Getting Started

Before driving on the public highway, there is a legal requirement to have a driving licence. In certain circumstances it is possible to apply for your first Provisional Licence at the age of 16, but most commonly, it is possible 3 months before your 17th Birthday. The licence can take 3 or 4 weeks to arrive, so if you want to start driving on your 17th Birthday, make sure you apply in good time.


Applying for a Provisional Licence


You will need to complete the application form D1 that's available from either the 'Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) form ordering service', or from your local Post Office. Alternatively you can now apply for a provisional licence online. Visit www.gov.uk/apply-first-provisional-driving-licence and follow the directions.


If you will be having lessons with us at Driven Mad, that is all you need. We take care of the rest.


If you are lucky enough to be getting practice with a friend or relative, be sure that the vehicle you will be driving is insured for you to drive, and that the person sitting with you is at least 21 and has held a full British Driving Licence for at least 3 years.


Essential Reading

The Highway Code


It is not the most exciting ‘who dunnit’, but it is worth starting to read it early as the Highway Code is essential reading for everybody who intends to use the public highway. For those who are dyslexic or find reading difficult, there is an audio version on a CD Rom. When it was first launched in 1931 there were just 2.3 million motor vehicles in Great Britain, yet over 7,000 people were killed in road accidents each year. Over the 80+ years since then it has been regularly updated, to create a system with rules, regulations and advice, that has helped to reduce the number of deaths significantly, despite more than a ten fold increase in vehicle numbers to about 27 million. The most up to date version is the 2007 edition. This is the version you should read, not the one on the bookshelf at home from 1956. As a driver, it's your duty to know these rules - and remember if you don't abide by them, you'll be breaking the law and could end up being prosecuted. This could lead to you losing your licence, so it's worth getting to know what's what!


Your Driving Theory Test


If you have done the necessary preparation, (which of course we can help you with), it is possible to take your Theory Test as early as your 17th Birthday. New from 2014, we are working in conjunction with Godalming College, as well as Guildford College, Farnham College and Merrist Wood to offer Classroom sessions to prepare for the theory test. The courses currently run as 2 sessions, each of 1 hour, and looking at the two distinct parts of the test. Do contact us if you are interested in attending, or if you already attend either of the specific colleges mentioned, enquire at Student Services. The Theory Test is made up of two parts; a multiple choice section and a Hazard Perception test. The multiple choice bit is delivered using a touch screen computer and mouse, with 50 questions, while the hazard perception test records your responses to the events happening on 14 short video clips, through the use of a computer mouse button.


You'll need to pass both parts to successfully complete your theory test. If you pass one part and fail the other, you'll fail the whole test, and will have to take both parts again.


You can book your Theory Test by phone, but the best way is through the DSA (Driving Standards Agency) website. Current fee is £23. Make sure you go direct to the DSA site though. There are some dodgy web sites offering to book it for you and charging for this. These sites are a big con. Following 'Useful Links' from this web site, however, will take you to the correct place.