Driving lessons in Canterbury

Pass faster in Canterbury with our learning to drive guide.

Last updated: 12 Aug 2020

Driving lessons in Canterbury

The most popular areas to learn to drive are:

Bekesbourne, Blean, Fordwich, Hales Place, Harbledown, Littlebourne, Nackington, Rough Common, Sturry and Thanington.

Enter your postcode above to find prices in your local area of Canterbury.

View other guides: Driving Lessons in London, Driving Lessons in Birmingham, Driving Lessons in Manchester.

Learning to drive in Canterbury

Apparently, Canterbury was a pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages. If they’d only been able to drive back then, The Canterbury Tales would have been a whole lot shorter! With a driving licence, you’ll be able to take to the White Cliffs of Dover, the Kent Downs or the seaside town of Whitstable for a day trip.

If you’re just starting out, it might be worth heading to one of the villages surrounding the city for a spot of practice. Upper Harbledown is our top choice. The roads here are usually fairly wide and quiet, making them perfect for nailing clutch control and steering. They’re also great for learning how to parallel park when the time comes. If, on the other hand, you want to get to grips with bay parking, you can’t beat the multiple car parks of the University of Kent - just head here at the weekends when it’s quiet!

When you’ve got to grips with the basics, you’ll want to stretch yourself a little. Head inside the city walls to spend some time getting your head around one-way systems and passing distances (you’ll come across some very narrow streets!). If you’re hoping to find somewhere to park here it’ll be a challenge at the weekends, so stick to weekdays until you’re feeling confident.

If it’s time for some intensive roundabout experience, we suggest hopping onto the A28. Between Sturry and Chartham, you’ll encounter a grand total of eight roundabouts! Plus, you’ll find a dual carriageway section, a ton of traffic lights and at least one cheeky box junction. With a top-rated Midrive instructor by your side though, it’ll be a breeze!

Taking your test in Canterbury

You’ll find Canterbury Test Centre on New Dover Road (also known as the A2050). If you’re asked to turn right out of the test centre, you could quickly find yourself on the dual carriageways Upper Bridge Street or Rhodaus Town. These are both parts of the A28, so you’ll likely encounter a few of those eight roundabouts we mentioned above. Alternatively, you could end up in the city centre, handling those narrow streets and one-way systems.

On the other hand, if your examiner asks you to turn left out of the test centre, you could well be on your way to the A2. This national speed limit dual carriageway will test your ability to use slip roads and might require you to change lanes. Or, you could end up taking some bumpy, narrow country roads, like Pilgrim’s Way. Watch your speed on these - although you’re mostly allowed to drive at the national speed limit, that might not always be appropriate. Ask your instructor for some guidance on driving on rural roads if you’re unsure.

Although the DVSA no longer publishes test routes, your Midrive instructor will know the routes that are likely to come up during your test and will give you plenty of practice on them during your driving lessons. So, you’ll be well prepared for the big day!

Driving test centre locations

There’s only one test centre in Canterbury, but a few more in the Canterbury postcode area. Head over to gov.uk to see a full list of test centres near you.

  • Canterbury: 25 New Dover Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 3AS
  • Herne Bay: Altria Business Park, Margate Road, Thanet Way Herne Bay, Kent, CT6 6GZ
  • Folkestone: Palting House, Trinity Road, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 2RH

Manual vs Automatic

Take your pick from manual or automatic driving lessons in Canterbury.

There are pros and cons to both transmissions, so have a think before you decide whether to take manual or automatic driving lessons.

A manual licence qualifies you to drive both manual and automatic vehicles. Manual cars and lessons are also cheaper, which tends to be a big plus for learner drivers. However, it can take a bit longer to learn how to drive a manual car because you have to get to grips with clutch control and changing gears.

An automatic licence only qualifies you to drive automatic cars. While automatic driving lessons do tend to be more expensive, there’s also less to get your head around so you might learn quicker. Plus, if you’re going to be navigating your way through Canterbury city centre on a regular basis, an automatic might be easier since you won’t have to work the clutch each time you come to a standstill at traffic lights. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide which transmission will suit you best!