Learning to drive
There are practical steps you can take to help you to pass your test, and be a confident driver. It may take you a little longer to drive, and it may take more concentration, but it is, of course, achievable.
Practical tips for learning to drive
- Explain any difficulties or preferences to your instructor, and ways of teaching you might find helpful.
- Consider learning on and taking the test in an automatic car. You can concentrate on other aspects of driving and learn to use a manual car once you have passed your test.
- Ask what you will be covering before each lesson, and talk through what you have learnt at the end of each lesson.
- Practice on quiet roads as much as possible to reduce distraction while you get to grips with basic car handling.
You can book your theory test online. If you have difficulty with this or need to book special accommodations (Reasonable Adjustments) in the theory test, phone: 0300 200 1122.
You can request:
- To listen to the instructions through a headset
- A reader who will read exactly what is on the computer screen
- Double the standard 57 minutes to complete the test
- An Oral Language Modifier (OLM). An OLM can explain the questions in a different way to help with understanding
You must request Reasonable Adjustments on the online form when you apply for the test. You will be asked to supply evidence of this need when booking.
Examples of evidence could be a letter or report from a professional, i.e. a teacher, a psychologist, or Local Dyslexia Association officer.
You can request the voice-over and headset when you check in at the test centre on the day.
Candidates sit in individual booths to complete the theory test. The test has 50 questions which appear one at a time on a computer screen, candidates choose their answers on the screen.
During the test, the screen shows which of the 50 questions you are doing, and how much time you have remaining. You can return to questions and change your answers.
Candidates receive their test results when they have finished the test.
This usually takes place at the start of the driving test.
If dyslexia makes reading a number plate accurately difficult, you can show a letter from your optician stating that you have good eyesight, but dyslexic difficulties could cause reading errors.
If visual stress makes it difficult to read numbers on a white background, you may find this easier on the rear yellow number plate.
If you find it difficult to read letters and numbers aloud, you could also write them down.
The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) offer Reasonable Adjustments.
You will need to provide evidence of dyslexia. For example, a letter or report from a professional such as a teacher, psychologist, or Local Dyslexia Association officer.
You can now book your driving test online. If you have difficulty with this or need to book Reasonable Adjustments in the theory test, phone 0300 200 1122.
The examiner should ask you what adjustments you need. These can include:
- Asking your preference for either verbal directions, or for following signs during the independent driving section
- Showing a simple diagram before the independent driving section; this will printed on cream paper to reduce visual distraction
- Giving no more than two directions at a time.
- Indicating with hand gestures to go with verbal directions for left and right.
All candidates are allowed to take their driving instructor, or the person who has accompanied them, with them on their driving test.
DVSA theory test booking support
Telephone: 0300 200 1122
Find out more on the Gov.uk website Driving tests: cars