How to choose a driving school in Bedford
You need a driving instructor in Bedford who:
- Makes you feel supported
- Makes it fun to learn
- Won’t cost the earth!
So, when you’re looking for a driving school in Bedford, make sure you do these 4 things:
1. Compare reviews
Comparing reviews will help you to understand which driving schools in Bedford other learners had a good experience with. Just remember to head to unbiased review sites like Trustpilot so that you see the bad reviews as well as the good!
2. Beware of terms and conditions
You know that deal that looks too good to be true? Well, it might be! Reading the terms and conditions will ensure that you know exactly what you’re signing up for. And if everything looks good then you can relax in the knowledge that you really did bag yourself a great deal on your driving lessons in Bedford!
3. Check that you can switch instructors
Sadly, not everyone gets on with their first driving instructor, so it’s wise to make sure you can switch instructors if you need to. Not all driving schools in Bedford will be able to accommodate this, so find out what flexibility there is before booking.
4. Avoid long waiting times
If you’re stuck between a couple of driving schools in Bedford, you might as well learn with the school that can get you on the road the fastest! Some driving schools will make you wait weeks for your first driving lesson. So, make sure you ask about waiting times before you book.
Tips for learning to drive in Bedford
If you want to learn to drive in Bedford, you’re in luck! It’s a great town to practice in.
Private practice is the best way to hone your skills between lessons and to pass your driving test faster. Here are a few of the practice spots driving instructors in Bedford recommend:
Elm Farm Industrial Estate: If you’re just starting out, head to Elm Farm Industrial Estate at the weekend. It’s likely to be quiet, so it’s a great spot to get to grips with steering, clutch control and basic junctions. Plus, you can return here once you’re ready to hone your manoeuvres!
Bromham Road: On Bromham Road, you’ll find two mini-roundabouts one after the other. It can take a bit of brain power to get your head around them, but they’re great for getting 100% confident with the rules of roundabout driving.
Russell Park: Driving instructors in Bedford suggest heading to the residential area just north of Russell Park to get some experience driving on one-way streets. It’s a great chance to test your ability to spot and respond to road signs.
A6 dual carriageway: Dual carriageway driving is likely to come up on your practical driving test, so driving instructors in Bedford recommend getting plenty of practice using slip roads and changing lanes.
A6 roundabouts: One of the single carriageway branches of the A6 is great for some roundabout practice. Head down Union Street, onto Greyfriars and end on River Street to get a heavy dose of roundabouts on your practice route!
Choosing your test centre
Once you’re progressing in your driving lessons in Bedford, your instructor will give you a nudge to choose a driving test centre. They’ll then start helping you to prepare for the driving test by introducing you to the routes that are likely to come up.
Cardington Test Centre is just a stone’s throw from Bedford, but there are a few more just a short drive away.
Test centre pass rates
DVSA practical car test pass rates, 2018-2019
Bletchley Test Centre | Pass rate: 44.5%
Bletchley Test Centre is located in a quiet residential area in the north of Bletchley, with wide avenues. Instructors in Bedford warn that you’re likely to encounter one of two roundabouts near the start of your driving test.
Address: Block 4, Government Buildings, Wilton Hostel, Wilton Avenue, Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, MK3 6DH
Cardington Test Centre | Pass rate: 41.3%
You’ll find Cardington Test Centre on a trading estate just round the corner from a roundabout. Although it has the lowest pass rate of the test centres near Bedford, it’s still a lot higher than some of the test centres in busy cities like London.
Address: Cardington Training Establishment, Paul Waller Avenue, Cardington, Bedfordshire, MK44 3EQ
Letchworth Test Centre | Pass rate: 47%
Letchworth Test Centre is situated in a mainly residential area close to the town centre. There aren’t too many opportunities for urban driving on tests here, but driving instructors say you can expect country roads to crop up.
Address: Jackmans Place, Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, SG6 1RF
Wellingborough Test Centre | Pass rate: 62.7%
Although this test centre is a little further afield, it has a very high pass rate, far surpassing the national average of 45.7%! The test centre requests that test candidates park in the allocated DVSA parking bays, and that they don’t arrive any earlier than 10 minutes before their test slot.
Address: Glamis Hall, Goldsmith Road, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, NN8 3RU
Take a look at the DVSA list of test centres to see more test centres near you.
Test tips from driving instructors in Bedford
Everyone wants to pass first time, so we’ve spoken to driving instructors in Bedford to get their top tips for passing the practical test.
1. Research your test centre
Instructors in Bedford recommend that you research your test centre before the big day so you know what to expect. For example, Wellingborough Test Centre doesn’t have any toilets available, so you’d need to plan a toilet stop into your journey or risk crossing your legs throughout your driving test!
2. Bring what you need
You’ll need to bring both your theory test pass certificate and your provisional driving licence to your test. Without them, you could risk your test being cancelled!
3. Hone your country driving
You’re likely to encounter country roads on a driving test around Bedford. So, it’s important to get used to what speed is appropriate on country roads based on the conditions. Most are signposted at the national speed limit, but this isn’t always the most sensible speed to drive at.
Choosing between manual and automatic
Choosing between manual and automatic driving lessons is a tricky but important step which needs to happen before you book your lesson package.
Manual driving lessons are most popular, particularly in more rural locations like Bedford. They tend to be cheaper because there are more manual instructors available. On top of this, many drivers prefer the sense of control that driving a manual car provides. For instance, a manual car allows you to change down a gear in anticipation of a hill for an extra boost of power.
Automatic driving lessons may be more expensive, but you might end up spending less in the long run. Often, learners need fewer automatic lessons before taking the practical driving test because there’s less to get your head around - there’s no clutch pedal and no need to change gears each time you come to a standstill. This also makes automatic cars more relaxing to drive, particularly in urban settings full of traffic lights, junctions and stop-start traffic.
It’s important to note that a manual driving licence allows you to drive both manual and automatic cars, but an automatic licence only qualifies you to drive automatic cars.
Whichever you choose, we’re sure you’ll love your driving lessons in Bedford!
Where can you have driving lessons in Bedford
Driving instructors can cover the whole of Bedford and the surrounding areas.
Enter your postcode to see driving lesson prices near you.