What you need know

Getting Started

General information about Learning to Drive

Learning to drive is an exhilarating experience and an invaluable skill you'll use throughout your life, but before you get going you need to know the following information for the journey ahead.

Legal requirements for driving in the UK

There are some basic requirements you need to know before you start learning to drive in the UK:

  • In general, you need to be 17 or older, unless you get or have applied for the enhanced rate of the mobility component of  Personal Independence Payment (PIP). If this applies to you then you can begin driving lessons when you're 16.
  • You need to have a valid provisional driving licence, which you can apply for from the age of 15 years and 9 months.

Click here to apply for your provisional license

  • You must be able to read a number plate 20 metres away (with glasses or contact lenses if needed).
  • If you're learning with a friend or family member, you must be accompanied by a qualified driver who's over 21 and has had a full car driving licence for at least 3 years.
  • The car you learn in must be taxed, insured, have a valid MOT and display L or D plates on the front and rear (If you're learning in a qualified driving instructor's vehicle, they'll take care of this).

Driving Key Skills

Being able to drive is much more than remembering rules and how to complete manoeuvres. You will need to learn how to effectively respond to the behaviour of other drivers, road users and pedestrians.

Road safety is everyone's priority and here at BSM we believe that some of the most important characteristics of a safe driver are:

  • Diligence: Respect the rules of the road - never underestimate the serious consequences that can arise from ignoring or breaking those rules. Developing “bad habits” is a common cause of avoidable accidents.
  • Focus: Never forget the importance of concentration and being aware of your surroundings. Avoid needless distractions – e.g. mobile phones.
  • Patience: You'll share the road with many others, and it's important to remain calm and patient with them. When patience is lost, and tempers begin to flare, accidents are more likely.