When you’re new to driving you’ll want to avoid busy or narrow roads, whereas as you get more confident behind the wheel you’ll start to need more complex streets to practise on. It can be hard to find practice spots to suit you at each stage of your learning!
Using advice from our local driving instructors, we’ve put together a list of our top places to practise, whether it’s your first time in the driver’s seat or your last trip out before your practical driving test.
If you’re based near Tyseley or Sparkhill, this is a great place to get to grips with the basics of steering and clutch control, or to practise your bay parking. Head here on a Sunday to get the most out of the area when the roads and parking spaces will be quieter.
If you’re looking to perfect manoeuvres such as reversing and that pesky three-point turn, you can’t do much better than this quiet residential area. Our top streets for a spot of practice here are Tyseley Lane, Sunningdale Road and Holcombe Road.
Located near Kings Heath Park, this is a nice, wide road with a few cars parked on either side. With a range of quiet streets connected to it, we love this spot for a bit of practice on junctions or to perfect that parallel parking. Head here midweek after rush hour and it’ll be all yours!
This roundabout is perfect for those with a little more driving experience. It’s fairly small but is busier than a mini roundabout with five roads leading off it. College road itself has one-way traffic coming on to the roundabout but returns to two-way traffic leading off it. Both exits have zebra crossings, so keep your eyes peeled for pedestrians!
Once you’re confident driving on quiet residential streets, it’s time to step it up a notch and try driving on a busier, narrower one with parked cars on either side. Great areas for this type of driving practice are Hillfield Road, Thornhill Road, Clarence Road and those surrounding them just off Stratford Road.
If you’re looking to up your confidence on urban roads, this B road in Cheetham Hill will do the trick. With plenty of traffic lights and junctions, it’s a good place to get used to a range of road systems
You’ll have had some experience driving a little faster on buiser A roads by this stage of your driving journey, but this particular junction leading onto the one-way system on College Road is a little trickier. There’s a sharp speed limit change down to 20 mph, with a pelican crossing very soon after the left-hand turn. Don’t let this catch you out!
It’s essential to have some experience driving on country roads, but depending on where in Birmingham you’re based it might take a little while to get outside the city and surrounding suburbs. Our top choice is Bridle Lane near Beacon Road. You can get there from Pheasey, Queslett and even Kingstanding if you’re up for a longer drive.
Once you’re a confident driver, the idea of taking a spin around the city centre with its multiple bus lanes and heavy traffic will feel like a piece of cake. If you’ve had most of your lessons in the suburbs it will be a good idea to try driving in the city for a different experience. Areas such as China Quarter and the B4100 which goes through the shopping district will be ideal places to practise.
It is a good idea to get some motorway driving experience with your instructor before you book in for your test. So, why not go the whole hog and have a driving lesson on the A38(M) and the M6? Where the two connect, you’ll find Spaghetti Junction, or the Gravelly Hill Interchange as it’s technically known. This complex road system is on your doorstep and is begging to be tried out, especially if you’re planning on driving further distances when you pass your test.