Frequently Asked Questions

How long are lessons?

Lessons are at least one hour, although we recommend two hours. Years of experience of driver training has told us that two hour lessons are far more productive than just one hour, as more repetition can take place.

In addition, time is not lost travelling to a suitable training site from the place of pick up, so lesson content will flow more consistently and seamlessly. As a result, a fewer number of lessons should be needed overall to pass the driving test, which saves the pupil money.

What areas do you cover?

We cover most of South and West London, Surrey, Middlesex, Hampshire and the Bromley area of Kent. See our instructor page for the full list of postcodes.

How many lessons will I need?

Each individual learns at a different rate. According to statistics from the Driving Standards Agency, a learner driver who passes their driving test has had, on average, about 45 hours of professional training combined with 22 hours of private practice. However, this is the national average figure and many pass with far fewer lessons.

Your instructor will provide you with a detailed lesson structure and advise you on your progress using a Driver's Record Card as recommended by the Driving Standards Agency. This will include a guide of what to practise between lessons when you have a car and supervising driver available.

Should I practise between lessons?

Any practice is good practice. If you have a suitable vehicle and accompanying driver to carry out private practice between lessons, your instructor will give you their professional advice on what you should work on. Each individual pupil progresses differently, and each vehicle has different characteristics, so your instructor will develop your instruction accordingly. Just because a friend may be doing something different with another instructor, it doesn't mean either one is wrong.

Do you provide automatic lessons?

Yes. There is an increasing demand for automatic driving lessons. There are many reasons why you might want to drive an automatic.

These include:

  • A friend or relative owns an automatic, which you will be driving
  • The introduction of more vehicles which have hybrid (part electric) technology and therefore are automatic
  • You are going to be driving around town more than open roads, so auto reduces effort of operating the clutch
  • You may have a medical reason
  • You feel more comfortable not having to worry about the clutch

You must remember though, that if you pass your test in an automatic, you will be restricted to only being permitted to drive an automatic. A test pass in a manual car will permit you to drive both manual and automatic vehicles. Let us know when you call us that you want to take automatic lessons.

What is the minimum age I can start learning to drive? I hear they're putting it up to 18

You need to be 17 years old to legally drive on the public road. The age for applying for a provisional driving licence is now 15 years and 9 months, and link is You cannot take the theory test before you are 17 years old, but if you have a provisional licence before you are 17, you are permitted to book it in readiness for when you are.

If you are receiving disability living (mobility) allowance at the higher rate, your provisional licence will come into effect when you are 16, but you can apply for it within three months of your 16th birthday.

There are rumours that the minimum age is going to be raised to 18, but at the moment there are no plans by the DVLA for this to be implemented.

How do I get a provisional driving licence?

You can pick up an application form for a provisional licence (D1 Pack) from a Post Office, or you can apply online here.

What does the theory test involve?
Where is my nearest test centre, and how do I book a test?

You can find information on booking both theory and practical tests here.

Will my instructor help me get ready for the theory test?

Yes. It is a good idea to take some practical lessons before the theory test to help develop your knowledge. Your instructor can also supply, at reduced cost, official theory home study materials (books and DVDs).

Do you have instructors that can teach in a foreign language?

Unfortunately at the moment we only have English speaking instructors.

What do the theory and practical tests cost?

Please visit the government website for full details of test fees.

Can I take lessons in my own car?

This might be possible. It depends on your insurance policy. Some policies have exclusions on using your vehicle for professional driving tuition. You will need to check your policy conditions prior to booking lessons, and proof of a valid insurance policy will need to be seen by your instructor at the start of the first lesson. We would suggest that using your instructor's dual controlled vehicle would be the best and safest option.

Will I share my lesson with another learner sat in the back?

No. This is sometimes known as 'piggy backing' and is done to save the instructor time between lessons by picking up the next pupil before the end of the previous lesson. We see this as totally unacceptable, as you are paying your instructor for that time.

My friend had another examiner sat in the back seat on their test, could this happen to me?

Unfortunately, yes. The DSA examiners are regularly 'check tested' themselves to ensure quality standards are met and that learner drivers like yourself are being tested fairly. If this happens, you need to remember that the examiner in the back of the car is watching the other examiner, not you. They will make themselves as inconspicuous as possible so as not to put you off.

Can a friend or relative come along and sit in the back of my lesson?

Unfortunately, no. Most of our instructors' insurance policies only cover them to carry another ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) or DSA Official (examiner) in the back of the car whilst instruction is taking place.

Are there any other good sources of information to help me get ready for my test?

Yes, visit and for lots more information on learning to drive and the driving test.

Who prints the graphics on your ELITE vehicles?

ELITE vehicle sign writing is supplied and fitted by Boss Dog.

Boss Dog logo

Where can I find other driving schools if ELITE doesn't cover my area?

The following directories may have details of instructors in your area:

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