A straight road surrounded by fields.

Learning to drive while at university

Initially I wanted to pass my driving test before I came to university so it was done with and I didn’t need to worry about it while I was here, the cost and the stress of it; unfortunately things didn’t work out that way and when I came to Lincoln for first year my green provisional was shining bright in my purse. I think it’s important to pass your driving test before you graduate from university to open up more job prospects afterwards. Public transport can be great but it won’t get you everywhere and some jobs will require you to have a license anyway.

The first step is possibly the hardest and that is to find an instructor. The best way to find one is from recommendations because you will know exactly what they are like and if they fit the requirements you’re after. This can be done by asking around: friends, flatmates, people on your course, people in societies or just by doing a quick google search and seeing what companies are recommended in Lincoln.

After that ring them up or send an email just saying that you’re interested and any driving experience you have (also a contact number would be handy). If they have spaces available for new students they will then book you into an introductory lesson (usually 2 hours) where they assess previous experience or introduce you to the car and the basic first instructions.

You don’t need to have a set time available each week as most instructors will fit you in around your studies and other commitments; don’t go missing lectures to go on a lesson. Some instructors will only do two-hour lessons, some will only do one and some will offer a range of different lesson lengths, this is something to ask about when you are first enquiring if you want to have a certain time.

I am a very anxious person and before each lesson, I always got really nervous, some instructors have even noticed my body shaking from the nerves, but even I have managed to pass my test. It can be nerve-wracking but only if you allow it to be.


It’s not like that at all.

Driving itself is not scary at all as long as you listen to your instructor and keep aware of other drivers and pedestrians. How I helped my nerves was by not actually telling anyone I was having lessons (apart from my mum and boyfriend) and definitely not telling anyone when my test was to ease the pressure on that side of things which really helped.

You will need a copy of the highway code when you are revising for your theory test and there are lots of resources out there, in books and computer programmes (even apps now), to practise the questions and hazard perception section.

The theory test centre is on Silver Street in Lincoln so it is walking distance from the university which is a good thing to note. You can also do the test at a centre back home if that is easier for you, there is a test centre locator on the gov website (for theory test centres and practical test centres).

As for the financial side of it, this can be quite expensive and it is something you will need to seriously consider before you go ahead with this. I did my lessons an test in my second year because my accommodation was a lot cheaper than first year and the weekly difference was equivalent to the price of my driving lessons each week.

To pay for my test I needed to save up a bit but it was worth it because of the long-term gain! Of course, if you have a job then you can use some of the pay from that which would be the ideal situation but not everybody has a job.

Overall, learning to drive at uni is definitely an achievable thing and something I greatly recommend, good luck with it!!

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