Your guide to learning to drive in Wimbledon
How to choose a driving instructor in Wimbledon
You want to choose a driving instructor in Wimbledon 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. Check review sites
Reading about other learners' experiences will help you find out about the quality of driving schools in Wimbledon.
2. Read the terms and conditions
Of course there are driving schools in Wimbledon that offer great introductory deals. Be careful though, as these often come with hours that have to be used at specific times of the day or week, and which may not suit your schedule. Ideally, you want a school that is transparent regarding the availability of their driving lessons in Wimbledon.
3. Make sure you can switch instructors
Nobody wants to change instructors constantly, but if you don’t get on with your instructor for whatever reason, it’s nice to know you can switch to another. Some driving schools in Wimbledon will let you change instructors, but only after your first lesson. Midrive lets you switch instructors at any time at no cost.
4. Don’t suffer long waiting times
Driving schools in Wimbledon can have wait times of up to 4 weeks in busy periods. But schools often won’t let you know their wait times until after you’ve made a booking enquiry.
Choosing between manual and automatic
One of the more important decisions you need to make before you start learning to drive is whether you’re going to take manual or automatic driving lessons.
Manual cars give a nice feeling of control as you work the clutch to change up and down gears. This might be a good option if you intend to drive down to Brighton on the weekends. Automatic cars, on the other hand, are easier to drive in traffic. If you’ll be doing most of your driving in proximity to London, automatic might be the best option.
Something else to consider is that automatic driving lessons in Wimbledon are generally more expensive than manual lessons. However, you could find you learn faster in an automatic and need fewer lessons to pass your test. As automatic cars are less common, some driving schools in Wimbledon may not offer automatic lessons at all.
Finally, a manual licence will allow you to drive an automatic car but not the other way around. You should consider which cars you’re likely to drive once you’ve passed your test.
Tips for learning to drive in Wimbledon
The DVSA recommends a minimum of 22 hours of private practice before taking the practical driving test, so it’s a great idea to supplement your driving lessons in Wimbledon with some private practice. According to local driving instructors Wimbledon has a lot of great places to practise. Here are a few options provided by our driving instructors in Wimbledon.
Residential streets near Sacred Heart Church: There are lots of little courts, closes and places here that will be perfect for getting your confidence up. Practice U-turns, parking, and changing through your lower gears. One warning: there are a few schools in the area so be careful early morning and mid-afternoon when there will be lots of kids crossing the roads.
Church and Wimbledon Hill Roads: These narrow, moderately-busy roads curve languorously through the area and provide plenty of opportunities to hone your skills. Practise monitoring the space around your car as you wind around the roundabouts.
Kingston Road: Ranging down Kingston Road provides a lot of traffic to negotiate, especially during rush hour. Head West on Bushey Road to Kingston Bypass to get a taste of the wide open road at speed. You’ll be changing lanes a lot so remember to check your blindspot!
Choosing your test centre
Once you’ve completed some driving lessons in Wimbledon 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.
Tolworth (London) Test Centre | Pass rate: 50.0%
Set in residential Tolworth, expect to quickly find yourself in moderate traffic on Newell Road. Make sure you get in some time on the Tolworth Roundabout before your test, it can get quite busy during the day. Regardless, driving instructors in Wimbledon recommend Tolworth test centre.
Address: Douglas House, 1B Douglas Road, Tolworth, Greater London, KT6 7RZ
Morden (London) Test Centre | Pass rate: 47.9%
If you choose this driving test centre get ready to contend with traffic. Make sure you’re sharp on your defensive driving as you pull out onto Tudor Drive, then stay very aware as you negotiate the busy, multilane junction that connects Stonecot Hill and Epsom Road.
Address: 10 Tudor Drive, Morden, Surrey, SM4 4PE
Isleworth (Fleming Way) Test Centre | Pass rate: 43.1%
Situated in a business park, this test centre has a lot of quiet residential streets in close proximity. The most challenging area will be the junction of Worton and Twickenham Roads, which is usually backed up with traffic during the day.
Address: The Wireless Factory, Fleming Way, Isleworth, Greater London, TW7 6DB
Mitcham (London) Test Centre | Pass rate: 41.2%
Located in an isolated industrial area, the Mitcham test centre is nonetheless quite busy. There are often cars parked across half of one lane on Redhouse Road, so you’ll have to give way to vans and trucks coming and going. Be patient when turning onto Croydon/Mitcham Road, as there is often a line of traffic.
Address: Redhouse Road, Mitcham, Surrey, CR0 3AQ
Croydon (London) Test Centre | Pass rate: 41.1%
On a busy road and next to a giant roundabout, the test centre in Croydon rewards calmness and preparation. Canterbury Road shouldn’t be too much of a problem for confident drivers, but you’ll want to practise on Lombard Roundabout before your test to get comfortable with the sheer volume of cars passing through it.
Address: 111 Canterbury Road, Croydon, Greater London, CR0 3HH
You can also search the DVSA to find the nearest test centre to your postcode.
Test tips from driving instructors in Wimbledon
Local driving instructors in Wimbledon give you the inside information.
1. Take a lesson beforehand
This goes for just about everywhere, but especially for Wimbledon with its variable traffic conditions. Make sure you drive around the test area, approaching all the major junctions and roundabouts. If the traffic is heavy, think about how you can adjust your driving style. By the time you’re back on the road for your test you’ll be that much more comfortable.
2. Remember to do your observations
With so much local traffic, hazards can emerge very quickly. Checking where you are in relation to the cars around you allows you to react more quickly. A local driving instructor in Wimbledon, says: “Examiners will watch to make sure you’re checking your mirrors and blindspots.”
3. Don’t rush roundabouts
There are a lot of small roundabouts around Wimbledon. You might be tempted to drive straight through them if there are no cars coming. Remember that you’re not going to win points for time-efficiency, but the examiner will notice when you approach a roundabout with care and confidence.