Your guide to learning to drive in Reading
How to choose a driving school in Reading
Everyone deserves an instructor who:
- Builds their confidence
- Makes learning enjoyable
- Doesn’t cost the earth!
That’s why you should do these 4 things:
1. Compare reviews
Most schools in Reading only display their top reviews online. Explore independent review sites like Trustpilot to find out what learners have been saying more broadly.
2. Be aware of terms and conditions
Plenty of schools in Reading have good introductory offers, like 10 hours for £280. But these packages often require you to save three hours for your test, so you’re only receiving 7 hours of driving tuition. Double check the terms and conditions around these offers.
3. Check that you can switch instructors
If you ever need to switch instructors for whatever reason, you’ll want a school that can facilitate this. Not every school in Reading will have an instructor readily available if you want to switch.
4. Avoid long waiting times
Most schools in Reading don’t publish their waiting times. Make sure you enquire before you pay for lessons, or else you could get stung with a long wait time before your first lesson.
Choosing between manual and automatic
There’s a choice to be made between manual and automatic driving lessons in Reading.
A manual licence allows you to drive both manual and automatic cars after passing. An automatic licence restricts you to automatics.
Automatic lessons are also generally more expensive, as there are fewer automatic instructors teaching. However, an automatic is simpler than a manual, as you don’t have to change gears, so most people learn quicker in them.
You might want to consider where you’ll be driving in Reading. If you plan to travel towards Reading Station or the town centre during rush hour, you may well prefer an automatic. An automatic transmission makes crawling along with traffic a little easier.
On the other hand, if you see yourself driving out of Reading, perhaps on the winding country lanes towards Shiplake, then you might prefer the control of a manual transmission.
In the end, the choice is down to you!
Choosing a driving 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.
Farnborough Test Centre | Pass rate: 53.5%
Farnborough Test Centre has a healthy pass rate, likely because of all the residential roads around it.
Address: 35 Hercules Way, Aerospace Boulevard, Unit C1, Cirrus, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 6UU
High Wycombe Test Centre | Pass rate: 51.3%
The A4010 is the biggest challenge near High Wycombe Test Centre. With an above average pass rate, it’s not a bad place to take your test.
Address: Trenchard House, Wellington Road, Cressex Business Park, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP12 3PS
Reading Test Centre | Pass rate: 48.2%
Reading Test Centre has a reasonable pass rate. It can be fiddly exiting the test centre, as there are often a lot of parked cars around.
Address: 220 Elgar Road South, Reading, Berkshire, RG2 0BW
Find your nearest test centre through the DVSA.
Test tips from Reading instructors
1. Take a driving lesson beforehand
It’s always a good idea to take a driving lesson on the day of your test so you can get in some last minute practice. You might like to go over roads you haven’t felt too confident on, or squeeze in some manoeuvre practice.
2. Practice the Black Boy Roundabout
The main lanes, traffic lights, and exits make this roundabout one of the most difficult and notorious in Reading. It’s best to have plenty of practice on it before test day, but when it comes to the real thing, lane positioning is key. Take extra care to check mirrors and blind spots when changing lanes.
3. Don’t miss the stop sign
If your test is at Reading Test Centre, don’t forget to stop at the stop sign as you exit the test centre. It’ll be one of the first obstacles you’ll come across, and there will be plenty of nerves flying around in your head, so it’s easy to forget!
4. Be ready for roundabouts
There are roundabouts near all the test centres we’ve mentioned, but if you’re taking your test at High Wycombe Test Centre you’ll want to be prepared for roundabouts. The A4010 has plenty, including a large, busy, phased one where it meets the M40.
Where can you have driving lessons in Reading?
Instructors are local experts when it comes to driving in Reading. The top areas include:
Bracknell, Calcot, Caversham, Lower Earley, Maidenhead, Shinfield, Tilehurst, Winnersh, Wokingham and Woodley.
Enter your postcode above to check lesson pricing in your local area of Reading.