The essential guide to learning to drive in Dartford
How to choose a driving instructor in Dartford
Everyone deserves an instructor who:
- Builds your confidence
- Makes learning fun
- Doesn’t cost an arm and a leg!
That’s why you should do these 4 things:
1. Compare reviews
Most schools in Dartford only publish their best reviews, so it’s better to visit independent review sites to gain a better sense of them.
2. Be aware of terms and conditions
Make sure you read the fine print when you’re researching driving schools in Dartford. Some schools can have attractive introductory offers like 5 lessons for £100, but will restrict the usage of these hours to very specific times. Always read any terms and conditions on special offer and discounted bundles.
3. Check that you can switch instructors
If things don’t work out with your chosen instructor, you’ll want to be able to switch instructors without any hassle. Not every school in Dartford will let you do this, so choose a school where switching instructor is pain-free.
4. Avoid long waiting times
Not every school in Dartford publishes its waiting times. Before you book, make sure you ask a school how long it will be until your first lesson, as with some schools you may have to wait up to a month until an instructor is available.
Choosing between manual and automatic
There’s a choice to be made between manual and automatic driving lessons.
With a manual driving licence, you can drive either type of car. But with an automatic licence, you can only drive an automatic car.
There’s a bit less to get your head around in automatic though, so for some people, it’s exactly what they’re looking for. Just make a note that automatic driving lessons cost a bit more as there are fewer automatic instructors.
Automatics tend to be better during traffic jams, as you won’t have to keep changing gears in stop-start traffic. If you’re anywhere near the Dartford Crossing, you might prefer an automatic to ease the stress of congestion.
However, going for an automatic, you’ll sacrifice the sense of control that a manual can provide. Automatics cars also tend to be pricier than their manual equivalent.
Make sure you go for whichever feels right to you.
Choosing your test centre
When you’ve picked your driving test centre, your instructor will help you learn the routes likely to come up in your test.
Test centre pass rates
DVSA practical car test pass rates, 2018-2019.
Sidcup Test Centre | Pass rate: 46.9%
Sidcup Test Centre is surrounded by twisting residential roads, so you could end up completing your manoeuvre early in your test. The A20 is the nearest major road, but there is also the A2 to the north which can be quite busy.
Address: 2 Crayside, Five Arches Business Estate, Maidstone Road, Sidcup, Greater London, DA14 5AG
Belvedere Test Centre | Pass rate: 34.0%
Belvedere Test Centre has a pass rate much lower than the national average. If you pass here, you’ll be well prepared for life on the road.
Address: 33 Woolwich Road, Belvedere, Belvedere, Kent, DA17 5EE
Find your nearest test centre through the DVSA.
Test tips from Dartford instructors
1. Take a driving lesson before your test
It’s always a good idea to take a driving lesson on the day of your test. You can go over the roads around your test centre, or get in some last minute manoeuvre practice. Plus, you’ll be getting yourself adjusted to the day’s driving conditions.
2. Be prepared for buses
The A222 is right on the doorstep of the Sidcup Test Centre, and it’s a busy bus route (that’s not to mention all the traffic and junctions you’ll have to deal with). If a bus happens to stop in front of you, only overtake if it’s safe to do so.
3. Take care on A roads
The A20 can be particularly daunting for learners. Stretches of it expand to three lanes. But Since the driving test is only 40 minutes long, it’s unlikely you’ll spend an extended amount of time on it.
4. Know your junctions
Since Sidcup Test Centre is in a residential area, there are lots of junctions and side roads around, from phased to box junctions. You’ll also need to keep an eye out for pedestrian crossings, as there are plenty around.
Driving lessons in Dartford
The most popular areas in Dartford include:
Barnehurst, Belvedere, Bexley, Bexleyheath, Foots Cray, Gravesend, Lessness Heath, Northumberland Heath, Sidcup, Slade Green.
Enter your postcode below to check lesson pricing in your local area of Dartford.