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Cars

Being able to drive gives you the freedom to travel anywhere at any time, although it is expensive to learn and to buy and run a car.

Learning to drive

  • Before you can begin learning to drive you must get a provisional licence
  • You can apply online for a provisional licence or pick one up from the Post Office and it will cost £50
  • There are certain requirements you must meet for a provisional licence, for more information go to Gov.uk
  • Driving lessons can be expensive so its worth shopping around or listening to recommendations from family and friends. Most driving schools offer discounts if you buy a block of lessons in one go
  • You can practice your driving outside of your lessons but the person you are driving with must be over 21 years of age, had their driving licence for over 3 years and you both must be insured to drive the vehicle you are in
  • You need to put L plates on the front and rear of any car that you are learning to drive in
  • When you are ready to go for your full driving licence you will have two tests, one is a practical test where you drive a car, the other is a theory test to assess your knowledge of the rules of the road. You can buy theory test books but it might be worth asking around whether any friends or family already have one and would be willing for you to use it while you learn
  • For more useful information about learning to drive and licences, go to Gov.uk
  • Driving Holidays

    • If you can drive, a good way of getting away is to take the car and head off. It will give you freedom to travel when you want and where, and to go off route if you want to
    • In Wales there are so many beautiful places to go on holiday that you can drive to quite easily, from the coast of Pembrokeshire to the mountains of Snowdonia
    • You can catch a ferry to many parts of Europe from the UK or drive through the Channel Tunnel, but you have to be over 18 to drive in European countries so its worth checking before you go
    • Remember many other countries drive on the right hand side of the road
    • Make sure you take your photo-card driving license and your car's registration details with you, in case you are stopped for any reason by the police
    • If you are driving in Europe, you will need to make sure you are covered by your insurance policy. It is also a good idea to get European break down cover
    • The back of your car must display a GB sticker and use deflector stickers on the headlights
    • Find out about traffic rules in the country you are visiting before you go. It is illegal to run out of petrol on the German autobahn, and in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Croatia you will have to carry a reflective jacket with you in case your car breaks down

    Hiring a car

    • You generally have to be over 21 to rent a car in the UK or abroad. Many car companies also charge you more if you are under 25
    • Hiring a car can be an expensive. You generally have to pay by the day, and you will also be charged for any damage to the car, unless you take out extra insurance. Shop around different companies to get the best deal
    • You could also try hiring a campervan - it's a fun way of getting around and you won't have any extra accommodation costs

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