• ‘James took me from my first lesson to passing my test in as pleasant and friendly a way as possible. I would recommend him to anyone.’

    Pete, 17

  • ‘Lessons with James were always fun. His calm and friendly nature ensured that I’ve become a confident driver’

    Emily, 18

  • ‘We have 100% confidence in James and would recommend him as a driving instructor to everyone.’

    Nick and Diana (parents)

  • ‘Very pleased with my progress under James' supervision. When the time came for my test, I felt ready and confident, and passed first time.’

    John, 22

Driving test

Preparation

Driving test

The best preparation for the driving test is of course driving lessons. As you near test standard with your lessons I will start to talk more specifically about techniques which will enable you to get the most out of your driving under test conditions, and a lot of this is to do with confidence. The more confidence you have the more relaxed you will be and the better you will drive. So how do you become confident? There is no one answer because everyone is different but here are a few pointers. Firstly, you need enough practice. If you know in your own mind that you're not really ready that will sap your confidence when under stress. Secondly, you need to have seen yourself cope with difficult situations - on your own - i.e. without help from me. In the latter stages of the lessons I will give you the chance to demonstrate this to yourself. Thirdly, to have coped with a mock test.

Mock test

A mock driving test is one of the most valuable driving lessons you can have in preparation for the real test. It not only gives you an insight into the structure and format of the test but it also allows you to see yourself driving under pressure. As a driving instructor I am in the position of being able to sit in and observe many driving tests, and I use this experience to make my mock tests as realistic as possible and to pass on any extra tips I can to my pupils. As with the real thing the mock test will last about 40 minutes, that allows plenty of time at the end for a re-cap and discussion on any important points. The results of the mock test will then be used to help formulate plans for any remaining lessons.

Location of nearest driving test centres

I tend to use the local test centre at Tunbridge Wells due to it's proximity and my knowledge of the area, there are though several other test centres around Kent.

Tunbridge Wells DTC
8 Upper Grosvenor Road
Tunbridge Wells
Kent TN1 2ES

Maidstone DTC
Unit 1 North Court
South Park Business Village
Armstrong Rd
Maidstone
Kent ME15 6JZ

Sevenoaks DTC
45 Argyle Road
Sevenoaks
Kent TN13 1HJ

The location of all of the driving test centres can be found here.

Cost and booking

When you book the driving test the DVSA will send you a confirmation letter or email with the address of the test centre along with the time and date of your specific test.

The current cost of a driving test is £62 which you can pay over the phone using a credit or debit card.

Saturday tests are also available at some locations for a bit extra.

To book a driving test phone 0300 2001122 or you can book online.

If you are planning to take driving lessons with James' Driving School then it would probably be a good idea to wait to book the test until we are both confident that you will pass (and I've given you lots of tips on how to do it first time).

On the day

About an hour before the test I will pick you up, check all the documents you need to take with you and keep you calm. This pre-test lesson is not really a lesson in the normal sense - it's more like a warm up with intent to relax. We usually run through the manoeuvres and a few roundabouts and generally chat about what it's going to be like on test.

Shortly before the start we will park up at the test centre and make our way into the waiting room and at the allotted time an examiner will arrive and call your name out. They'll ask you to sign the insurance and residency declaration and check your documents. Once they are happy you are who you claim to be they'll get you to lead the way out to the car. On the way out you will have to complete an eye sight test (reading a number plate from 20m) and answer two show me, tell me questions. These test your knowledge of car maintanance and basic car operations. You then get in the car. You'll probably be at your most nervous at this point so any deep breathing exercises, chanting or talking to yourself are all perfectly normal and healthy. The examiner will climb in beside you and give a short briefing just asking you to follow the road ahead unless they ask you otherwise, then off you go.

The test will last about 40 minutes and includes a variety of road and traffic conditions (in and out of town), you'll be asked to complete one of the four manoeuvres you have learned and maybe even an emergency stop. There will also be 5 - 10 minutes of independent driving. Here you will either follow road signs to a nearby town or follow a series of instructions in one go. For more detailed info on this click here. Once you are out on the road the test usually goes pretty fast and before you know it you'll be back at the test centre. The examiner will then tell you whether you passed or failed and complete the relevant forms where necessary.

Lesson Prices

One hour: £28

One & half: £42

Block Discount

10 hours: £260 (pre-pay)

Contact info

I am currently on a sabbatical so unable to be contacted. Contact details will be back when I return.