all of our refresher driving courses come with a practical test at the end.

 

The awesome news about refresher driving courses

 

You might be feeling a bit down at the prospect of having more driving lessons, but guess what?

 

Not only will you be saving time and money with a refresher course but, if you’ve had instruction before, that’s a great base and you won’t need so much tuition next time around.

 

No matter what’s happened in the past and what you perceive your driving ability to be, crucial seeds have been sown and an experienced instructor can capitalise on this existing knowledge and fill in any gaps quickly.

 

How long is a refresher driving course?

 

We offer a number of different crash courses that last anywhere between 12 and 40 hours. 

 

Quite simply, the refresher driving course you need will depend on how many lessons you’ve had and how comfortable you are behind the wheel.

 

Refresher courses are designed to be unique and bespoke in nature, so if you’d like to book yourself on one and you’re unsure what’s the best option, get in touch.

 

How much do refresher driving courses cost?

 

Again, this depends on the course and how many hours of extra tuition you’ll need. A 12-hour refresher course will clearly be the cheapest, whilst a 40-hour intensive will cost the most.

 

As such, prices vary between £500 and £1,400.

 

Where can I find a refresher driving course near me?

 

At Learn, Think, Drive, we operate all over the UK. In fact, we offer refresher driving courses in 99% of postcodes.

 

Click here to search for a course near you.

Are you ready for a driving course?

Let's reserve your spot today.

Ready to start?

Let's reserve you a spot on a course right away.

Need help?

Read our ultimate guide to intensive courses.

How to pass your Theory Test [2019 guide]

An open stretch of road

Learning to drive: the complete step-by-step guide

Learning to drive: the complete step-by-step guide

The prospect of learning to drive is exciting but, in the beginning, the whole process can also seem a bit daunting. After all, you’ve probably got a bunch of questions that need answering. 

 

How old do you have to be to learn to drive in the UK? Do you need insurance when you’re learning to drive? Are there any medical restrictions for learners? What’s the deal with booking theory and practical tests?


And aside from the practical sort of questions, we bet you're also wondering about what driving lessons with an instructor are like, how long it'll take you to learn to drive and what it's all going to cost you at the end of the day.

 

We could go on.


It’s intimidating, but thanks to us, you can rest easy - we’ve got your back.


First of all, we've created a 14-step guide on learning to drive in 2019 to cover all the boring rules and regulations.


Yup, we think we can summarise the entire learning experience from start to finish in just 14 simple and methodical moves. From insurance to legal requirements, health checks to test requirements, we’ve covered every angle to put your mind at rest.


And we've even included all the instructions, learning materials and third-party websites you'll need to get the job done.


But there's more. Under the step-by-step guide, we've also tried to answer the most common questions that we get asked from learners.

 

Essentially, whatever kind of help you need, this article will bring you totally up to speed on what's required to learn how to drive and pass your test. 

14 steps to independence and freedom

1.

The first thing you need to do when you want to learn how to drive is make ensure that you’re legally allowed to take lessons in the first place.


Basically, anyone can have lessons so long as they are 17 and hold a provisional license in either Great Britain or Northern Ireland.


You can apply for a provisional license when you’re 15 years and 9 months old. It currently costs £34 and can be applied for online via the official GOV UK website.

2.

Time for some more housekeeping. Are you medically able to drive? Every learner must meet the minimum eyesight rules.


That means you need to be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away (and if you normally require glasses or contact lenses, they always need to be worn when you're driving). 


Aside from eyesight, check here to see if you have any health issues that will affect your driving.


You can be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t tell the DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving and you could face prosecution if such an issue causes an accident.

3.

Let’s move onto preparing for the actual instruction itself. You might be deciding between having lessons with a driving school or with someone you know (or maybe planning on doing a bit of both).


If you want to practice driving with a friend or family member, make sure they're aged 21 or over and hold a full driving license (which they’ve held for at least 3 years).


The person accompanying you must also be qualified to drive the type of car you want to learn in - for example, they need a manual license if they’re supervising you in a manual car. 

4.

If you're a learner who wants to hit the road with someone you know at any stage, here are a couple of other rules you might be wondering about.


It’s illegal for your friend or family member to use a mobile phone while supervising you. In terms of passengers, you can drive with as many as the vehicle can legally hold.


You’ll need insurance if you’re practicing in a car that you actually own, but if you’re driving someone else’s car, check whether their policy covers you.


Most policies do, but it’s worth noting that some insurance companies require the person supervising to be over 25 years old.


And don't forget the car you’re learning in. Your vehicle of choice must display L-plates at all times and be registered with the DVLA. It also needs to be fully taxed and roadworthy (with a current MOT certificate).

5.

It’s a good idea to grab the Highway Code as soon as you can. The Highway Code contains information, advice and mandatory rules for all road users in the United Kingdom.


You can buy a copy online or from most bookshops. It has everything in it you need to know in order to pass both your theory and practical tests, but it will take some time to absorb the contents so start reading it immediately.

6.

Okay, now that the admin and the boring stuff is out of the way, it’s finally time to get behind the wheel, turn on the ignition and start driving. This is where the journey really begins.


And of course, if you’re taking an intensive driving course, that pass is just around the corner. Remember that it's possible to learn to drive and pass your test in just 5 days.

7.

As you have more driving lessons and become a better driver, you should book your theory test. This is because you’re not allowed to take a practical test until you’ve passed a theory test and everything will take a while to sort out.


The theory test takes place at a designated theory test centre, so it's not something that can be done on a whim.


You book it online and your test will be scheduled to take place on a particular date and at a specific time.


The test costs £23 and can be booked by going here (but if you’re taking one of our intensives, we’ll arrange and pay for your test).


There are 160 theory test centres nationwide and you can find out where your nearest one is by entering your postcode here.

8.

Let's expand on the theory test. There are 2 parts to it. The first part is all about 50 multiple-choice questions and you’ll need to answer at least 43 of them correctly in order to pass.


The second section is all about the hazard perception test.


You’ll watch 14 videos and score points for spotting hazards as they occur. There are 75 points up for grabs and you’ll need at least 44 to pass this part of the test.

9.

You can prepare for the questions you’ll face by reading the Highway Code, listening to your driving instructor and by taking practice tests.  


And while we're on the subject of studying, there are a couple of other documents that are worth investing in and reading – Know Your Traffic Signs and The Official DVSA Guide to Driving

10.

Okay, we're making serious progress. By now, you should be in good shape. Your driving skills are improving, your theory test is in the bag and the end is in sight.


When your instructor thinks you’re ready, it’s time to book in your practical test (with an intensive, the test will be at the end of the course).


The practical test costs £62-75, depending on whether you want a daytime, evening or weekend test.


But again, if you’re learning to drive on one of our courses, we’ll take care of everything by organising and paying for your test. 

11.

With your practical test looming, it’s a good idea to run through the Highway Code again and have a dummy test or two with your instructor. Chances are, you’ll probably find the test a breeze.


It's all about preparation from here on in.


But this is a question of mentality. The test is there to ensure that you can drive confidently and safely – you can already do that, so try not to be nervous.


Remember that the driving examiner knows that you’ll be on edge; they’re not trying to catch you out. This short video shows you what to expect from your practical.


And look, if the worst happens and you fail your test, don't give up. You're going to be disappointed, but check out our action plan that's specifically for learners who have failed and want to pass. We'll help you over the line.

12.

Okay, so you’ve either breezed through your test or go there in the end… congratulations. You’re now legally able to drive in the UK. It's a huge accomplishment and something you'll remember forever.


You’ve got independence and freedom, so wave goodbye to jam-packed trains, tiring bikes and smelly buses – now you can drive wherever you want, whenever you like.

13.

Of course, that's assuming that you've got a car. If you haven't, it's time to get saving. But you know what? If you’re a new or young driver and you’re thinking of getting a new motor, take some time to think about the kind of vehicle that’s right for you.


There are lots of different models out there and no matter what your budget is, don’t go by colour or top speed.


There's no rush. Consider your strengths and weaknesses as a driver and you won’t go far wrong.

14.

Is that the end of the journey? We don’t think so. We think it’s just the beginning. Hopefully you’ll become a more skilled driver as you continue to get behind the wheel and see more stuff on the roads.


If you’d like to build on your driving knowledge, consider taking the Pass Plus course. This is an official course that can be taken any time. in your life. It lasts at least 6 hours and specifically expands on like hazard awareness and driving in different conditions.


As well as helping keep you safe, completing this course will save you money on your insurance with most companies. Find out more about the Pass Plus course here.

Okay, so that's the more practical side of learning how to drive addressed. The nuts and bolts, if you like. Let's now cover off a few other things.


What are driving lessons like?


They're great. Okay, so you're gonna get some first driving lesson nerves, but everyone has to learn at some stage. 


This is the start of an exciting time. If you have traditional lessons with a driving instructor, then you'll have a jam-packed lesson for an hour or two every week.


Eventually, when your instructor thinks you're ready, he or she will suggest arranging for your test and then it's go-time. However, this might take a while. Most people take over a year before they pass their practical driving test.


Alternatively, if you're taking an intensive driving course, things will move a lot quicker. Depending on the course you choose, it's possible to learn to drive in a week.


Is the first driving lesson really scary?


The thought of learning to drive for the first time is much scarier than the reality. It's perfectly natural to feel a little anxious. 


However, bear in mind that driving instructors have seen it all before. And if you use one of our team, they're trained to ascertain your comfort level, skill and experience really quickly. That means you'll always be learning at a pace that's right for you.


How should I prepare for my first driving lesson?


Preparing for driving lessons is common sense, really. Don't drink any alcohol in the previous evening, try to get a good night's sleep beforehand and eat some breakfast.


Pick out comfortable clothes so that you'll be relaxed and wear flat-heeled, non-slip shoes or trainers so that you can feel the pedals easily.


Bring glasses or contacts if you have them and remember to take your provisional licence to your lesson so that you can show it to your instructor - they'll need to see it for legal reasons.  


What can I expect from my first driving lesson?


Well, you'll be picked up by your instructor either at your home, college, place of work or from wherever you've arranged.


Before you do anything, your instructor will put you at ease and ensure that you're comfortable. 


Then their first job is to go over the DSSSM cockpit drill. This is the sequence of actions that every driver should make each time they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. DSSSM stands for:


  • Doors - are they securely closed?
  • Seat - is it in comfortable position?
  • Steering position - has it been established?
  • Seatbelts - are they on?
  • Mirrors - have they been adjusted?

Next, he or she will make you familiar with how a car works. They'll talk to you about the accelerator, brakes, indicators, clutch and gear stick (if you're learning in a manual car), windscreen wipers and all the different buttons. You'll also learn about the dashboard.


Depending on how long your first driving lesson lasts for, it might be time to get moving. This can seem a little scary, but it's also pretty exciting.


And anyway, it will be a fairly gently introduction to driving - you'll probably stall and that's just fine. You certainly won't be racing around like Lewis Hamilton (although going 20mph feels like 200mph the first time you do it).


You'll begin to get to grips with the basic skill required to get a car moving from a stationary position, speeding up and slowing down. You'll probably cover gentle acceleration, clutch control, changing gears, braking and using the handbrake.


If you're having a driving lesson that lasts an hour or two, then that's probably all you'll have time for. Your instructor will drop you off at your agreed location, have a quick chat about how it went and then schedule another session.


Of course, if you're taking an intensive driving course, you'll only be just starting. That's because most intensives require pupils to learn for 4 hours a day for as long as the course lasts.


Regardless, after the first session is out the way you'll be relieved. And you'll be surprised at how much calmer you'll fee for the rest of your driving lessons.


How many driving lessons will I need?


I'm sure you're desperate to know how long takes to learn to drive. As you can imagine, the number of lessons a learner requires in order to pass their test varies hugely on the individual.


However, according to the latest statistics, most people buy 52 hours of professional lessons and take over 14 months to pass their test. 


Of course, you'll always find someone who nails their test after 10 lessons. They do exist, but they're exceptions. Statistical anomalies. Just like the learners who have 100s of lessons and take dozens of tests... and still can't pass.


Fact is, 52 hours is the national average in the UK. And all things being equal, that's the ball-park figure that you should be aiming for.


But if that seems like a long time, there are other options. Consider the nature of the tuition. That average is for learners who have lessons with the an instructor at regular intervals.


Like weekly.


If you were to take a crash course that was specifically designed to engineer a quick pass, you can save lots of time and money. 


Quite simply, intensives build up driving knowledge and skill in a way that weekly lessons can't.


What is the average cost of learning to drive?


Are you wondering how much driving lessons cost? Driving lessons prices vary somewhere between £20-£35 depending on where you live in the UK, with the national average being £24.


Obviously the average cost of learning to drive depends on how many lessons and tests you end up taking, but let's work out a rough figure assuming you take conservative figures for lesson rates, lesson volume and only taking one weekday driving test.

What you need

The price

Provisional licence

£34

Lessons

£1,248

Theory Test

£23

Practical test

£86

Approximate tota​l

£1,391

That's quite a lot of cash


And remember, that's £1,391 in the best case scenario. That's assuming that your driving instructor charges an average price, that you take an average amount of lessons to learn and that you pass all your tests first time.


In reality, instructors charge random amounts and some will be really expensive. You might need a lot of lessons a few tests too, which is why some companies estimate that learners will need to pay upwards of £1,600 and, in some cases, as much as £3,000.


How can I cut the cost of learning to drive?


£1,391 seems like a lot of money, especially when you consider that you might not pass your test first time. Or second time. Or third, perhaps.


Aside from practising as much as you can with friends and family, the best way to save money when you're learning to drive is by taking an intensive driving course.


If you were to take one of our courses, you wouldn't need to pay for so many lessons.


For instance, our pass-in-a-week course costs £1,199 and you'd have 5 days of tuition, each with 4 hours of lessons. We'd also pay for both your theory test (if required) and your practical test too, so there are no hidden costs.


Plus, whilst we can't guarantee a pass, the pass rates for intensives are super-high so this is as sure as you'll ever be. And seeming as this kind of intensive will give you back a year or so of your life, what's not to like?


Which car is better for lessons - manual or automatic?


It's easier to drive an automatic car. Automatic cars have no gears, which means no clutch. In turn, that also means no clutch control skills, no biting points and no tricky hill starts.


But that doesn't always mean it's the better option. Automatic driving lessons and automatic intensive driving courses are slightly more expensive and when you pass you're test, you're not allowed to drive a manual car.


And that's fair enough. You can't go from driving around in an automatic to suddenly having to change gears to speed up or slow down.


Now, not being able to drive a manual car might not sound like a big deal, but it could prove to be a pain in some (unforeseen) circumstances. For instance, suppose your car breaks down - automatic cars are rarer and you might not be able to get a replacement very easily. 


Or what if you're on holiday and you'd like to rent a car? All of sudden, you've got to find somewhere that has automatics as opposed to just wandering in any old place and hiring whatever car you fancy.


Don't forget that if you pass your manual test, you're legally allowed to drive either a manual or automatic (despite the fact that you haven't learned to drive in one). 


You get the choice. And because passing your manual test means you can always go down the automatic route later, it seems like learning to drive in a manual car is a more logical approach.


We'd only recommend having driving lessons in an automatic if you're low on confidence or you've got a specific reason for doing so (like you know for a fact you're only going to be driving an automatic car once you've passed your test).


But you know what? We also think that manual cars are way cooler. All the best things have gears. Formula 1 cars, mountain bikes... you name it.


Should you consider private driving lessons, lessons with a driving instructor or both?


This is a very personal decision. Obviously if you're taught how to drive by a friend or family member, you save money. But due to the emotional dynamics, this kind of thing can test the best of relationships and it can be hard to learn as quickly as you would with an instructor.


Lessons with a driving instructor is generally always advised (whether that's via regular sessions or an intensive course. From technical ability to driving experience, instructor's know how to get pupils to a point where they can pass their test. It's their job. It's what they do.


However, like it is when you learn anything in life, practise is important. Therefore, maybe a combination of the two is best?


Tips for learning to drive


Our number one tip for learning to drive would be to accept that this probably isn't going to be easy. Just by mentally accepting this, you'll automatically become a better beginner driver.


Learning to drive will take commitment, hard work and lots of practise. Study the Highway Code, read up on driving tips and pay attention to what's going on whenever you're in a car (whether you're driving or not).


The next time you get a lift anywhere, keep an eye on what other drivers are doing well and what they aren't. Try to spot hazards as they arise and see if you can start anticipating stuff.


And finally, don't dwell on any mistakes; making errors is unavoidable.


Remember that you're not simply preparing for a test - you're trying to develop life-long driving skills and this is a long-term game. 


So, there you have it. 


Hopefully we've answered all the questions about learning to drive that you were afraid to ask.


If there's something we've not covered, please get in touch right away. We'll be happy to answer anything else that's on your mind.


But with just 14 steps to conquer before you're legally able to drive, freedom and independence is closer than you think.

Are you ready for a driving course?

Let's reserve your spot today.

Ready to start?

Let's reserve you a spot on a course right away.

Need help?

Read our ultimate guide to intensive courses.

How to pass your Theory Test [2019 guide]

Cars in a traffic jam

Can you really learn to drive in a week?

Can you really learn to drive in a week?

Okay, you're desperate to learn how to drive so that you can pass your test quickly, get behind the wheel of a car and be free.


We totally get that. 


All you want is independence. To be able to drive wherever you want, whenever you wish. You’re probably feeling impatient… and that’s perfectly natural.


Maybe you’re slogging away at weekly driving lessons and feeling like you’re not getting anywhere. 


Or perhaps you’ve not had any lessons yet - you’re at the very start of your journey and that precious pass seems so far away.


Either way, you might be considering taking an intensive driving course at some stage to drastically cut short your learning curve.


More specifically, you’ve probably seen courses where you can pass your test in a week. They’re quite common – most driving schools offer them and they’re pretty tempting, right? 


Because who wouldn’t want to pass their driving test quickly?


On average, UK learners take 14 months to pass their test and no one in their right mind would choose to wait and take lessons for that long when there’s a viable alternative that will save you time and money.


But how quickly can you actually get this driving thing done? Realistically, how fast can someone learn to drive and pass his or her test?


Like many driving schools, we offer a number of different intensives, but there’s one intensive course that’s particularly seductive and always catches the eye:


The pass-in-a-week option, where it’s possible to learn how to drive and pass your driving test in just 5 days flat. 


It’s our most popular course and that’s no wonder. Imagine starting a course on a Monday morning and passing your test on Friday afternoon. It would be pretty sweet, right?


But it seems like a big ask though, doesn't it?


You might be reading this with some nagging doubts and wondering whether you can pass your test in a week. Is it really possible? Can learning to drive be that easy? Should you take such a course?


Well, the quick answer is:


Yes.


All of our intensives will get the job done


We offer a number of crash driving courses and they all work. 


Whenever you concentrate your mind on learning any one thing for any isolated period of time, you’ll get results. It’s true for pretty much anything in life and learning to drive is no different.


So, you’re right to get excited - you can certainly learn and pass inside a week. However, there are a few things you need to know about this particular course, which is why we’re going to help you work out if this 5-day thing is the right option for you.


Do you have any previous driving experience?


On all our intensive courses, students drive for 4 hours a day. 


Now, remember that we’re specifically talking about a one-week driving course here. You don’t need to be good at maths to work out that a one-week intensive involves just 20 hours of driving tuition.


Quite simply, 20 hours of instruction isn’t typically enough to improve your driving skills and build up driving experience. And it’s certainly not enough to teach a complete novice how to drive. 


So, for a one-week crash course to work reliably, it’s best that you already possess some driving skills.


It’s not compulsory, but we think that passing your test in 5 days flat with zero knowledge is a fairly big ask most of the time.


It’s also a confidence thing


A one-week driving course will require you to be mentally strong and good at coping under pressure, which is another reason why we think that some driving experience is necessary to pass your test in 5 days.


One week intensive courses are demanding and the more lessons you’ve had, the better equipped you’ll be at dealing with the hectic, crammed schedule.


Many driving schools talk about intensives like they’re a piece of cake. We’d rather be honest. The reality is, they can be a little stressful at times. 


You’ll make mistakes (just like you do whenever you learn anything new) and although that’s normal, it might feel a bit tense because there’s a test looming at the end of the week.


But look, if you think that a one-week course might not be right for you, don’t worry at all.


We offer a number of other courses that will be perfect for you and your situation - similar courses that will also save you loads of time and money, but which aren’t quite as demanding.


Whether you’re new to driving, not that assured behind the wheel or are simply less experienced, we offer a semi-intensive course that might be a better fit.


For instance, our 40-hour intensive is specifically designed to transform a total beginner into an assured driver. And whether you need 16, 20, 24, 30 or 40 hours of tuition, we can be flexible to suit.


For instance, the comprehensive 40-hour intensive typically lasts for 2 weeks, but even then we can stretch out the lessons over a longer period of time if you’d like something a little less full on. 


Ultimately, you’d still be passing far quicker than someone who is taking traditional driving lessons every week.


Intensives are extremely effective


Whether you’re taking a 5-day intensive or something similar, these courses are brilliant for getting any learner over the line.


Pass rates are insanely high, which is mainly because you learn a lot in a relatively short space of time and tests are taken when everything’s still fresh in your mind. 


Contrast that to taking weekly lessons. If you’re learning for 14 months, you’ll struggle to remember what you did last week, let alone 6 months ago.


The secret to success with crash courses (and whether you can learn to drive in one week) is to think carefully about what would be best for you in terms of course length and intensity. 


Basically, the more experienced and skilled at driving you are, the fewer hours you’ll need. If you’ve never driven a car before, you’d probably be better suited to a longer course.


If you’ve previously had quite a few sessions, then a shorter course will be suffice and the pass in a week option might be a great fit. If not, then plump for something a little longer.


The tricky situation is if you’ve had a handful of lessons and are a little unsure what to do. The one-week course might work fine, but you’ll be the best judge of that.


Remember something important… we’re here for you


If you don’t know what to do for the best, we’re happy to give you some advice. Just get in touch for a quick chat.


There’s no obligation to book anything and our experts have been teaching people how to drive for years (some for decades).


They’re seen it all before and can recommend the best strategy for you (based on your experience and confidence level).


Anything’s possible – the world is your oyster

 

Hopefully our article has shed some light on these special types of intensives.


If a 5-day intensive works, book yourself in now. If not, check out all our other intensives. We offer a wide range of courses to cover most learners.

 

And whether you choose a 5-day intensive or a 40-hour course that lasts a few weeks, you’ll almost certainly get the result you want.

Are you ready for a driving course?

Let's reserve your spot today.

Ready to start?

Let's reserve you a spot on a course right away.

Need help?

Read our ultimate guide to intensive courses.

How to pass your Theory Test [2019 guide]

A gearbox for an automatic car

Automatic driving lessons: all you need to know

All you need to know about automatic driving lessons

Are you thinking of taking automatic driving lessons?

 

Then you’ve probably got stuff on your mind. After all, learning how to drive in an automatic car is very different to taking manual lessons.

 

Is driving an automatic car better or worse? Easier than a manual or harder? Today, we’re going to pull back the curtain and help.

 

To make things easier, we’ve gathered up all the common queries that we get asked and listed them below. 

 

Either click on a question to instantly jump to the answer you’re interested in or start scrolling to get the complete lowdown on automatic driving lessons. 

 

Can you do driving lessons in an automatic?

 

Yup, automatic driving lessons are definitely a thing. 

 

Automatic cars don’t have any gears, so people typically go down the automatic route if they lack a bit of confidence. 

 

Maybe they’re unsure whether they’ll cope with a manual car or perhaps they’ve had manual lessons before which haven’t gone well.

 

Pupils might also choose automatic lessons if he or she knows that they’ll be doing a lot of urban driving once they’ve passed their test.

 

Reason being, automatic cars are a dream in traffic. 

 

In a manual car, tackling busy city centres and heavy congestion can be a pain, because the stop-start journeys means constantly having to change gears. 

 

Is automatic driving easier?

 

Yes and no.

 

Initially, learning to drive is easier in an automatic car than a manual.

 

When a pupil starts driving lessons, he or she will get to grips with an automatic car far quicker than they would with a manual.

 

In a manual car, mastering biting points, clutch control and changing gears is the biggest initial challenge for most learners. 

 

Automatic cars don’t have gears or a clutch, so there’s much less to master and no stalling to worry about. This usually makes learners more confident. In this sense, automatic driving is easier.

 

However, once a pupil can successfully maneuver a vehicle around, there are obviously other things to learn. More important things.

 

Some of the more vital requirements (such as the ability to spot and anticipate hazards) are developed through skill, knowledge and experience. 

 

It doesn’t matter what type of car you’re driving - there are no short cuts.

 

That’s why the idea of automatic driving lessons being generally simpler (and the automatic driving test being easier to pass) is something of a myth.

 

It’s easier at the start but, in the long run, most learners will ultimately require a similar amount of driving lessons to pass their test as they would in a manual.

 

They’ll also normally find passing their driving test in an automatic just as difficult as they would driving a manual car.

 

How long does it take to learn to drive an automatic car?

 

Many wannabe drivers want to know how many driving lessons are needed for an automatic car. 

 

As always, it depends on the learner’s level of skill and confidence. Plus, whether he or she has had any previous driving experience. 

 

However, let’s put that to one side for a moment.

 

According to the stats, there’s not much difference between the number of lessons required for a learner to pass their manual test to that required to pass an automatic examination.

 

On average, UK learners require 47 hours of automatic driving lessonsbefore they’re able to pass their test. 

 

The average number of lessons for manual learners is 52 hours. Now, that’s not a huge difference, so why isn’t it easier to pass an automatic driving test? 

 

Well, gears and a clutch are only temporary hurdles to overcome. In reality, when it comes to road safety, the mechanics don’t come into it and everything else that a learner needs to know is the same.

 

Your typical automatic driving lessons might not save you much time then, but fear not. There are ways to reduce the amount of lessons needed to learn how to drive an automatic car.

 

Just like you can with a manual car, it’s possible to take an automatic intensive driving course. We offer a few different options available depending on how much skill, knowledge and experience you have.

 

You can learn how to drive an automatic car in a week or choose an automatic crash course that lasts a bit longer. Either way, every option is covered.

 

Can you take an automatic driving test?

 

All learners must pass a theory and driving test in an automatic car, just like they would have to with a manual.

 

Remember that, to the examiner, the car you’re driving is irrelevant. The tests are identical and the national pass rate stats seem to back that up.

 

The average pass rate for an automatic driving test in the UK is practically the same as the rate for a manual test (about 46-47%). 

 

A driving test is a driving test.

 

You’ll be judged against the same criteria no matter what car you’re operating. It’s only the car you’re driving and how it functions that’s different. 

 

Should I learn automatic driving?

 

You won’t save much time or money with automatic driving lessons unless you take an intensive. 

 

And even then, it’s important to realise that if you pass an automatic driving test, you can only drive an automatic car.

 

(However, if you pass a manual test, you can drive both.)

 

If you pass in an automatic and later decide that you want to drive a manual car, you’ll have to upgrade your licence by passing a manual test.

 

Is this an issue? 

 

Maybe, maybe not. It depends on what you need.

 

What if you landed a job where you’re required to drive a manual car? 

 

Imagine you’re on holiday and you need to hire a vehicle. What if there are only manual options available?

 

Suppose you pass your automatic test, you’re driving around like a boss and then your car breaks down. What if your insurance company doesn’t have an automatic courtesy car available?

 

There are loads of potentially troublesome scenarios which might crop up. 

 

And you know what? 

 

We’re also ignoring the fact that driving a manual car is generally more fun – you wouldn’t pick out a bike with no gears as a kid, would you? Gears mean power and control.

 

Also, bear in mind that automatic driving lessons are more expensive and that automatic cars cost more (both in terms of initial outlay, petrol prices and maintenance).

 

If you’re unsure whether to learn to drive a manual or automatic car first, all things being equal you should probably opt to learning in a manual.

 

Changing to manual in the future will be an expensive hassle and at least this way round you get to make the choice.

 

Why are automatic driving lessons more expensive?

 

Automatic lessons are costlier.

 

Crucially, automatic cars are generally more expensive than their manual counterparts so insurance for learners will cost more.

 

They’re also more expensive to run, maintain and repair. And considering that the overall number of lessons you’re likely to need won’t be much lower, there aren’t much savings to be made.

 

The only exception is if you take an automatic intensive course. Then you can save time and money.

 

Is it worth doing automatic driving lessons?

 

This depends on you.

 

Do you think you’ll be a confident learner? How do you cope with multitasking? Are you under pressure to learn how to drive quickly?

 

The answers to these questions will go a long way to dictating whether automatic driving lessons will be worth it to you.

 

Balance up the pros and cons. 

 

Know in advance that bog-standard automatic driving lessons won’t save you time or money. Not enough to make this a no-brainer, anyway. 

 

Only a crash course would do that.

 

By contrast, a manual licence will give you the flexibility to drive either car and learning to drive a car with gears safely will arguably make you a better, more competent driver.

 

You’ve got the info, now it’s over to you

 

We’ve laid out all the questions and answers for you. Learning to drive is a very personal thing, so take some time to decide what’s best for your situation.

 

If you’re considering taking automatic driving lessons, have a good reason for doing so. And if you’re desperate to save time and cash, consider an intensive. 

Are you ready for a driving course?

Let's reserve your spot today.

Ready to start?

Let's reserve you a spot on a course right away.

Need help?

Read our ultimate guide to intensive courses.

How to pass your Theory Test [2019 guide]