Your guide to learning to drive in Stoke-on-Trent
How to choose a driving school in Stoke-on-Trent
You want an instructor who:
- Makes you feel supported
- Makes it enjoyable to learn
- Won’t rip you off!
Which is why we recommend these 4 things:
1. Compare reviews
See what other learner drivers have said about Stoke-on-Trent’s schools on sites like Trustpilot and Reviews.io. Lots of driving schools in Stoke-on-Trent only show their best reviews on their website. Your best bet is to look at a range of reviews to get a clearer viewpoint.
2. Beware of terms and conditions
If you block book lessons with some schools in Stoke-on-Trent but have any hours remaining at the end, they will be deemed as spent and no refund will be given. Go through the driving school’s Terms and Conditions to check that you can get refunded if you have any hours leftover.
3. Check that you can switch instructors
Having a good relationship with your instructor is essential for getting the most out of your learning experience. If you’re not getting along with your current instructor, you should be able to change to one that’s better suited to you. Ask about a driving school’s switching policies as not all driving schools in Stoke-on-Trent are upfront about them.
4. Avoid long waiting times
It’s good to know what the waiting times are before you begin your lessons. Some driving schools in Stoke-on-Trent could make you wait over three weeks for your first lesson, so go for one that doesn’t make you wait longer than needed.
Choosing between manual and automatic
Think carefully about whether you want manual or automatic driving lessons before booking your first lesson.
Automatic cars don’t have a clutch pedal, just one for braking and one for accelerating. This makes them simpler to learn so you could end up passing your test quicker.
Automatics are also easier to drive in heavy traffic as you don’t have to worry about constantly changing gears. Some of the main roads in Stoke-on-Trent can get congested, especially during rush hour, so you might prefer an automatic here.
However, manual cars are cheaper to purchase and can also give you a better feeling of control. Moreover, a manual licence lets you drive both automatics and manuals, whereas an automatic licence only lets you drive automatic cars. So you might prefer the flexibility of a manual driving licence.
They both have their pros and cons, so it's entirely down to you.
Choosing your test centre
Once you’re getting used to life in the driver’s seat, you’ll need to choose a driving test centre in preparation for the big day. Have a look below at the test centres in the Stock-on-Trent postcode area, as well as others nearby.
Test centre pass rates
DVSA practical car test pass rates, 2018-2019.
Crewe Test Centre | Pass rate: 48.8%
Be warned that there’s no parking at Crewe Test Centre. It’s located in a network of suburban streets, so you could end up being asked to complete your manoeuvres pretty close to the test centre itself.
Address: 6 Nile Street, Crewe, Cheshire, CW2 7LL
Cobridge Test Centre | Pass rate: 38.4%
Cobridge Test Centre has a pass rate below the national average of 45.8%. The centre is right next to the A53, so that’s likely to come up in a test here.
Address: 8 Elder Road, Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST6 2HE
Newcastle-under-Lyme Test Centre | Pass rate: 41.4%
There’s a network of A roads surrounding this test centre, including the A34 and the A500 dual carriageway. So, be prepared for busy roads and practise changing lanes.
Address: Parklands, Clayton Lane, Trent Vale, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 6PQ
Check out the DVSA page to find your nearest Driving Test Centre.
Test tips from Stoke-on-Trent instructors
1. Be careful when overtaking on dual carriageways
Expect high speed A roads such as the A500 dual carriageway if you take your test at Newcastle-under-Lyme. If you want to overtake a car on a dual carriageway, be sure to only do so when you’re certain it’s safe otherwise your examiner will penalise you.
2. Get ready for roundabouts
Cobridge Driving Test Centre will feature dual carriageways that enter and exit large multi-lane roundabouts. Make sure to keep within your lane at all times.
3. Watch out for parked cars
Crewe Test Centre starts in a suburban area where there will be lots of parked cars on both sides of the road. Keep a safe passing distance and be sure to look out for pedestrians obscured by the cars.
Where can I take lessons in Stoke-on-Trent
Here are just some of the areas in Stoke-on-Trent:
Burslem, Fenton, Hanley, Kidsgrove, Longton, Middleport, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Porthill, Shelton, Tunstall, Uttoxeter and Westlands.
Simply enter your postcode to see the lesson pricing in your area.