Where Should I Be After 20 Driving Lessons?

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Where Should I Be After 20 Driving Lessons?

Where Should I Be After 20 Driving Lessons

Like any new skill, learning to drive takes time and how many driving lessons you need can vary depending on many things.

Once you have your provisional driving licence, find a good driving instructor, and have had a good amount of lessons, you may wonder ‘where should I be after 20 driving lessons?’ This is probably a good time to review with your driving instructor what you’ve learned. At the same time, it’s important to have realistic expectations, even with a good instructor.

In this article, we’re going to look at what a learner driver can expect in terms of their driving skills in this period of time, including how many lessons you might need to be ready for your final test.

What To Expect After 20 Driving Lessons

Everyone has a different learning style and there is no ‘right pace of driving lesson’, so do bear this in mind when thinking about how many hours of lessons you have had. How many driving lessons you will need is not the same for everyone.

Twenty driving lessons can feel like a long period of time when preparing for your practical driving test. After this many lessons, it’s a good idea to review your progress from your first lesson and what you have learned with your driving lesson plan and instructor.

After this period of time, new drivers can generally expect to have covered the basics behind the wheel. This includes basic vehicle control and manoeuvering, such as being able to stop and start the car safely including how to perform an emergency stop. You’ll also be able to recognise road signs and understand the highway code, as this knowledge will have formed part of your theory driving test beforehand.

You should also have a good understanding of how to control the car’s steering, as well as learn to drive using the clutch, brake, and accelerator.

A young driver in their first car should also be confident in turning, including three-point turns and reversing around a corner, and parking including how to parallel park, forward and reverse bay park, and how to safely pull up on the right.

In order to be able to take your practical test, you’ll need to have passed your theory test before you can have your first test for a full licence. Try not to feel disheartened if you don’t pass your driving test on your first attempt. Just over 50% of learner drivers pass their driving test the first time.

Building Confidence & Road Experience

In order to feel test ready and build confidence in their driving ability, it’s a good idea for younger learners to do some private practice with a family member in addition to lessons with an approved driving instructor. Practising driving is the best thing you can do to improve.

On average, it is said to take 20 hours of practice to pass your test, in addition to 45 hours of driving lessons. Unless you undertake an intensive driving course, in which case your lesson learning time will be shorter but each lesson will be much longer. This may be a good option if you have previous experience and feel confident that you are a good driver.

During your practise, include driving on different road types such as country roads and town centres. You should also go out at different times of day to get used to quiet roads and busy roads when there will be lots of other cars around. This will help you gain experience in different traffic scenarios.

You should also drive at different speeds and in areas where there are traffic lights. Your confidence in your independent driving will improve the more lessons and practise you do.


After 20 driving lessons, your progress will vary, even with the best driving instructor. Everyone learns at a different pace so try not to focus on the number of lessons that you have completed. You can expect to have a good knowledge of basic manouevres and car controls by this point though and you should continue to practise until you are ready for the test centre.

To discuss how we can help, get in touch to talk to one of our qualified and highly experienced driving instructors.

Olie Smith
Olie Smith
Olie Smith is a DSA Fully Approved Driving instructor with years of professional experience in driver training. Oliver set up Totally Driving to give a more bespoke, personal feel to driving lessons.

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