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Frequently Asked Questions

I have put together a list of frequently asked questions that i often get asked. If you need any questions answered that are not listed, please feel free to contact me.

Can driving examiners only pass a certain number of pupils per week?

There is no truth in this statement, but sometimes those who have failed their practical driving test use this reason to explain why they haven’t passed. If you are up to the required standard of a driving test, you will pass. The fact is a practical driving test is a very difficult exam to pass and over half the candidates do not achieve the required standard.

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My friend passed after 10 lessons so why do I need more?

The Driving Standards Agency estimates that a new learner driver needs a minimum of 45 hours professional training with a further 22 hours of private practice. This is not a hard and fast rule – some pupils need more lessons than others because everyone learns at a different pace.

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My Dad says driving lessons are a waste of money and he will teach me to drive.

The driving test has developed to match the changing conditions on the roads. Traffic is heavier and more congested with new signs and routes to follow. Pupils now have to pass a theory test and the 40 minute practical driving test involves reverse parking manoeuvres, the ‘show and tell’ section and a 10 minute independent driving section. In previous years, a driving test candidate may only have answered a few Highway Code questions. Older drivers are often the first to admit that they might have difficulty passing a test these days.

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If I stall the car on my driving test, will I fail?

If it happens on a normal stretch of road and you deal with it in a safe manner, this needn’t count as a major fault and you can still pass your test. If you stall in a dangerous situation and your vehicle becomes a hazard, such as on a roundabout, this may result in a fail.

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Will you make me take more lessons than I really need?

Not at Heath Sowden Driving School. The aim is to teach you to become a safe and responsible driver and as soon as you are at that level, to apply for your practical driving test. The main cause for people failing their test is that they have taken it before they are ready. This is a false economy as it will result in more lessons, driving tests and overall cost.

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I need to take an extended driving test. Can you help?

Yes I can. Your extended test is likely to be a 70 minute drive and your examiner is looking for a very high standard of driving. Once your disqualification period has ceased you can reapply for a provisional licence. Heath Sowden Driving School offers a re-sit course with lessons specifically structured for this.

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Can I learn to drive on an international licence?

In certain circumstances you are permitted to drive for one year before having to take the UK driving test. However if you wish to change to a full UK driving licence, you may have to take the theory and driving test. Please Click here for further details on rules concerning international licences.

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Will there ever be more than one pupil in the car during lessons?

No. Piggy backing as it's sometimes called is a way for instructors to cut down on their travelling time between lessons. It is not something that will happen when learning to drive with Heath Sowden Driving School. All lessons are on a one to one basis.

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I have dyslexia and am worried about the theory test?

There really is no need to worry. You can have the Theory Questions read out through a head set when you take your theory test. You must disclose that you require this on your application. If you are anxious about anything, it is always best to discuss your concerns with your driving instructor. There is a solution to most problems!

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Can my instructor come with me on my driving test?

Yes but I would have to sit in the rear of the car and wouldn’t be allowed to intervene or comment in any way. Some pupils have found having their driving instructor in the vehicle during their driving test a distraction – others a boost to their confidence. It is entirely an individual’s choice.

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How much does the Practical test cost?

Currently practical driving tests are £62.00 for tests during weekdays, and £75.00 for tests on weekday evenings and weekends, and can be booked Here.

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How much does the Theory test cost?

Currently the theory test is £23, and can be booked Here.

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Will I be charged if I cancel a lesson?

As long as you give your instructor 48 hours notice, you will not be charged.

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Which is the best method for booking my lessons with you?

I prefer customers to ring me regarding lessons as you will be guaranteed a quicker response.

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To book lessons or have an informal chat about you driving needs, please contact me at :

Heath Sowden Driving School 016973 32911

Areas Covered







Newton Arlosh





Bolton Low Houses

I cover all the above Areas but pick up and drop off in Wigton.