How to learn to drive a car

How to learn to drive a car

17/11/2021

We know that learning to drive is a big decision, and knowing where to start can seem a bit daunting! The team at Bill Plant Driving School have written some helpful tips to give you the very best start to your driving journey.

Apply for your provisional driving licence

You may be asking yourself, “How do I apply for my provisional driving licence?” The only way to get your provisional licence is to apply through the official government website. You will need to be 17 years or older in order to learn to drive a car, although you can apply for your provisional licence from the age of 16.

Choose the transmission you want to learn to drive in

There are two forms of transmission that you can learn to drive in. These are:

  • Manual
  • Automatic

Manual transmissions

A manual car will have 5-6 gears and 3 pedals (an accelerator, a brake and a clutch), and you will have to change gears manually. One of the benefits of learning to drive in a manual car is that you have a lot more control over the car, as you choose when to change gears. This however, comes with the added complexities involved in learning how to change gear. Learners typically find that trying to pass your test in a manual car is more challenging than an automatic, and more costly due to the increased number of hours of tuition required.

Automatic transmissions

An automatic car will have a shifter, 2 pedals (an accelerator and a brake) and the gears will change automatically. As stated above, one of the major benefits of learning in an automatic car is that many people find it much easier to learn in, due to not having to physically change gears themselves and there being a minimal risk of stalling.

The choice is, of course, entirely up to you. However, one key point to consider is that if you choose to complete your lessons in an automatic transmission and pass your test, you will only be able to drive an automatic car. Alternatively, if you pass your test in the manual transmission, you will be able to drive both manual and automatic cars.

Choose to learn with a registered Driving Instructor

Only an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) or a Potential Driving Instructor (PDI) is legally allowed to charge you for driving lessons. To check that your instructor is either an ADI or PDI, you should be able to see their DVSA badge displayed in their window. A green badge will mean that they are an ADI, and a pink badge will mean that they are a PDI. Here at Bill Plant Driving School, all of our instructors are registered with the DVSA and have undergone rigorous training through our Driving Instructor Training Academy to become a driving instructor before being allowed to teach.

Practise your theory

As part of your learning journey, you will need to pass your theory test before being able to sit your practical exam. The theory test consists of 50 multiple choice questions as well as a hazard perception test. There are many books and resources available to help you study, although many people find it easier to learn their theory using an online platform. Bill Plant Driving School offers an online theory subscription where you can track your progress while covering all the topics you need to ace your test. You can speak to our bookings team for more information.

Book your lessons

We recommend having an initial set of lessons before bulk buying lessons to ensure that you feel that you and your instructor are good fit. Once you’re happy you’ve found the right instructor, maintaining a regular schedule of lessons is critical to retaining information and progressing through the learning process. While block booking lessons may mean a higher upfront cost, by purchasing them as a package deal, you’ll actually end up saving money over the long run.


Start your driving journey and learn how to drive a car with Bill Plant Driving School, book online or call us on 0330 555 2254 to check our availability and prices in your local area!

We look forward to helping you in your journey!

Sam