Cartoon purple car

What do I need to start?

Well firstly you will need your provisional driving licence, check out our useful info page for instructions on how to apply for one!

Check your eyesight is good enough to drive in the UK

Standards of vision for driving

You must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres.

You must also meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving by having a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) using both eyes together or, if you have sight in one eye only, in that eye.

You must also have an adequate field of vision - your optician can tell you about this and do a test.
All Union driving instructor’s will conduct an eye test at the start of your first lesson as will your driving examiner at the start of your driving test, if you fail the eye sight check the test will not go ahead.

Decide on what kind of gear box manual or automatic?

Manual or automatic?

At Union school of motoring all our instructors are adept at teaching both manual and automatic cars, but what is the practical difference?

Basically, it is all about the gearbox, in a manual car, you will have to operate the clutch and gears yourself, while an automatic car changes gears for you depending on your speed. This means that manual cars have some extra controls that you will need to operate that simply are not present in automatic cars: a gear stick and a clutch pedal. Because of these extra controls, manual cars can be a little harder to learn at the start of your training, which can lead to longer learning times.

While it may seem like Automatic is the logical choice it does come with some drawbacks. If you pass your driving test in an automatic car, you are only legally allowed to drive automatic cars, basically your driving licence will be restricted. Learning to drive and passing the driving test with a manual transmission means your licence will allow you to drive both manual and automatic cars.

Who should teach you?

It is always best to learn with a professional driving instructor, you will simply be better prepared for life as a motorist and for the DVSA driving test. Union school of motoring driving instructors are all professional and hold either an ADI or PDI licence, but what is the difference?


Is an approved driving instructor, they would have passed all three of the qualifying exams. Essentially, they are fully qualified to teach people to drive a car in the UK. ADI are required to display a green badge in their windscreen when teaching for reward (being paid!)


Is an potential driving instructor, while they will are allowed to teach you to drive a car in the UK they will still need to fully complete the ADI training program, basically they will still need to pass the last qualifying exam. PDI will work under the supervision of a qualified ADI. PDI are required to display a pink badge in the front windscreen when teaching for reward (being paid!)

Ask for and read the terms and conditions

Any professional company will always be able to give you a copy on request.

Be Happy with your choice of driving school!

Be happy with your instructor, that part is especially important. You will spend a fair amount of time in the car with them so you must feel comfortable, do you enjoy and understand their teaching style. Ask your instructor questions, even if you think it is a silly question any experienced instructor will have heard them all before and asking questions is the best way of learning!

If you find that you don’t like your instructors teaching style or you do not feel comfortable, don’t be afraid to change instructors, any professional driving school will understand that we are all different and what works for one of us does not always work for someone else. And above all remember you are the customer and you should always expect an excellent level of customer service!

How long will it take me to learn to drive?

This is an extremely popular question and to be honest, there is no standard amount of time it takes to learn to drive. We are all different and we all learn at a different rate!

While it is impossible for me to tell you “how long” or “how many driving lessons” it will take, I can give you a bit of advice on how to speed things up!


Try doing more than one driving lesson per week, learning to drive is basically a practical skill based on repetition the more you do it the better you get!


Practice with friends and family if possible, remember the more driving the better!