Before learning to drive or ride you must acquire a provisional licence. Either complete
DVLA Form D1, or apply at www.direct.gov.uk. The price is £50. If you want to learn to
master larger vehicles, minibuses, or buses – and already hold a full UK licence – you
need to apply for provisional entitlement for the specific category. Complete Form D2 and
Medical Report Form D4. The latter must be completed by a doctor, who may charge.
Choosing a driving instructor is the next challenge. It is wise to study with professionals
only, at least at the early stages. These are known as Approved Driving Instructors -
and have the knowledge and training necessary to teach you the best techniques. This
maximises your chances of passing the practical and theory tests. Approved Instructors
often have fairly new vehicles too, which should be easy to drive and have dual controls.
After some time, it may be worth practising with a friend to complement any professional
tuition. This individual must be at least twenty-one, and have held (and currently hold)
a full licence in the appropriate category for at least three years. You must also ensure
the 'tuition' vehicle is roadworthy, properly insured, and displaying L plates. These must
feature prominently on the front and rear of the car. Plates are magnetic, so attach easily.
By Stephen Turvil, motoring.co.uk