Hawkwell Driving School Hockley - Driving lessons in Hockley, Rayleigh, Rochford, & Hullbridge.    Tel. 01702 204674

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Your first driving lesson and beyond

Before you start your driving lessons you must have your provisional driving licence, this is a legal requirement, and we can't get you on the road without it.

Once you've got your licence please phone Wendy, or myself, to arrange your no-obligation trial driving lesson, at a time that is suitable for both of us.

At the beginning of the trial lesson your provisional licence and your eyesight will have to be checked. Just to work out whether or not you can see where you are going! Legally you must be able to read a car number plate at a distance of about 20 metres, with glasses if necessary.

We will then go to a suitable location where you can have your first sit in the driving seat. Then we'll briefly go through: how to set the correct seat position, how each control works, and how to start the engine (that bit's really easy). Once the engine is running you can try out each control to see how it works.

Forward bay parking in a car park

Naturally, the purpose of this introductory lesson is to get you comfortable behind the wheel, and for you to actually drive the car. I always try to keep any explanations as short as possible, preferring to get you to try things yourself.

Then you will then be ready to do your first pull-away, drive along the road and steer smoothly, and then stop. After this we will drive again for slightly longer, and do a gear change from first gear to second gear. We'll then drive for increasingly longer sections to build up your confidence.

By the end of your trial lesson you should have a basic knowledge of how the controls of the car work, and will probably have actually driven on the road, pulled-away, stopped, changed gear, and steered around bends. In some cases, depending upon the location, you might have also tried a little bit of reversing.

Country lane

If you are nervous about learning to drive, please don't be. You can do it!  And we'll always try to keep your lessons as stress free as possible. Never getting you to do any more than you are comfortable with.

After a few hours of lessons you should be able to drive around quiet areas, such as Canewdon, or Thorpe Bay, quite confidently. And it won't be long before you can drive to and from your home. For the first few lessons, if you want, I'll drive you, to and from, the practice area.

As your driving lessons continue, we will vary your lesson routes as much as possible so that you will drive in all sorts of areas, and in all types of situations.  


At some stage you may decide to do some driving with your parents, or even buy your own car. You will need to be a named driver on the insurance policy, and be accompanied by someone over 21 years of age who has had a full driving licence for more than 3 years.

Fiesta older model

Private practice is great, because the more experience you gain on the road the better. You will learn to take much more responsibility for your own actions when you drive with your parents, as they won't have dual-controls. It will also reduce the number of actual lessons you will need. Whether it'll save you money in the long run is uncertain, as to insure your own, or parents' car, can be very expensive.

Always, of course, you will be progressing towards the day that you can take your driving test.

Recent DSA research stated that the average driver takes 47 hours professional instruction, plus 20 hours private practice, to pass their practical driving test 

When we consider that you are at a suitable standard in your driving, We will agree as to when to book your practical test. With a practical test waiting list of fluctuating length, we will have to anticipate when you will be ready to take the test.

In the period leading up to your real driving test, we will go through a number of mock driving tests to make sure that you are really ready to pass first time. We will ensure that you are thoroughly prepared and because of this we have a very high driving test pass rate.

Southend Driving Test Centre

On the day of your test, depending upon where you decide to take it, we will schedule enough time for you to drive to the test area, and then drive to the driving test centre, to arrive well before your appointment time, for a last minute briefing before you begin.

When your examiner comes out and calls your name, try to look pleased to see them. They will ask to see your driving licence, and ask you to sign a declaration. This is for you to certify that our car is insured and that you have been a UK resident for at least the last 6 months.(It is best to also bring your appointment email, and your theory test certificate).

Then you will be asked if you want your instructor to accompany you. I will come with you if you want me to, but I don't have to. Most people prefer not to have anyone in the back on their test.

The examiner will walk outside with you to the car, checking your eyesight, and chatting with you on the way, before asking you a maintenance question. You will then be asked to make yourself comfortable in the car. The driving part of the test will then commence.

When you return to the test centre, and have finished, your examiner will tell you the result. If you have passed they will take your driving licence, and send it off for you. You will be given your pass certificate. If you haven't passed they they will ask you if you want an explanation of anything that went wrong during the test.

Basildon Driving test Centre

Then it's time to go home. I will drive you if you want, or you can drive yourself. Assuming that you have passed you will find great satisfaction in the drive home, this being your first drive as a fully qualified driver.

Alan Driving Instructor