Getting Started

Before you get behind the wheel..

Under 17

 Three months before your 17th birthday you can apply for your provisional licence  or as soon as you're 16, if you're disabled and receiving mobility allowance. Then once you're 17, you can legally drive a car on public roads in the UK. It's okay to start practising on private land, as long as the site is gated and far away from public highways. But remember, supermarket car parks are classed as public roads, so don't use these.
Check your eyes

 Before you start learning, make sure you can read a number plate in good daylight from 20.5 metres away – that's about five car lengths. For the new-style number plates (that were introduced on September 2001), the distance is 20 metres. If you wear glasses or contacts, that's fine. Just make sure you always wear them when driving.
Get your 'L' plates

 When you are learning, you will need to put 'L' plates (or 'D' plates in Wales) on the front and back of your car – somewhere they can be seen easily. And you are only allowed to drive with someone who's passed their test, is over 21 and has been driving for three years or more. Your 'L' plates also have to meet legal specification - so buy them rather than trying to make some yourself. Whenever the car is driven by someone who’s passed, the plates need to come off or be covered up.