Learning to Drive


Before your 1st Class Driver Training lessons can begin, you will need to hold a valid provisional driving licence issued for Great Britain or Northern Ireland from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA ). Application forms (D1) can be obtained from most Post Offices or complete your application online at www.direct.gov.uk. Alternatively we can supply this for you.

If you are looking to start driving on commencement of your 17th birthday, provisional licences can be applied for three months before – the licence will only be valid, however, when you turn 17.

provisional drivers license card and paper counterpart

Driving Lessons

1st Class Driver Training offers lessons of:

  • 1 hour
  • 1 and a half hours
  • 2 hours
  • 3 hours plus (if intensive training required) can be arranged

Our instructors will arrange collection from your home or work address. During lessons we use a variety of instructional techniques – providing demonstrations, free handouts, and play video clips of syllabus subjects on laptops to enhance the learning experience.

We also have the latest DVDs (covering hazard perception, theory questions and driving techniques) we can loan to help with your study and reinforce the new skills you have learnt in preparation for your theory and practical driving tests. In addition, we also use the latest Sat Navs as now required in the Driving Test.

driving student learning

Intensive Courses

At 1st Class Driver Training we offer twenty hour intensive course packages with or without the cost of the Practical Test fee included. As the description suggests, intensive courses are not for everybody and before you decide to go ahead the following points would need to be considered when you discuss this with one of our instructors:

  • How hectic your personal schedule with work, college, family commitments is.
  • To get the maximum benefit, appointments should ideally be close together to maintain a consistency of learning and increase your chances of success. Are you under any pressure to pass your Driving Test? (i.e. job-related offers provided you get your licence; is your theory test certificate due to expire in a month or less, etc)

Depending on test date availability we can advise on best times to book your test, whether it be at Lancing, Burgess Hill, Eastbourne, Crawley or Guildford.

Courses can be scheduled from Monday to Friday, working intensively up to your test date – with morning and afternoon sessions – together with scheduled rest periods to avoid fatigue and time to study dvds. Mock tests will also be arranged with different instructors to simulate meeting the examiner and maximise your chance of passing the practical driving test.

For example, a typical intensive schedule for a practical test to be taken on a Friday would be:

Monday to Thursday – collected at 9.30 am for lesson until 11.30/12.00 pm; Then break for 2 hours (to study theory books/watch dvds to aid practical test preparation); Collected again at 2.30pm to work on driving syllabus until 4.30/5.00pm.

We also offer residential courses if you live out of town – we arrange accommodation at a local guest house, with whom we have negotiated reasonable rates for our pupils. From here you will be collected every day for tuition prior to the test. Details and prices are available on request. Prices are payable in advance so that we can guarantee a space on our popular intensive courses.

1st Class Driver Training car and student

Theory Test

Before you are allowed to take the Practical Driving Test, you will first need to pass the Theory Test (currently £23.00).

This is in two parts:

  • Answering 50 multiple choice questions in 57 minutes; you need to answer a minimum of 43 correct.
  • Identifying various hazards (by the click of a mouse) on real-time clips in a variety of road conditions. You will be given fourteen clips (each lasting approximately 1 minute) and you need a minimum score of 44 out of 75 to be successful.

To gain your theory test pass certificate, you will need to pass both elements.

Recommended Resources – Click on the images below.

highway code
theory test book
DVLA driving guide
traffic signs
theory test help

Practical Test

When the day of your test arrives, you will require enough time to drive to the test centre (usually in your instructor’s car), mix up as many differing road conditions, and practice each of the required manoeuvres. Due to the limited choice in test centres this will require a minimum lesson time of one and a half hours. At the start of the test, the examiner will ask if you wish your instructor to be present during the test and for the post-test debrief.

The test will on average take forty minutes and require the candidate to demonstrate to the examiner:

  • They can drive in a safe manner.
  • Can apply the Highway Code – learnt for the Theory Test – to their driving.
  • Independent Driving:Since 2010 independant driving has been included in the Driving Test and is now being conducted in one of every five Driving Tests, This is to assess how a person can demonstrate their ability to make decisions when following a destination drive to reflect a more ‘real-life’ situation.
    This will involve the candidate being instructed to follow signs and directions for a period of about 20 minutes. The examiner will explain what will be expected and will if necessary show a diagram to be followed. If unsure of the directions, the candidate can ask for a reminder and if they take a wrong turn, the result of the test will not be affected unless a driving fault is committed. The Sat Nav part of the test will be conducted in four out of five tests again over a 20 minute period.Carry out a manoeuvre, either parallel park, reversing in or out of a bay or parking on the right side of the road and reversing for 2 car lengths. The Emergency Stop will be carried out in one of three tests.

To be successful in the Practical Test you are allowed no more than 15 driving faults on your Driving Test Report sheet. More than 15 faults or one serious or dangerous fault recorded will result in an unsuccessful test. In the event of being unsuccessful you will be given feedback from the examiner so that you and your instructor can work on the areas of your driving that need addressing.