Frequently Asked Questions
Am I ready for my test?
What is the average pass-rate?
What are the most common reasons for failing a Driving Test?
How many hours do I need?
The following has been downloaded from the official Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency website www.dvsa.gov.uk. Read it carefully, it’s quite an eye-opener!
Most people fail their driving test... Are you ready?
Those who pass their driving test have had, on average, about 45 hours of professional training, combined with 22 hours of private practice. Candidates who combine professional instruction with private practice are also more successful on the test."
According to the DVSA, the current National pass rate is only 45.4% across the country.
For first time candidates, it’s even lower. To help you avoid the most common pitfalls here is a list of the top ten reasons why people fail:
1. Observation at junctions - Ineffective observation and judgement
2. Reverse parking - Ineffective observation or a lack of accuracy
3. Use of mirrors - Not checking or not acting on the information
4. Reversing around a corner - Ineffective observation or a lack of accuracy
5. Incorrect use of signals - Not cancelling or giving misleading signals
6. Moving away safely - Ineffective observation
7. Incorrect positioning on the road - At roundabouts or on bends
8. Lack of steering control - Steering too early or leaving it too late
9. Incorrect positioning to turn right - At junctions and in one way streets
10. Inappropriate speed - Travelling too slowly or being hesitant
(Top ten reasons based on twelve months to January 2004)
So, to recap, the DVSA have published stats to show that the average pass-rate is only 45.4%, and the first-time pass rate is even lower! Nationally, the average number of tuition hours is 45, assuming you’ve practiced for an additional 22 hours in your own car! The implication is that it’s more like 67 hours if you don’t have a car available to practice in.
At ClickDrive, our average is 40 hours, assuming NO PRACTICE in your own car. You can expect to need less than 40 hours with ClickDrive if you ARE able to practice in your own car. The current record is held by Dan Rees from the village of Harrold in Bedfordshire. Dan took 18 hours from scratch, BUT his Dad did a superb job in making himself available for many hours of private practice. We have had many, many pupils passing 1st time in the 20-30 hour range, with practice alongside a parent or partner.
Do I need tuition for my Theory Test?
Absolutely not! Your actual Theory Test will be done on a computer at a DSA Test Centre. For £9.99 @ PC World you can buy a set of CD Roms called “Driving Test Success (Theory Edition)”. These CDs exactly replicate the actual Theory Test. They contain the identical question bank (1,000 questions and answers) that the DSA use. It also contains similar clips for the Hazard Perception part of the Theory Test, so that you can practice.
In our experience it is extremely difficult to pass the Hazard Perception part if you’ve never practiced with the CDs. However, if you’ve used the CDs and put the work in, pass-rates are close to 100%. There are other CDs available from other manufacturers, some of which are better than others. We have no axe to grind, but we’ve found the CDs above to be the best.
Beware of any Driving School that offers tuition on the Theory Test; it is not necessary. That school is probably trying to sell you more lessons than you actually need.
Do you have automatic cars available?
Sorry, not at the moment. The demand for Automatic lessons is extremely low, so we’ve taken the decision to offer only manual at the moment. However, as we expand we will definitely add automatic Minis in the future, so watch this space!
Can I start my lesson here and end it there?
Yes - you can get picked-up at one location (maybe home) and dropped-off somewhere else (maybe school/college/work etc.) within reason.
I want a lesson every week, but can’t afford 2-hour lessons each time - can I have a single hour?
Most people take one 2-hour lesson a week as the norm. If that breaks your budget, I honestly suggest you consider a 2-hour lesson every fortnight, rather than a single hour every week….. you’ll learn much more quickly and cheaply. If you’re hell-bent on doing 1 hour lessons, we’ll do our very best to help you, but you must understand and accept that it’s not the best way of learning and, therefore, it’s not something we actively encourage.
Do you offer “intensive” courses”?
Absolutely, if that’s what you want. Many people want to do the whole course in a week or two, either because they’re just plain keen to get on with it, or because they have heavy work or family commitments… we get asked for this almost every day. However, there is absolutely no point in having an intensive course unless you can take a Driving Test immediately at the end (common sense!).
Remember that you MUST have passed the Theory Test BEFORE YOU CAN EVEN APPLY for a Practical Driving Test. Remember also that there is an average 10-week waiting list for Practical Driving Tests (that’s the DVSA for you!). So, ask yourself if you really need all the stress of cramming it into a short time-frame. If you haven’t applied for a test yet and need the (average) 40 hours tuition, that’s just 2 “normal” lessons a week.
If you haven’t passed your Theory Test yet, you’ve got even longer! So, yes we do offer intensive courses, but the reality is that almost nobody ever needs them or takes them, once they fully understand how the DSA waiting list works!
How do I know whether I’m making the right progress with my lessons?
We’ve developed a Pupil Progress Card, which is filled-out at the end of each lesson and is kept by your Instructor. Like most good ideas, it’s not rocket science but it’s really effective! We’ve broken the huge subject known simply as “driving,” into 37 separate (but inter-related) headings. There are 9 different “grades” for each subject; 1 means you’ve only just been told about a topic, 9 means you’re Test-Standard. By using this simple, one page Pupil Progress Card, you can see EXACTLY where you’re at on your learning curve. At the end of each lesson your Instructor will update the card, so you’ll immediately see what progress you made on that lesson. Your Instructor will use the Card to plan each lesson, so that you can get the most out of it.
Probably even more importantly, he can use the Card to accurately forecast how long it will be before you are ready for your test, and save you a small fortune in the process…. Please see the next topic for more details!
My current driving instructor won’t let me book a driving test “until he says I’m ready” -should I be worried?
Yes, very probably! Everyone in the driving business knows that most Test Centres have very long waiting lists. It therefore makes sense for an Instructor to put his/her pupil in for the test well before they are actually ready, making sure that the necessary ground is covered in such a way that the pupil “peaks” just before the test. This is exactly what we do here at ClickDrive.
However, many Instructors are either not as organized or as scrupulous as ClickDrive. They will teach you until you are perfect, and only then let you apply for your test. When you then tell them that the test is up to 3 months away, they will reply that you need to keep-up your lessons in the meantime, or you will probably fail. Whilst this may well be true, ask yourself why they let you get into that position in the first place…… the answer is simple….. you’re going to have to give them up to 3 months more weekly income.
Most average Instructors with average cars and average pass-rates are not exactly swamped with new-pupil enquiries (no surprise there!). So they may try to teach slowly. They may teach the Theory Test (not necessary!). They may try to delay the actual date of your test. All in an attempt to “maximize the revenue from each pupil”, as one well-known National driving school helpfully explains to their new Instructors!
Don’t take my word for it; ask your friends about their learning experiences….. a significant majority of them will have suffered from this. This is how the Industry has been run for many years, but ClickDrive is set to change all that. And that is why I’m so passionate about what we do and so proud of the people around me, all of whom share my vision of making ClickDrive the best driving school out there.
This all sounds great - how do I book a lesson?
Simply call us, or click "Book Now" in the main menu. Please note that the more flexible you can be with your availability, the more likely we'll be able to find an Instructor with a slot for you.
Who do I pay and how do I pay?
Your relationship will be directly with your Instructor (but never forget that the buck stops with me, so don’t hesitate to call me in the unlikely event that you have any problems whatsoever). You pay your Instructor direct, by cash or by cheque, either as-you-go, or in advance for the block-booking discount as outlined above. I’m afraid we don’t have the facility to take credit or debit cards at this time. Don’t forget you don’t need to pay a penny until you actually receive your first lesson, so book early to grab the slots you want!