Your guide to learning to drive in Croydon
How to choose a driving instructor in Croydon
You want an instructor who:
- Builds your confidence
- Makes learning fun
Won’t empty your pockets!
That's why you should definitely do these 4 things:
1. Compare reviews
See what other learner drivers have said about Croydon’s schools on sites. Lots of driving schools in Croydon only show their best reviews on their website. Your best bet is to look at a range of review sites to get an objective viewpoint.
2. Beware of terms and conditions
If you block book lessons with some schools in Croydon but have any hours remaining at the end, they will be deemed as spent and no refund will be given. Go through the driving school’s Terms and Conditions to check that you can get refunded if you have leftover hours.
3. Check that you can switch instructors
Having a good relationship with your instructor is essential for getting the most out of your learning experience. If you’re not getting along with your current instructor, you should be able to change to a better one. Ask about a driving school’s switching policies as not all driving schools in Croydon are upfront about them.
4. Avoid long waiting times
It’s good to know what the waiting times are before you begin your lessons. Some driving schools in Croydon could make you wait over three weeks for your first lesson, so go for one that doesn’t make you wait longer than needed.
Choosing between manual and automatic
Before booking your first lesson, think about whether you want manual or automatic lessons.
Since automatics don’t have a clutch pedal, they are easier to drive and quicker to learn in. They are less stressful in traffic because you don’t need to change gears as you continually stop and start. This will be useful in Croydon as congestion will worsen through 2019 and 2020, according to the Croydon Advertiser.
However, manual cars cost less to buy and maintain. Not to mention manual lessons are cheaper than automatic lessons because they’re less in demand. Also keep in mind that a manual licence lets you drive both automatics and manuals, whereas an automatic licence only lets you drive automatic cars.
They both have their strengths so it’s up to you to decide!
Choosing your test centre
Your instructor will help you practise the routes that are likely to come up in your driving test.
There is only one test centre within the Croydon postcode. But there are other centres nearby in the South London area. Have a look at these test centres’ pass rates below:
Test centre pass rates
DVSA practical car test pass rates, 2018-2019.
Croydon Test Centre| Pass rate: 37.4%
Croydon Test Centre is rather hard to spot as it’s much smaller than the buildings surrounding it. You’ll find it in between ‘Newey & Eyre’ and ‘J & A Autos Ltd’.
Address: 111 Canterbury Road, Croydon, Greater London, CR0 3HH
Mitcham Test Centre| Pass rate: 41.1%
You’ll likely drive through industrial estates and dual carriageways if you take your test at Mitcham Test Centre. Quite a few people pick up minor faults for not dealing with oncoming traffic correctly on Redhouse Road, so be prepared for that.
Address: Redhouse Road, Merton, Mitcham, Greater London, CR0 3AQ
Morden Test Centre| Pass rate: 47.9%
Morden Test Centre’s pass rate is only slightly below the national average. You’ll encounter both quiet residential streets and busy main roads if you take your test here.
Address: 10 Tudor Drive, Morden, Surrey, SM4 4PE
West Wickham Test Centre| Pass rate: 47.4%
You will find West Wickham Test Centre on Glebe Way which runs alongside the A232. Keep in mind there are no toilets at this test centre.
Address: 56 Glebe Way, West Wickham, Kent, BR4 0RL
Check out the DVSA page to find your nearest Driving Test Centre.
Test tips from Croydon instructors
1. Book a lesson before your test
If you’re not feeling too confident or want some last-minute practice, you can book a final driving lesson just before your test. You can go over roads you think might come up on the practical or any areas you’re uncertain of.
2. Prepare for roundabouts
You might head down Mitcham Road all the way to Commonside East and Manor Road if you take your test at Croydon Test Centre. This route has four roundabouts, two normal sized and two mini-roundabouts. When you approach them, keep within your lane and check your mirrors for the surrounding cars.
3. Take care on narrow streets
Roads like Brook Road, Strathyre Avenue and Kilmartin Avenue are narrow and will likely have lots of cars parked either side. Keep a safe passing distance and be on the lookout for any pedestrians crossing from behind the parked cars.
4. Slow down when you approach speedbumps
You’ll get speedbumps on roads like Bensham Lane and Dalmeny Avenue in Croydon. Lower your speed here otherwise you’ll get marked down by your examiner.
Driving lessons in Croydon
Some of the most popular areas in Croydon are:
Addiscombe, Caterham, Chipstead, Coulsdon, East Croydon, Hooley, Purley, South Croydon, Thornton Heath, and West Croydon.
Enter your postcode to check lesson pricing in your local area.