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   Travel > Worth a mention > Driving lessons and
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Driving lessons and specialist driving instructors

Driving lessons and specialist driving instructors

The usual minimum age for driving cars is 17. But if you receive the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, you can drive at 16.

All new drivers disabled or otherwise should have professional driving lessons and disabled learner drivers may want to look for instructors who have specialist knowledge of their needs.

Look out for instructors who have taken a specialised course - often at Banstead Mobility Centre or the Transport Research Laboratory.

Experienced instructors can teach you more than how to drive, including:

How to get in and out of the car more easily
How to get your wheelchair in and out of the car (if applicable)
How to operate any adapted controls

Increasingly, instructors and driving schools have simple hand controls fitted to one or more of their fleet and will offer specialist tuition.

If you are aged between 16 and 24, Motability may be able to offer financial support towards the cost of driving lessons.

Taking your driving tests

You should book your theory test when you have a thorough knowledge of the Highway Code and practical in car hazard awareness. Only book your practical test once you can drive unprompted.

You must pass the theory test before you can book the practical test. If you don't pass a practical test within two years of taking the theory test, you'll have to take the theory test again.

The theory test

The theory test has two parts, a 50-question multiple-choice section and a hazard perception skills section. You need to pass both parts of the theory test in the same sitting to obtain your theory test pass certificate.

Theory tests are usually held at test centres, which are generally wheelchair accessible and offer specialist facilities for disabled people. But arrangements can be made for you to take the test at home. Or at a different centre if your local centre is not accessible to you.

The theory test system has been designed to be accessible and is available in spoken as well as written format. Candidates with hearing difficulties can watch a video of the test in British Sign Language. The test conditions can also be adapted if you have light-sensitive epilepsy.

You can ask for extra time for the multiple-choice element of the theory test. But you will need to provide supporting evidence before this can be agreed.

It's very important to mention any special requirements you may have when you book your test with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA).

Ensure you let the DSA know if you:

Need access for a wheelchair
Are deaf or have other hearing difficulties
Are dyslexic or have reading difficulties
Do not read or understand English

The practical test

You will take the same driving test as every other candidate, regardless of your impairment or condition.

When you book your test, let the DSA know if you:

Are deaf or have severe hearing difficulties
Are in any way restricted in your movements
Have any physical disability

Disabled drivers may be allowed extra time for their test. This is to allow you to explain to your examiner the nature and function of any adaptations you use. And also to allow you extra time to get in and out of the car.

Driving examiners are specially trained to understand any special needs that may arise from disabilities.

Booking your theory or practical test

You can book your theory or practical driving test online or over the phone. Lines are open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm seven days a week except on Bank Holidays.

Theory and practical test booking line - 0300 200 1122
Minicom theory test booking line - 0300 200 1166
Minicom practical test booking line - 0300 200 1144

Finding a suitable driving instructor

It looks as if you really need to look locally for a suitable driving instructor both for having adapted vehicles and that little extra experience or qualification. It is likely a local mobility centre can point you in the right direction.

Also Yell.com have a few listed.
 
 
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