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Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information.

Practical test


Preparing for your driving test - The Driver's Record

Those who pass their driving test have had, on average, about 45 hours of professional training combined with 22 hours of private practice. Learners who prepare this way, with a combination of plenty of professional training and plenty of practice, do better in the test.

To help you learn in a structured way, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has produced a Drivers Record. You may have received a Drivers Record with your provisional driving licence. This will help you monitor your progress and provide you with a lasting record of your achievement. You can also get one from your instructor, from your local driving test centre or from the link in the 'When to take your practical test' section below.

Structured learning

The Drivers Record is a way of helping you and your driving instructor keep a record of your progress while youre learning to drive. 

The Drivers Record has a list of 24 key skills covered in the practical driving test. It has space for your instructor to fill in as you progress through the five levels shown on the Record. Levels one to four should be initialled and dated by your instructor, and full details added when you reach level five. From this, both you and your instructor will be able to see at a glance which skills you need to improve.

You need to learn the skill and then practise to get the experience. You also need to learn both the theory and practical driving at the same time, especially now that the theory test contains a hazard perception part. The record is a pocket-sized leaflet that you should take with you to all your driving lessons.

What are the five levels?

The meaning of each level is:

  • the skill is introduced
  • it can be carried out under full instruction
  • it can be carried out correctly when prompted
  • it seldom needs to be prompted
  • you can carry it out consistently without any prompting

The Drivers Record will help to remind you what youre trying to achieve, how to get there and how far youve got.

Practising your driving skills

An important part of the structured learning process is practising what you have learned during your lessons. Get together with your instructor and the person who will be helping you to practise and discuss what you need to practise.

You should vary what you do. Try to practise:

  • on as many types of road as you can
  • in all sorts of traffic and weather conditions, even in the dark
  • on dual carriageways where the national speed limit applies -you may be asked to drive on this type of road during the test

You should try to keep a record of any practice you have on different types of road and during different conditions between lessons. This will help you to remember and quantify the amount of practice you have had in the different conditions. You should also record any worries you may have about your driving and then discuss these with your instructor.

When to take your practical test

You arent ready to take your test until you have a complete set of signatures in the level five boxes. Only then can your instructor sign the declaration. By this time you should be able to drive safely without prompting from your instructor or the person helping you to practise.

Dont forget to take the Record with you when you go for your practical driving test. Keep this as a record of your learning to drive experience.

If you would like a copy of the driver's record, click on the link below.

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