Learning to drive journey

The learning to drive journey

You’re starting on one of the most exciting and rewarding journeys of your life. Nothing beats the thrill you’ll get the day you earn your full driving licence, but there are plenty of steps along the road first.

What are the steps I need to take to learn to drive?

Learning to drive can be a daunting task for some, but don’t worry! We’re here to help prepare you for the journey!

Under 17 driving

Is your 17th birthday still a few months away? Or maybe it’s years off? You can still get behind the wheel, just not on the road.

There are loads of young driver schemes all over the country from the likes of Young Driver and The Under 17 Car Club which put younger teenagers in the driving seat on private land.

The best schemes place a strong emphasis on road safety as well as car control. Sign up and you’ll be better prepared when you do get on public roads.


Your provisional licence

You can’t jump straight into a car on your 17th birthday. You’ll need a provisional licence first.

Don’t wait until the big day – you can apply three months before you turn 17. It’s easy to make an online application if you have a government Gateway ID or otherwise fill out a D1 form which you can pick up from your local Post Office.

Find a driving instructor

If you want to give yourself the best chance of passing first time, you’ll want to find a really good driving instructor. Practising with relatives is important, but it does not substitute for the expert instruction of a professional.

Theory test

Before you can take your practical test you have to pass the theory test. There are two parts, one with multiple-choice questions and one assessing your ability to spot hazards.


Practical test

Aced the theory test? Well done, but there’s still another hoop to jump through before you have your full licence: the practical test. This takes place on the public road with an examiner in the passenger seat and will last around 40 minutes.

Next Steps

Passing your practical test isn’t the end of the road – it’s the beginning. Drivers never stop learning, and post-test training can really help guide you through your first months on the road safely.



Find a RED Driving Instructor near you

Find a RED Driving Instructor near you

RED’s experienced instructors operate nationwide. So whether you’re learning in Newcastle or Norwich or Plymouth or Preston, they’ll find the perfect instructor to help you on your journey to passing.