Our guide to driving

Our guide to driving

First published date February 26 2014 Amended date April 22 2015

With more and more people gaining their licences, driving is becoming an essential part of modern life. Whether you want to learn how to drive, become a car mechanic or learn how to properly maintain your own car, we have plenty of driving courses that will teach you anything you want about the world of driving. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to simply pass your driving test or become the next Michael Schumacher we will have the right course for you.


The theory test

If you’ve just started to learn to drive your next step will be getting your full driving licence, this will start with the driving theory test. The driving test theory will contain two parts. You must pass both of these parts of the theory test to be able to go on and take that renowned practical test.  

  • The multiple choice test: The multiple choice part is made up of 50 questions and will last 57 minutes. You will have the option to do a practice session to get to grips with the test layout. Once the real test begins you will be given a question with several possible answers, you must now choose the correct answers to the questions. If you are unsure, you should use the flag question option and come back to it once you have finished. To successfully pass this first part of the theory test you will be required to get 43 correct answers out of 50.


  • The hazard perception test: Before the hazard perception test starts you will be given three minutes to sit back and relax after the multiple choice test. Before the test starts you will be shown a short video clip on how it works. This test will last around 20-25 minutes and you will be shown 14 short video clips containing at least one developing hazard – one clip will show two developing hazards. You will have to click on the screen where you see the hazard but make sure not to click too many times or you will fail for cheating. To pass you will need to get 44 out of 75. You will be rewarded five points each time you correctly identify a hazard.

Depending on your lifestyle and how confident you are, driving test theory courses range from short courses which will give you a quick refresher before your test to more in depth courses that can last months and give you extensive teachings on the laws of the road. Courses will cover both parts of the theory test and will offer individual help, so if you’re unsure on certain aspects of the test your tutor will make sure to prepare you for the big day.


The practical test

The big day is finally here, you’ve been waiting for this moment, but what can you expect? The practical test is much harder for most people than the theory test and only the best drivers will be able to take their vehicle onto the open road. You will be tested on your ability to drive safely in different road and traffic conditions and your ability to complete the four main manoeuvres; reverse around a corner, three point turn, bay park and reverse park. There are no pass or fail quotas for the test so you will pass as long you show the standard required by the examiner.

When taking their practical course many people fail because of nerves rather than their actual driving ability, before you take your practical it could help to either take a confidence or relaxation course to help cure your nerves. The key to passing your test is to remain calm and remember everything you learnt during your driving lessons.


Are the tests the same for motorbike drivers?

If you are driver of the two wheel persuasion then you can expect to sit the same theory test as someone learning to drive a car, however the practical test will be slightly different for motorbike riding. Unlike the car driving test, if you want to be able to ride that motorbike on the roads you will have to take two practical tests.

  • Manoeuvres test: The manoeuvres test will last around 20 minutes and will be undertaken in an off road setting that prepares to test your control of the motorbike. You will drive alongside the examiner at a slow pace and have to do exercises such as figure of eight around cones, walking and riding U-turn exercises, using the motorbike stand, and cornering and braking exercises. To pass you will need to make five or fewer rider faults.


  • On road motorbike test: Once you have completed the manoeuvres test you will be able to take the on road test. This will last around 40 minutes and the driving examiner will often be driving behind you who will give you direction using a radio. This will assess whether you are safe to ride your motorbike on the road independently. You will need to make 10 or fewer rider faults to pass this part and finally get that motorbike driving licence.


I’ve passed my test, how do I maintain my new vehicle?

Don’t panic, we have plenty of courses that may come in handy, whether you simply want to learn how to fill your car’s water level up, or you want to change the look of your car, we will have a course to fulfil your demands. A car maintenance course will teach you all the basic checks to keep your car in a healthy condition. You will learn how to check the levels of your oil, coolant, brake fluid and tyre pressure, this will keep your car in a healthy working condition and supply you with the knowledge of essential car engine maintenance.

If you chose a motorbike over a car then don’t worry, we still have plenty of ways to keep your motorbike healthy with our list of motorbike maintenance courses. If you didn’t start driving straight after your test it’s always a great idea to brush up on your knowledge with a quick road safety course.


Open road to a new career

Once you have gained your full UK driving license you will find that a whole host of careers will open for you. If driving is your thing then taking an extra Driver CPC course can see you on your way to become a bus, coach or a lorry driver. The Driver CPC qualification has been introduced across Europe and aims at maintaining a high level of road safety and a high standard of driving, for a variety of countries, as you may be driving across borders. Depending on what vehicles you prefer there are still plenty of driving opportunities for you, you can become a taxi driver, a chauffeur or a delivery van driver, some of which can pay handsomely. These jobs will have much more intensive exams than your original driving test so make sure you take a course to nail that exam and kick start your career.

Maybe you don’t want to do a driving specific job? That’s fine because having a driving licence looks great on your CV. The job you’re applying for may not be in the driving profession but possessing the ability to drive will make you very employable in any career path.


Take your skills to the track

Once you have mastered the skill of driving why not take your new talents to the tracks and take up an exhilarating new sport? Our list of driving courses includes a variety of fast paced, exciting motor sports, so you can take those techniques you learnt from passing your driving test and learn to apply them to the racing track. If you’re passionate about cars and motorbikes and have a soft spot for thrill seeking, why not take up a motor car sport course or motorcycling as a hobby? A motor racing course will give you a great day out and teach you to ramp up those driving skills to reach a whole new level of speed.


Four of the worst traffic jams in history

  • Beijing, China: Imagine being caught up in a 12 day traffic jam. In August 2010, Commuters along the Beijing-Tibet Expressway were caught up in a 12 day, 62 mile traffic jam. Not because of an accident, simply because there was too many vehicles clogging up the road. As drivers became thirsty and hungry, entrepreneurial vendors soon came round selling water and instant noodles for more than ten times their original value.


  • Lyon to Paris, France: As thousands upon thousands of people returned from their skiing holidays, a combination of bad weather and the mass of cars created a huge traffic jam from Lyon to Paris. The jam, in February 1980, stretched over 109 miles and is the longest recorded traffic jam in history.


  • Houston, USA: When Houston’s Mayor, Bill White, announced ‘Now is not a time for warnings; it is a time for evacuation’, residents of Texas’s biggest city burst onto the Interstate 45 to flee Hurricane Rita. Instead of hurrying to safety the two million residents ended up in a 99 mile traffic jam. Luckily, despite Mayor White frantically announcing ‘being on the highway is a death trap’, Rita changed its path away from Houston.


  • East and West Germany: When the Berlin Wall finally fell and the Easter holiday came upon Germany, millions of people were free to visit family across the border for the first time in 40 years. Traffic was heavy the whole weekend but the 18 million car jam on April 12th holds the Guinness World Record for the most cars in a traffic jam ever.

Similar Subjects

  • Bicycle Maintenance
  • Car Maintenance
  • Car Restoration
  • Driver CPC
  • Driving Test Theory
  • Road Safety
  • Road Transport
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