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What do I need to start driving?

provisional driving licence available onlineYou need to be 17 years old and have a valid Provisional Licence ( you can apply for this a few months in advance) You also need to be able to read a number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres.  - you can apply for your provisional driving licence online here This currently costs £50 (although subject to change by the DVLA)

How many Lessons will I need?

This is a very difficult question to answer as everyone is very different. The Driving Standards Agency ( The people who run the Driving test) says on average people that pass the test have had about 40hrs of professional tuition. In my experience on average between 30- 50 lessons for a complete beginner. Obviously if someone has some experience this figure would drop.

Should I practise with my Mum or Dad or a friend?

I would always recommend that pupils get as much practice as possible as it will increase confidence and make you feel more comfortable behind the wheel. However always ask Chris first as you would need to reach a standard of driving first where you would not be dangerous!   -I have dual controls-  your Parents don't!!!  You don't want to scare them off or they'll never offer to take you driving again!

On a serious note: your accompaning driver will need to be at least 21 years old and have held a full licence for 3 years. Make sure you display " L " plates when you drive and ensure you have insurance cover It's not worth taking the risk!!! - you will need to be added to the car owners' insurance as a nemed driver or you could try collingwoods for a quote for insurance on someone elses car:

temporary learner driver insuranceLearner driver temporary car insurance: If you are trying to persuade your parents or a friend to take you out to practice your driving in their car, try Collingwood learner driver insurance as an alternative to ,and often much cheaper than, being a named driver on their insurance policy, you could have your own policy. That way if anything were to happen!!???  You would not affect the owners' insurance no claims bonus or premium. Also in the event of an accident You would be able to take care of getting their car repaired  without affecting the future price of their insurance, whilst at the same time starting to earn yourself a no claims bonus.

Learner driver insuranceWith a Collingwood Learner Driver Insurance policy you can insure any car, group 15 or less and under £20,000 in value, when you need it, from as short as a week.
Drive your parents, grandparents, friends or relatives car without any risk to their insurance. Just take out a policy for each vehicle when you need it.


How old do I need to be to take out Learner Driver Insurance?

You must be at least 17 years old as you need to hold a valid UK motor car provisional driving licence to qualify.

Can I drive any vehicle?
You can drive any vehicle providing a policy has been purchased in your name for the vehicle, its value is under £20,000 and if a group 15 or below in the Collingwood Insurance Company Limited car group scale.

Can I insure a car I own?


Can I use my Collingwood Learner Driver policy to tax my car?

Yes - Providing you are the registered keeper of the vehicle.

Does the car need to be insured elsewhere?

If you are the registered keeper/owner of the insured vehicle, the policy offers comprehensive insurance as detailed in the policy document and therefore does not need to be insured elsewhere. 

If you are not the registered keeper/vehicle owner then the policy only covers the vehicle whilst you are undergoing driving tuition, therefore, the vehicle owner should have the vehicle insured elsewhere.

Can I insure more than one vehicle?

You can cover more than one vehicle providing you purchase a seperate policy for each vehicle.

How many people can drive the vehicle I insure?
The Learner Driver policy covers the named policy holder only.

What is the insurance excess on the Learner Driver policy?
A Damage Excess of £250. A Fire & Theft Excess of £250. No seperate windscreen cover is provided.

Who can accompany me?
You must be accompanied by a driver of over 21 who has held a valid full UK/EU licence for at least 3 years.

Can I do an intensive or "crash" course?

Intensive courses cram in lots of hours of driving into a very short space of time. I have lots of regular pupils who have lessons on a weekly basis so I am unable to offer a course where you could start from scratch and pass in a week. However I am able to offer semi-intensive courses spread over perhaps several weeks if you are looking for a quick route to your licence.
call or Email for details

Do you offer Automatic lessons?

At present I don't have an Automatic tuition vehicle but in some circumstances you could use your own car if you have an automatic that you would like to learn in.
(If you take an automatic test your licence will be restricted to driving automatics) I would be more than happy to put you in touch with several colleagues who do teach in an Automatic vehicle.

Should I have more than 1 lesson a week?

Sure, if that suits you, providing that I can fit you in you could book in several lessons a week. It depends how intensively you would like to learn and how quickly you would like to pass the test.

I have a licence issued in another Country do I need to apply for a UK. Licence?

licenceNormally a Licence Issued in another Country will be valid for 1 year to drive in this Country. Then you would need to apply for a provisional Licence. This will vary depending on the Country issuing your licence the best advice can be found on the DVLA website ( the people that issue Licences.) Click here for info 

Do I have to pass the theory test first?

theory certificateNo, you can take the Theory test at any time. It's best to try and learn side by side- Theory and Practical. (Please explore the website for help with this subject.) Your Theory test only lasts for 2 years. You will need to pass the Driving test by the end of the 2 years or take the Theory test again!! Once you have passed the Driving test you wont need to take the theory test again. ( Unless you have your licence revoked.)

What if I have trouble reading or writing or can't understand English well?

Don't worry, there are arrangements in place including extra time allowance and listening to the questions/answers on the headphones provided. Candidates can also choose to listen to the questions/answers being read out through the headphones in over 20 different languages. If you have any concerns call the DSA call centre to book (rather than online) and speak to the advisor.

Where is the Theory test Centre?

The theory test centre In Southampton Is in CAPITAL HOUSE It can be found just behind Debenhams in the Town Centre. Click here for a map
If you don't live in Southampton you can find your nearest test centres HERE

There is no contact phone number for the theory test centre in Southampton you will need to contact the call centre on 0300 200 1122

When should I book my Driving Test?

This is something that will be discussed during the course of your lessons.
Normally I would suggest that you
book the test yourself to get a time that is the most convenient for you, but help is available if required

What Car will I be using on the test?

clioYou will use my car on the test so you will be used to it. If you have your own car it is possible to use that for the test but please speak to Chris first to make arrangements. There are very strict requirements laid down by the Driving Standards Agency for the cars used for practical tests.

How much will the test cost? Do I need to pay my instructor as well?

driving lessons southamptonThe test itself currently costs £62.00 or £75.00 for an evening or weekend slot (see DSA website for more info). Normally pupils will have a 1 hour lesson immediately before the test to settle in, calm nerves etc.. and then you will be charged the equivalent price of an hours lesson for the use of the car during your test. So Normally £44 would be payable to your instructor on the day of your test.( This can be part of a block booking ) The lesson before hand isn't compulsory but highly recommended, similarly, if you wanted to have a 2 hour lesson before your test that wouldn't be a problem either.

How do I get my new driving licence after passing the driving test?

driving instructor southamptonNormal procedure is for the Examiner to keep hold of your Provisional licence.
Your new full Licence will then be sent to you in the post. Usually within 2-3 weeks. (make sure your address is correct on your licence)
You Are allowed to drive in the mean time using your blue pass certificate as proof of passing the driving test.

Can I take my test if i have lost or don't have both parts of my licence or my theory certificate?

driving school southamptonNo, you will need both parts of your provisional licence (card and paper counterpart) in order to take both the theory and practical test. YOU CANNOT TAKE EITHER TEST WITHOUT BOTH PARTS OF YOUR LICENCE YOU WILL BE TURNED AWAY FROM THE TEST CENTRE.  You have up until 3 working days in order to cancel or re-arrange your test without losing your money so if you don't have both parts of your licence don't lose your money   cancel or rearrange your test.  You can order a replacement licence online here 

If you don't have your theory certificate you can still take the test but you wont be able to book your test online, you will need to phone the call centre on 0300 200 1122 they will find your information on their computer and tell you your certificate number. You can then book your test over the phone.