Your guide to learning to drive in Nottingham
How to choose a driving instructor in Nottingham
You want to choose a driving instructor in Nottingham who:
- Builds your confidence
- Makes it fun to learn
- Won’t charge a fortune!
That’s why it’s important to remember these 4 things!
1. Compare reviews
Reading about other learners' experiences will help you find out about the driving schools and local instructors in Nottingham.
2. Beware of terms and conditions
There are driving schools in Nottingham that offer great introductory deals. However, these often come with hours that have to be used at specific times of the day or week, which may not suit your schedule. Ideally, you want a school that is transparent regarding the availability of their driving lessons in Nottingham. So as a good rule of thumb, always check the small print and understand any restrictions on lesson bundles.
3. Check that you can switch instructors
It’s usually best to learn with one instructor, but if you’re not loving your lessons you may want to switch. Although there are some driving schools in Nottingham that’ll let you to switch instructors, some will only switch after you’ve done your first lesson. Check you have the ability to switch to another instructor free of charge, should lessons not be going to plan.
4. Avoid long waiting times
Some driving schools in Nottingham won’t let you know what their wait times are until after you’ve made a booking enquiry. And wait times can be up to 4 weeks or more in busy periods (summer, for example).
Choosing between manual and automatic
Before you start learning to drive, you’ll need to decide whether you’d like to take manual or automatic driving lessons.
Automatic cars are easier to drive in heavy traffic. These will be a better option if you’ll need to spend time driving around Huntingdon Street, for example. Manual cars, on the other hand, give you a greater sense of control. You might prefer this over long distances, particularly if you’ll regularly be taking the M1.
Automatic driving lessons tend to cost more than manual per hour. That said, you could learn faster in an automatic so it could wind up cheaper in the end. Be aware that some driving schools in Nottingham may not offer automatic lessons.
Lastly, an automatic licence only allows you to drive an automatic. Whereas a manual licence will cover you for both transmission types. So you’ll need to consider the cars you’ll potentially drive in the future.
Tips for learning to drive in Nottingham
It’s a great idea to supplement your driving lessons in Nottingham with extra practice. In fact, the DVSA recommends a minimum of 22 hours of private practice before taking the practical driving test.
According to our driving instructors Nottingham has a lot of great places to practise. Here are a few options provided by our driving instructors in Nottingham.
The Meadows: The roads are narrow around here so you’ll get plenty of practice stopping, starting, and giving way to other cars. This will be at a leisurely speed as the area is residential and traffic is light during the day.
Bakersfield: This is nice area for some easy practise outside of your driving lessons in Nottingham. The area around Hereford Rd is great for getting a handle on the basics of steering and clutch control. Ashworth Cl is perfect for reverse parking without interference.
The Park: With wide roads, low traffic, and a lot of corners, The Park is a brilliant place to build your confidence behind the wheel. Just remember to watch out for pedestrians and bicycles!
Maid Marian Way Roundabout in City Centre: With three lanes and a moderate amount of traffic, this roundabout will provide a good challenge for your skills. Follow Derby Road and loop back onto Wollaton Street to see the traffic flow from a different direction.
Queens Drive, Wilford Road Junction: This junction is complicated at first glance, but it’s well sign-posted and usually light on traffic. Come at it from a few different angles to get used to stopping, accelerating, and turning in a timely fashion.
Residential areas in Sneinton: These areas present a nice mix of narrow residential streets cut by busier roads that feed the A612. Be prepared for cars parked on either side of the road and, at the busier junctions, wait for the best time to merge with traffic.
City Centre near Intu Victoria Centre: Get ready for some heavy traffic, particularly around Glasshouse Street. A few laps around the block should sharpen your defensive driving. Remember to check your mirrors and blindspot, and keep a good awareness of everything that’s happening around you.
Middleton Boulevard, Clifton Boulevard Roundabout: Connecting the A52 and the A6200, there’s a lot happening at this roundabout. The significant traffic and flyover of Middleton and Clifton boulevards means you’ll need to plan your lane changes in advance if you want to take the correct exit.
Country roads near Holme Pierrepont: A little bit of country driving not too far from the city. Adbolton Lane and Holme Lane are narrow, old country roads that will give you a feel for different driving conditions, especially when wet. Watch out for people walking their dogs!
Choosing your test centre
Once you’ve completed some driving lessons in Nottingham your instructor will help you choose your test centre. Then they’ll introduce you to the routes that are likely to come up in your driving test.
Test centre pass rates
DVSA practical car test pass rates, 2018-2019.
Ashfield Test Centre | Pass rate: 59.6%
A short way from Sutton-on-Ashfield proper, the test centre is located in a busy little industrial estate. Make sure you drive around the area before your test so you can start confidently. Driving instructors in Nottingham recommend this test centre.
Address: Sherwood House, Coxmoor Road, Sutton-in-ashfield, Nottinghamshire, NG17 5LA
Nottingham (Chilwell) Test Centre | Pass rate: 41.9%
The Chilwell Test Centre is situated in a semi-industrial estate near Chilwell Retail Park. Be prepared for dual carriageways, large junctions, and plenty of roundabouts. There’s an Amazon depot on Eldon Road as well, so be on the lookout for passing vans.
Address: Unit 24, Eldon Business Park, Eldon Road, Beeston, Nottinghamshire, NG9 6DZ
Nottingham (Colwick) Test Centre | Pass rate: 48.5%
Set on the river Trent, the Colwick Test Centre is located in a heavy industrial area accessed exclusively by private roads. Be careful along Road No 3 especially, as it’s quite narrow and you’re likely to come across a few wide trucks during the day!
Address: Private Road No.5, Colwick Industrial Estate, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG4 2JU
Watnall Test Centre | Pass rate: 50.4%
A stone’s throw from the heart of the village, it’s unsurprising that Watnall Test Centre is surrounded by quiet residential streets and winding country roads. Remember to check your speed around blind corners, especially in the wet. Address: Testing Station, Main Rd, Watnall, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG16 1JF
Worksop Test Centre | Pass rate: 56.0%
Located in an isolated business park, the Worksop Test Centre presents some unique challenges. Make sure you’re comfortable on large roundabouts and dual carriageways. Practise merging into traffic to relieve some of the stress on test day!
Address: Unit 4, The Point, Coach Road, Shireoaks, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S81 8BW
You can also search the DVSA to find the nearest test centre to your postcode.
Test tips from driving instructors in Nottingham
Driving instructors in Nottingham give you the inside information.
1. Don’t rush roundabouts
There are a lot of multiple lane roundabouts around Nottingham. These can be daunting, even for experienced drivers. Remember to take your time and only enter when you have a clear route. You’re much more likely to be penalised for rushing than being a little slow.
2. Mind your observations
With dual carriageways connecting many of the city’s satellite districts, you’re never far from the need to change lanes. A local driving instructor in Nottingham, says: “Always make a habit of checking your mirrors and blindspots, even if you’re the only car on the road. Examiners will watch for it.”
3. Brush up with a lesson beforehand
The driving conditions in Nottingham can be quite varied, so it’s best to put some light practise in before your test. Drive around the test area, get a feel for the conditions and the approaches on all the major junctions. By the time your test comes around you’ll be much more comfortable and your muscle memory can do some of the decision making for you.
Driving lessons in Nottingham
Some of the most popular areas to learn to drive in Nottingham are:
Beeston, Carlton, Grantham, Hyson Green, Radford, Sherwood, Sneinton, Stapleford, Top Valley and Wollaton.
Enter your postcode above to check lesson pricing in your local area of Nottingham.