Before Learning to Drive

The minimum age at which you are allowed to learn to drive a car on public roads is 17. As you probably know, you are not allowed to drive legally on your own until you pass your test. This means whilst learning to drive you will always be accompanied by a qualified driver, and that person must be over 21 and have a full British driving licence that they must have held for three years or more.

You will probably learn to drive in a dual control car with a qualified instructor, this means that the car is set up especially for learner drivers and so that if it is required the instructor can press their own set of brakes to slow the car down for instance.

You must first have a provisional driving licence before you are allowed to learn to drive. There is an application form available for this and you can apply online from the DirectGov website.

There is a minimum standard for eyesight for drivers, and so you should ensure that your eyes are up to the level. If you wear glasses or similar then of course you must ensure that you wear them whilst you are driving.

There are also rules about the vehicle that you are going to drive: it must be taxed and the tax disc must be clearly displayed on the windscreen (nearside corner). Also it must be insured for you to be able to drive and learn to drive in that particular vehicle. Should the vehicle be three years old or more then you will need to ensure that it has an MOT cetificate and finally there must be fixed L-plates on the front and rear so that other drivers are alerted to the fact that the car contains a learner driver (you!)

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