Legally, no, you do not have to pass your theory test before you start taking driving lessons. You have to pass your theory test before you can take your practical test. But all you need to start driving lessons is a provisional driving licence.
Need to apply for a provisional driving licence? You can do it online, on the government’s website.
Many driving instructors might encourage you to start studying for your theory test either before or while you’re learning with them. This can help to you gain familiarity with road markings, signs and rights of way but isn’t usually required.
Do You Have to Pass Your Theory Test Before an Intensive Driving Course?
While you don’t legally have to pass your theory test before taking driving lessons, some instructors will request that you do. This is especially true of intensive driving courses where you’re expected to take your practical test after just a week or two.
Getting Ready for Your First Driving Lesson
Completely new to driving? Don’t worry. Everyone has to start somewhere.
If you’re nervous about starting lessons, don’t be. Your driving instructor will know how to work with absolute beginners. They won’t throw you in at the deep end. Instead, they’ll start with the basics, helping you to gradually build up your confidence.
But if you don’t want to start completely from scratch, there are a few things you can do to help you prepare for your first lesson:
- Start learning road theory. You don’t have to pass your theory test before you start lessons. But it won’t hurt to brush up on the basics, such as common road signs and road markings. These will help you understand how the roads work, and the essential rules that all drivers must follow.
- Pay attention to other drivers. When you’re a passenger, pay attention to what the driver’s doing – the decisions they make, the things they look out for, the things that make them slow down or stop, and so on. You could even ask them to commentate on what they’re doing, which will give you some insights into what goes through a driver’s mind as they drive.
- Download some apps. There are many apps that’ll help you learn to drive. These are most useful for people who have already started lessons, but they can also help you get a head start before you take your first lesson. Head here to read our complete guide on helpful apps for learners.
Other Helpful Hints for New Learner Drivers
You’ll find lots of guides on our site to help you with your driving lessons:
- How to choose a driving instructor
- What to expect from your first driving lesson
- How much are driving lessons and how many will you need?
- How to make the most of your driving lessons
And remember – learning to drive might feel overwhelming to begin with. But the more you drive, the better you’ll get.
This is why it’s a good idea to practice driving outside of your lessons, where you’ll really be able to build up your confidence as a driver.
For this, you’ll need a car to practice in and someone to supervise you. You can read our complete guide to who can supervise learners for more information.
It’s illegal to drive without car insurance. Your driving instructor should sort out your insurance for your driving lessons. But you’ll have to sort out your own insurance for any driving you do outside of lessons.
At Go Girl, we specialise in affordable car insurance for learners. We’ll give you comprehensive cover while you practice outside of your lessons. And once you pass your test, you can switch to a new driver insurance policy. Then you can start building up your no claims discount immediately, and eventually you can make huge savings on the cost of your cover.