The essential guide to learning to drive in Sheffield
How to find a driving instructor in Sheffield
In terms of driving schools Sheffield has a good selection. That's even more reason to find a driving instructor in Sheffield who:
- Makes you feel supported
- Helps you enjoy learning
- Won’t charge a fortune!
There are 4 things to do to make sure of this:
1. Compare reviews
Most driving schools and instructors in Sheffield will only show their best reviews on their website. Take a look at review sites to get a more rounded view of other peoples experiences.
2. Beware of terms and conditions
Plenty of driving schools in Sheffield provide attractive ten-hour introductory offers, but some come with a catch. A few schools require you to save the final three hours for your test. That means once you’ve used up seven hours, if you’re not ready for your test, you’ll have to take regular priced lessons until you are. It's always worth double checking any stipulations and reading the terms and conditions on any driving lessons offers.
3. Check that you can switch instructors
Ideally, you’ll pass your test in Sheffield having been with one instructor from the start. But sometimes things don’t work out so smoothly, and, for whatever reason, you find yourself needing to change instructors. Make sure to learn with a driving school in Sheffield which will let you change instructor and won’t charge a fee for it.
4. Avoid long waiting times
Some driving schools in Sheffield make no promises about how quickly they will get you learning. Make sure to scout out their waiting times, and if they aren’t published, get in contact and ask before you book and spend money. You ideally want a school that can provide driving lessons in Sheffield as soon as possible.
Choosing between manual and automatic
Before you begin lessons, you’ll need to decide if you want to take manual or automatic lessons.
A manual licence is more flexible than an automatic one. It allows you to drive both manual and automatic cars, whereas an automatic licence restricts you to automatics. Manual lessons are also cheaper than automatic, so if you’re on a budget in Sheffield, they might suit you better.
However, an automatic car is easier to get your head around, as there’s no clutch pedal to worry about. As a result, you could find yourself learning quicker and passing faster, saving money. Automatics are also better in stop-start traffic, as you don’t have to worry about changing gears all the time. So if you plan to navigate Sheffield’s rush hour, an automatic might suit you best.
An automatic can help if you struggle with hill starts. Sheffield is in the eastern foothills of the Pennines, so there are a lot of hills to contest with. In fact, the BBC revealed Sheffield has one of the UK’s steepest streets. But equally, you may prefer a manual if you want the ability to change down a gear in anticipation of a hill.
Remember too, that some driving schools in Sheffield may not have the instructors to provide automatic lessons.
Tips for learning to drive in Sheffield
At some point you'll want some private practice in addition to your driving lessons in Sheffield. The DVSA recommends learners do a minimum of 22 extra hours. You can do this with a friend or family member, so long as they’re over 21 and have had their full driving licence for three years.
There are loads of places to practice. Here are just a few options provided by our driving instructors in Sheffield:
Manor Oaks Road, Park Hill: This outcrop of residential housing is the perfect destination if you’re new to the driver’s seat. Its wide roads are forgiving if you make a small error, and there are plenty of spots to practise turning onto other streets at small crossroads and T-junctions.
Woodthorpe: A stone’s throw from the city centre, Woodthorpe is an area filled with quiet roads and closes that are perfect for you to practise your manoeuvres and handling. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, then you can practise driving on the large roundabout in the centre of this residential complex which connects to eight roads!
Woodseats: Searching for a relaxing and quiet place to practise your driving? Look no further than Woodseats, especially Chatfield Road, Linscott Road, Kennedy Road and Fraser Road. With its variety of speed bumps, wide roads, plenty of space for parking and little junctions to keep you busy, you’ll grow your confidence in no time.
Crookes: This residential area is narrow with parked cars, leaving little wiggle room for oncoming traffic. That makes it a good challenge for intermediate drivers. The area is filled with small hills as well, so it’s a good place to hone your hill starts.
Nether Edge: This area has a nice combination of wide residential streets, each with plenty of room for practising manoeuvres. We recommend trying out Rundle Road, the Kenwood Road roundabout, Cherry Tree Road and Union Road.
Highfield: Highfield has lots of great challenges. There’s the A61 running through it, and an array of narrow residential roads running off it. The area is a brilliant place to break out a parallel park or to pull up on the right and reverse two car lengths.
Hunters Bar Roundabout, Endcliffe: Hunters Bar Roundabout connects the A625, Brocco Bank, Junction Road, Ecclesall Road and Rustlings Road. That’s a lot of roads, so it’s great if you want to challenge yourself on a bigger roundabout. But be warned, it gets very busy during certain times of the day. Remember to check your mirrors and positioning, as well as your blind spots when exiting!
Sheffield Parkway: This complex road system is the main feeder road into Sheffield’s city centre. When you reach Park Square Roundabout, with railways running overhead, it’s like a mini Spaghetti Junction. Our tip is to start on the A61 and go straight over the roundabout until it turns into Sheffield Parkway. That way, you get to make the most of the Derek Dooley Way junction too.
Middlewood: If you’re taking your test in Middlewood, it’s worth getting some practice in the area. Our favourite places are Middlewood Road, Winn Gardens, Stockarth Lane and Worrall Road. These mainly residential roads will give you a good flavour of what could come up in your test.
Handsworth: If you’re taking your test in Handsworth, make sure to check out Handsworth Road, Retford Road and Ravenscroft Road. Richmond is also highly likely to be included in a driving test route, so it's great practice.
Choosing your test centre
After you've taken a few driving lessons in Sheffield, you'll want to choose a test centre. Your instructor will help you pick one and get you learning the routes that could come up on your test.
Test centre pass rates
DVSA practical car test pass rates, 2018-2019.
Handsworth Test Centre | Pass rate: 45.2%
"The Handsworth test centre has quite a few residential areas nearby, such as Swallownest, Waverley, and Woodhouse," explains Nadia, a driving instructor in Sheffield. "You may be asked to perform a manoeuvre there early on."
Address: Orgreave Way, Handsworth, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S13 9LT
Middlewood Test Centre | Pass rate: 43.5%
The Middleworth test centre is to the north west of Sheffield city centre. The A6102 runs just outside the test centre and will take you into the city centre, or out west towards the quieter roads of Oughtibridge.
Address: 508 Middlewood Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S6 1TQ
Find your nearest test centre through the DVSA.
Test tips from driving instructors in Sheffield
Local driving instructors in Sheffield break it down for you.
1. Prepare for the hills
An experienced driving instructor in Sheffield, warns: “The area is quite hilly so definitely make sure you are very confident on hill starts. They can often fluster learner drivers, especially during rush hour, when the roads are at their busiest. Remember to take your time and you should be ok.”
2. Practise Jawbone Hill
An expert Sheffield instructor says : “Take care going in and out of the car park near the top of Jawbone Hill main road. There is a tight entrance and exit and this hill has many blind spots.” Jawbone Hill often crops up in test routes around Middlewood, so make sure you have a go at driving there before you take your test. Be ready for the roundabouts
3. Be ready for the roundabouts
Watch out for the Wordsworth Avenue roundabout, near Middlewood Test Centre. It’s the largest roundabout nearby and is frequently used on test routes. What consistently catches learners out here is observation, so go over your MSPSL routine (Mirror, Signal, Position, Speed, Look).
4. Concentrate right until the end
Make sure you are cautious when approaching the test centre at the end of your test, as believe it or not, this is where many learners in Sheffield make major faults. The local instructor warns, “When you return from your driving test, be cautious as you drive back into the test centre. It’s tempting to let your guard down in relief that it’s finally over, but that is where mistakes can happen.”
5. Mind the weather
If weather conditions suddenly change during your test, for example, sun turns to rain, make sure you adapt your driving accordingly. Braking distances increase in wet weather and your examiner will want to see you take this into account.
Driving lessons in Sheffield
Some of the most popular areas to learn in Sheffield are:
Anston, Arbourthorne, Beauchief, Broomhall, Burngreave, Crookes, Millhouses, Park Hill, Parson Cross and Whirlow.
Enter your postcode to check lesson pricing in your local area of Sheffield.