Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find a list of complete and very practical answers. Don’t forget, our experts are best placed to answer your questions.
Am I able to have driving lessons in my own/family or friends car?
Under certain circumstances, customers may want to receive lessons in their own or a family car. This may be a good idea where the car will be used for a Driver’s Test. It is also a good idea when a learner has a new car and wishes to familiarise themselves with it prior to taking their test. Complete novices must be taught in car with dual controls, such as our own car. Mark Allen Driving school is able to offer customers with experience training in their own vehicle, provided the vehicle is registered, roadworthy and comprehensively insured for the driver. Prior to any training being conducted in the customer’s vehicle, the instructor will inspect the vehicle for its roadworthiness. The inspection should include, but is not limited to, a check of the following items;
  • the registration documents are correct
  • the vehicle is comprehensively insured and the customer’s insurance company is notified that it will be used by a driving instructor to conduct training in
  • The tyres:
    • are correctly inflated (air pressures must reflect the manufacturer’s recommendation as a minimum).
    • have appropriate levels of tread
    • are not damaged
  • all indicators, headlights and brake lights are working
  • seats and seat belts are in good working order and are not damaged or twisted
  • any loose items in the cabin of the vehicle are stowed in the boot
  • the windows and interior are clean
  • the vehicle has sufficient petrol to last the course of the lesson (minimum requirement – a quarter of a tank)
  • vehicles older than 3 years must have a current MoT certificate
How do I book my driving test?
When you are test ready, your Instructor will advise you of this. You can book the test yourself online. Go to: You must have passed your theory test before you can book a practical test. Please note that if you do this before your instructor tells you that you have reached the required standard, you may not be able to use our car for the test.
How many lessons will I need to learn to drive?
This depends on the individual, as every student has different abilities, needs, levels of experience and different opportunities to practice. Be wary of anyone who 'quotes' a number of lessons over the phone, as it is impossible to know this without first assessing your current skill levels. Once we have assessed your current skill level and have ascertained how much practice you can obtain between lessons, we will be able to provide you with a more meaningful figure.

It is estimated that the average novice driver will need around 45 hours of tuition, with 10 hours of private practice from start to test. Please keep in mind that you can never have too many lessons as the more professional training you have, the safer you will become prior to driving unsupervised after passing your test.

Should I learn to drive in an automatic or manual car?
The decision to learn in an automatic transmission or a manual car depends upon many factors including personal choice, skill level, confidence and the cars you are able to practice in. It is important to be aware however, that if you gain your licence in an automatic car, you are not permitted to drive a manual until you successfully pass a practical test in a manual vehicle. This would severely limit your choice of car going forward and also, automatic cars are more expensive to buy than their manual counterparts.
When will I be ready to go for the practical test?
This timeframe will vary for absolutely every student. You are ready for the practical driving test when you can drive confidently, consistently and above all safely, without the help of your instructor. As you progress , your instructor will run you through a mock test to assess you readiness for a test.
Why do I need to practice my driving?
Driving involves combining knowledge of theory with physical skills combined with good judgement. Practice is essential and the more practice you have, the fewer driving lessons you may require to be at the standard required to pass the test. Practice is essential; the more the better.