Q.What age must you be to drive a car?
A.17 years of age for car – category B

Q.Can I drive in a car park before I am 17 years of age?
A.You are not allowed if it is a public car park.

Q.Can I start taking lessons on my 17th birthday?
A.Yes, provided you have a current learner permit

Q.How many lessons will I need?
A.Learning is voluntary process and will depend on the person’s aptitude; however young people tend to learn quite quickly. Older people may take longer. Your instructor will advise you. At present, the Road Safety Authority are considering 20 hours compulsory training for learner permit holders

Q.How do I know how good my instructor is?
A.A good instructor will have excellent interpersonal skills and will teach you at your own pace. He is a good communicator and will be friendly and pleasant. He understands how people learn and the associated difficulties with learning and will offer encouragement, support and praise. He will behave in a professional manner and will not mislead you as to the number of lessons required.

Q.If I am unhappy with my instructor what should I do?
A.Request another instructor or go to a different driving school

Q.How many lessons should I book initially?
A.Book one or two until you see how you are getting on with your instructor. Then if you are happy you can book more.

Q.Is it a good idea to book the cheapest lessons available?
A.Normally, the cheapest is not the best. Our view is that cheap lessons reflect the value an instructor puts on his services. With good quality lessons, you won’t need as many.

Q.Is it wise to succumb to glib advertising involving ‘gimmicks’?
A.Professional instructors don’t to resort to ‘gimmicks’ or need to mislead customers as to their qualifications. They have the knowledge and confidence in their own ability to teach to a high standard.

Q.How soon can I sit my driving test?
A.You must hold a learner permit for at least 6 months before doing your test.

Q.When will I know I am ready for my driving test?
A.When you can drive unaided and make very few mistakes on your lessons. Your instructor should be able to advise you.

Q.Which car will I use for my test?
A.You may use the instructor’s car or your own car. Any car used must be mechanically sound, taxed, insured, display ‘L’ plates (easily visible from the front and rear) and display an NCT certificate if applicable. If you have had all your lessons in the school car, then it would be advisable to use it.

Q.Who is my driving examiner?
A.Driving examiners are employed by the Road Safety Authority and are trained to conduct tests. Normally, the tester will not indulge in conversation with you except for the conduct of the test. He should be polite and friendly and able to put you at your ease.

Q.I am extremely nervous about doing my test, will the tester make allowances?
A.Driving examiners make allowances for extreme nerves but should your nerves contribute to a disqualifying fault, you will not be successful. The advice is to be well prepared and the tester will be able to discern between ‘nervous faults’ and normal driving faults.

Q.My last instructor said to exaggerate all my actions when doing my test, so they will be obvious to the tester, is this a good idea?
A.This is a myth. Many amateur instructors advise this. Drive normally and do not exaggerate as the tester is trained to observe how you normally drive.

Q.Can I take anyone with me on my test?
A.No. Passengers are not allowed. (In GB your instructor is allowed to sit in the rear seat at the request of the pupil, but is not allowed to participate in the test).

Q.During my last test I felt the tester gave me late directions and everything was rushed?
A.Driving testers should give you directions in good time. If you don’t understand anything say so, and he / she will repeat it.

Q.How long does the test last?
A.Tests vary depending on traffic conditions but usually last about 40 minutes or so.

Q.If I pass how soon can I get my full licence?
A.Immediately, but if you wish you can wait until your learner permit expires.

Q.If I fail what’s the best course of action?
A.Even though you are disappointed it’s best to apply straight away and with some more lessons and practice you should be successful next time.

Q.What can I do if I am dissatisfied with the result of the driving test?
A.You cannot appeal the decision of the test however, if you felt the test was unfairly conducted then you can initially write to the RSA and ultimately appeal to the District Court.