You need an instructor who:
Won’t empty your pockets!
That's why you should do these 5 things:
Check out what your fellow learners in North West London have said on sites like Driving School Reviews and Trustpilot. Finding good review sources will help you understand what your experience would be like with any school you’re considering.
Make sure to look at the terms and conditions to know what you’re signing up for. Some schools in North West London state in their terms and conditions that if you want to claim a refund, you have to pay an administration charge. So it’s a good idea to look through the school’s policies to make sure there aren’t any hidden charges.
You’re likely to learn faster with a fully qualified driving instructor (Approved Driving Instructor) instead of one in training (Potential Driving Instructor). Many driving schools in North West London use both, so make sure you check your instructor is fully qualified if you would like to learn from someone experienced.
There are driving schools in North West London that are vague about whether you can switch instructors, so it’s worth doing some research to see if they have any switching policies. It's important that you get on with your instructor, so be sure you’re able to switch if you need to.
Some schools in North West London won’t show their waiting times until you’re midway through booking your lessons. Make sure to find out how long you'll have to wait for your first lesson before you book so that you're not waiting longer than you have to.
Have a careful think about whether you want manual or automatic driving lessons before booking your first driving lesson.
Automatic cars don’t have a clutch pedal, just one for braking and one for accelerating. This makes them simpler to learn.
There are many steep hills in North West London, especially around Hampstead Heath with roads like the Highgate West Hill and East Heath Road. So you might find automatics easier to learn in when it comes to mastering hill starts.
However, automatic cars are more expensive to buy and run compared to manual cars. Manual cars also give you the chance to anticipate changes in terrain that might affect speed, like when you drive up hills.
Automatic licences only let you drive automatic cars, whereas manual licences let you drive manuals and automatics. So you might prefer the flexibility that a manual driving licence would give you.
According to the DVSA, you should have 22 hours of private practice before taking the practical driving test.
Here are some suggestions of where you can practice in North West London.
Dawson Road: Dawson Road is a quiet and wide residential street with a 20 mph speed limit. Since it also has little traffic, it’s ideal for your first few practice sessions. And when you've gained a bit more confidence, you can have a go at turning onto the side roads.
The Ridgeway: This wide road in Mill Hill is good for practice at junctions and traffic lights. Head here on a weekday outside of rush hour and you’re likely to find it reasonably empty. Since it’s also near Mill Hill Test Centre, getting familiar with the area at this stage would be useful if you’re planning on taking your test there.
St Joseph’s Grove: If you’re looking for somewhere to have a go at your first roundabout, the one at the end of St Joseph’s Grove in Hendon is our top spot. Surrounded by little residential roads, you’re not likely to come across more than a car or two at a time. And, if you’re feeling up for a further challenge, you could try a hill start on the way back up towards Middlesex University, but obviously not during term time.
Brent Street: Brent Street is a busy urban area where you’ll encounter hill starts, parked cars, bus stops and pedestrians. If you’re taking your test at Hendon Test Centre, this road might come up on the day.
Finchley Road: Finchley Road, also known as the A41, will give you valuable dual carriageway experience in North West London. Make sure that you keep an eye out for hazards. This busy road has a number of tube and overground stations dotted along it, meaning lots of pedestrians.
South Hill Park: South Hill Park starts by going past Hampstead Heath overground station, where the road will narrow with parked cars on both sides. It’s the ultimate test of spatial awareness, hazard perception and parallel parking.
Swiss Cottage: There’s a triangle of box junctions surrounding Swiss Cottage tube station. They all have multiple lanes to navigate, so try them a few times each. You’ll definitely improve your skills in forward-planning and switching lanes.
Edgware Road: Also known as the A5, this dual carriageway leads to a roundabout that connects with the North Circular. From here, you’ll need to exit the main dual carriageway to get to the roundabout below. You’ll certainly get good practice responding to road signs!
Your instructor will help you practise the routes that are likely to come up in your driving test. Here are the driving test centres near you.
DVSA practical car test pass rates, 2018-2019.
Hendon Test Centre has one of the best pass rates in London. As it’s on the city’s outskirts, you may come across rural roads on your test.
Address: 3 Aviation Drive, Beaufort Park, Hendon, Greater London, NW9 5TZ
There will be a mix of urban and rural roads if you’re taking your test at Mill Hill Test Centre. You’ll find it near Woodgrove Park and next to the M1.
Address: Unit 9, Grannard Business Centre, Bunns Lane, Mill Hill, Greater London, NW7 2DQ
To find your nearest test centre, you can enter your postcode on the DVSA’s website.
You will need to be aware of what’s happening around you at all times during your test. Local Midrive instructor, Shapour, has this advice for learner drivers, “Remember to check your side mirrors during your test, especially when changing lanes in busy traffic”. Also, watch out for other drivers and pedestrians.
Your provisional driver’s licence and your theory test pass certificate are needed for your test. If you don’t bring both, your test will be cancelled and you’ll have to pay for a retake.
If you’re taking your test at Hendon Test Centre, Shapour says “the road leading into the driving test centre is quite narrow, so you should drive slowly when approaching it at the end of your test.” So take things slow on this road and don’t let up just because it’s nearing the end of the test.
It’s a good idea to arrive early for your test, especially at Mill Hill Test Centre which has limited parking. You won't want to be late, so give yourself plenty of time to find a parking space.
One final driving lesson taken directly prior to your test can help prepare you. Shapour highly recommends that “learners get lots of practice in the areas close to the test centre, so they can gain more confidence before taking their driving test”. You can use the lesson to go over any roads in the local area you’re unsure about.
With the Midrive Learner app and our top-rated instructors, you’ll get all the tips and support you need to pass. That’s why Midrive learners are 38% more likely to pass the first time, and in 17 fewer hours than the UK average.
Here are more reasons to learn with Midrive:
Enjoy a refund on unused hours
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We’ve helped over 300,000 learners pass their driving test so far. Imagine how many are in North West London! Why not take a look at some of the lovely things they’ve said about us?
Here are some of the top areas you can book lessons in North West London:
Belsize Park, Camden Town, Hampstead, Hendon, Kentish Town, Willesden, Queen’s Park, Kilburn and Regent’s Park.
Enter your postcode to check lesson pricing in your local area.