This page contains a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) to hopefully help you with any queries you may have.
If your question is not listed, feel free to leave me a message using the Contact link, or call me.
Questions Relating To Driving Licences
- How old do I need to be to obtain a provisional driving licence to drive a car or take driving lessons?
A. You can apply for your first provisional driving licence to drive a car up to 3 months before your 17th birthday.
- How do I apply for my provisional licence?
A. You can apply online here - https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-provisional-driving-licence#before-you-start
Or you can pick up a D1 form, from your local Post Office.
- I have lost/or do not yet have my Provisional driving licence, and I have applied for a new one, can I still take driving lessons if I am a new customer?
A. Regrettably not, as a new pupil I need to see your licence - the plastic card. I also need to see your NI national insurance number. I need to verify for legal and insurance reasons that you have one. You would have to wait until you have your replacement/new licence before you could begin lessons with me.
Questions Relating to Driving Lessons
- What car do you use for lessons?
A. I currently have a brand new silver Renault Clio 1.5 diesel - this gets replaced every 18 months or so with another brand new vehicle. No I am not mega rich, the vehicles are leased.
- I would like to book some lessons, but there are no slots showing as available on your online diary - can you help?
A. The online diary is a LIVE copy of my diary, and so if there are no lesson slots showing as available at the time you would prefer to take your lessons, regrettably I will not be able to help at this time. My call centre staff have access to the same online diary, and so they see the exact same availability that you can see online. The diary only shows my availability during the next four weeks. If you are interested in taking lessons further ahead than this - use the Contact link above to send me a message with your enquiry.
- What do you recommend - weekly lessons, or an intensive crash course?
A. It mainly depends on the type of person you are. Personal experience tells me that some people really thrive on the pressure of having to be ready by a certain dead line, but many others do not. Personally I don’t believe that intensive crash courses are a good idea, as they put the pupil under tremendous pressure to be ready, and also do not allow the pupil to experience traffic situations over different days and at different times. Weekly lessons allow the pupil to space the training out over a number of months, allowing you to spread the cost, take things are your own pace, and fit your lessons in around the other commitments in your life. Typically weekly lessons last an hour or 90 minutes.
Lee’s Driver Training no longer provides intensive crash courses, partly because I do not believe in their efficacy, and also because pupils usually find them very draining, and they take up a great deal of time in my diary, causing problems for my other regular weekly pupils.
- How many lessons will I need/how long does it take to learn to drive?
A. Every pupil is different, and it depends upon a number of factors - how old you are, do you have any previous driving experience, how committed to lessons you are, how many lessons do you cancel, how much effort you put into your lessons, and how quickly you pick up new skills. Learning to drive is a training course and it takes time. Think of it like learning to play a sport or musical instrument. You wouldn’t expect to start learning the piano on the 1st of the month, and then be a concert pianist by the 30th of the month - it takes time and practise.
According to the DVSA (Driving & Vehicle Standards Agency - the people who set and conduct the UK driving test) on average it can take from 20 - 45 lessons for a complete beginner pupil to reach the stage that they are at test pass standard.
There are 20 topics in the learning syllabus, so in theory, it is possible to pass just after 20 lessons - assuming you complete and master all 20 topics on the first go, and we spend one hour on each topic. Of course, in real life that rarely happens. I have been doing this job for almost 5 years now, and experience tells me that most people take 30 to 50 lessons, as they usually require a bit of practise for each new topic, meaning usually spending more than 1 hour on a topic. I have had pupils who took and passed their driving tests after 25 lessons, so it is possible, but that is not the average.
- My friend told me that they only took 10 lessons with their instructor and they passed their test first time - how come?
A. If the pupil already has some driving experience, then this could be possible, but not if they are a complete beginner. Again, every pupil is different, some pick things up very quickly and some take a lot longer. I would also question the teaching standard and professional competency level of their instructor. As I said, there are 20 topics in the learning syllabus, how does an honest and professional instructor cram all 20 topics into just 10 hours of tuition without cutting corners? Experience tells me that this is not possible - not if the instructor wants to do a good and professional job, and provide the pupil with enough real life road experience to adequately master a topic.
Not all driving instructors or driving schools operate to the same professional teaching standards. The DVSA grades instructors at least once every 4 years based upon the instructors ability to teach, and provide a quality professional lesson. I am a grade 5 instructor one of the highest grades, I wouldn’t say my service is on the same level as a grade 3 or 4 instructor. I have actually had pupils who have passed the driving test with another driving school, come to me for further training as they felt they were unprepared for real world driving, as their previous instructor seemed only interested in getting them to the test. I have also had some of my pupils tell me, that some of their friends have asked them how to drive, as again they felt unprepared for real world driving. I don’t teach my pupils to pass a test, I teach them to drive, and the by product of that, is they pass the driving test.
Not all driving schools are the same, I teach to a high professional standard, and if you believe you can take only 10 lessons as a complete beginner, and then pass your test, then I wish you well, but Lee’s Driver Training is not the driving school for you.
- I would like to take some driving lessons, but I have my own car, will you take me out in my car?
A. No. For safety, legal and insurance reasons, I only provide driving lessons in my tuition vehicle.
- I need to cancel my lesson, how much notice do I need to give, and will I be charged a cancellation fee?
A. All pupils sign up to and agree to my terms and conditions of business when they begin lessons with me. These stipulate that you must provide 24 hours notice if you need to cancel a lesson. If you provide me with 24 hours notice or more, no cancellation charge is due. If you need to cancel your lesson on the day it is due to take place, or within the 24 hour period, this is free as long as it is the FIRST late notice lesson cancellation that calendar month. All pupils receive ONE free late notice lesson cancellation per month. If this is the second or more late notice cancellation with less than 24 hours notice provided, there is a charge of £10.00 for the late notice/missed lesson cancellation. If a cancellation charge is due, no further lessons will be conducted until the fee has been paid. Alternatively if you have already paid for your lessons in advance, a 60 minute lesson can be deducted from what I owe you instead.
Questions Relating To Driving Tests
- What documents do I need to bring with me to my theory/practical driving test?
A. You should bring your Provisional driving licence - plastic card. If you don’t have this, the test will not go ahead, and you will lose your money!
- I would like to book up a driving test appointment with you - can you help?
A. Possibly. If you are a new pupil to me (one that has not trained with me) I require you to take a 90 minute lesson with me so I can assess your current driving standard, and then make a decision as to whether I am willing to allow you to take a test in my car. This is so I can see what your current driving standard is. This 90 minute assessment lessons should take place at least seven (7) days BEFORE the test is due to take place. I also require a minimum of fourteen (14) clear days notice for driving test appointments from new pupils. If my diary is already booked - so that I am unable to provide you with the 90 minute lesson BEFORE the test appointment - then regrettably I wont be able to help you with your test appointment I am afraid.
Please be aware that just taking the 90 minute lesson DOES NOT guarantee that I will take you to the test. If after assessing your driving ability over the course of the 90 minute session, I feel that you are not currently at driving test pass standard - in accordance with my terms and conditions of business - I am within my rights to refuse the use of my vehicle for a test.
PLEASE NOTE, I DO NOT ACCEPT SAME DAY, OR NEXT DAY DRIVING TEST APPOINTMENTS, REGARDLESS OF HOW MUCH MONEY YOU MAY BE WILLING TO PAY - THE TIME FRAMES ABOVE WILL ALWAYS BE OBSERVED!
- How much is a Theory Test?
A. Currently £25.00
- How much is a weekday practical driving test?
- How much is a practical driving test on a Saturday?