Your guide to learning to drive in Rochester
How to choose a driving school in Rochester
You need an instructor who:
- Encourages you
- Makes learning fun
Won’t cost an arm and a leg!
So look into these 4 things:
1. Compare reviews
It’s good to find a range of reviews so that you get a strong idea of a driving school’s quality. Head over to sites like Trustpilot to see what learners have said about schools in Rochester.
2. Beware of terms and conditions
If you’ve block booked lessons, there are some schools in Rochester that won’t refund any unused hours left over. Look at a driving school’s terms and conditions to see any hidden policies like this.
3. Check that you can switch instructors
It’s important to switch instructors if you think you would learn more efficiently with a different one. Have a look at the school’s switching policies as not all schools in Rochester are clear about whether you can change instructors.
4. Avoid long waiting times
There are schools in Rochester that can have you waiting several weeks before you actually start learning. It’s absolutely fine to ask about the school’s waiting times so you’re not waiting unnecessarily long.
Choosing between manual and automatic
Decide whether you want manual or automatic driving lessons before you start your driving lessons.
Automatics don’t have a clutch pedal so most people find them easier to learn in. You may find them more comfortable in traffic or heavy congestion because you don’t need to continually find the biting point as you stop and start.
However, you might prefer the feeling of control that only a manual can give. Plus they tend to be cheaper to buy and get lessons for.
Finally, remember that an automatic licence only allows you to drive automatic cars whereas a manual licence lets you drive both transmissions, so if you want more choice, think about getting a manual licence.
It’s all down to you in the end, so choose wisely!
Choosing your test centre
Here are the test centres that are closest to the Rochester area. Your instructor can help you practice around your test centre’s area once you have chosen one.
Test centre pass rates
DVSA practical car test pass rates, 2018-2019.
Gillingham Test Centre | Pass rate: 47.5%
Since Gillingham Test Centre is within a busy industrial estate, you will encounter both main roads, like the A2, and quieter residential estates if you take your test here. Address: Unit 1, Astra Park, Courteney Road, Gillingham, Kent, ME8 0RZ
Maidstone Test Centre | Pass rate: 45.8%
With Maidstone Test Centre, you will get easily-congested roads around the city centre and dual carriageways like the A229. Address: Unit 1 North Court, South Park Business Village, Armstrong Road, Maidstone, Kent, MW15 6JZ
Tilbury Test Centre | Pass rate: 41.5%
Tilbury Test Centre has a pass rate below the UK national average. Expect to go on high-speed main roads like the A1089 and the large Asda Roundabout. Address: Montana House, Russell Road, Tilbury, Essex, RM18 7AE
Check out the DVSA page to find your nearest Driving Test Centre.
Test tips from Rochester instructors
1. Arrive early
There is no parking at Tilbury Test Centre. If you are taking your test here, arrive early to get a spot as close to the centre as you can.
2. Get ready for roundabouts
Right from the start of Gillingham Test Centre you’re on the roundabout on Bailey Drive. You’ll get many more on the test on Hamstead Valley Drive, Sharstead Way, Hoath Lane, Woodside and Maidstone Road. There will be lots but just keep within your lane and maintain a controlled speed.
3. Take a lesson beforehand
Taking a driving lesson before your practical test can be really useful if there are any roads you want more practice on or suspect may come up on the test. It can help build your confidence if you’re feeling a bit nervous.
Where can you take lessons in Rochester?
Here are some of the areas where you can learn in Rochester:
Blue Bell Hill, Burnham, Cliffe, Hale, Luton, Rochester East Ward, Upnor, Upper Halling, Wainscott and Wouldham.
Enter your postcode to check your area’s lesson pricing.