Learning to drive in Bedford will equip you with an all-around driver experience, where you shall learn to drive with multi-lane roundabouts, high-speed dual-carriageways and small terrace streets and one-way systems. Bedford has its own university, however, this is based in Luton and Buckingham.
The town is the hub for advanced driving with the ‘Cardington Driving Test’ – an advanced driving test, that challenges even the most avid driver trainers and professionals.
“population of 123,000 “
The town currently has a population of 123,000 residents – and this figure is set to rise with the housing boom. With the A6 flowing through the town, and with two train stations and a bus station, Bedford is well placed to serve to commuters to larger nearby towns such as Northampton, Milton Keynes, Luton and Cambridge.
Bedford has a large mix of new and old roads. Bedford has lots of history and derived from the middle ages, and was named after a Saxon chief called ‘Beda’, and after a Ford crossing the Great River Ouse (wiki). With its history, you will find learning to drive in Bedford an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Driving Schools in Bedford
When it comes to learning to drive in Bedford, picking a driving school in Bedford will no doubt become an arduous task! With over 20+ driving schools – both national companies and local independent driving schools serving the town!
Bedford is also the HQ for the DVSA, and provides the ‘Cardington Driving Advanced Test ‘. When it comes to picking a driving school many learners will ask friends for recommended instructors, and some will simply search in Google. When it comes to picking your driving school: here is a quick guide.
- Are they reputable? Where did you find them?
- How long have they been in business?
- Have they been referred by a friend or have they lots of reviews online?
- What courses do they offer?
- Do they work evening/weekend/holiday lessons?
- What special offers does the school have?
- Do they provide lessons in your postcode area?
- What ‘other’ training courses do they offer?
When it comes to picking your driving schools in Bedford there are lots of things to consider. One of the main questions on a learner driver’s mind – is the cost of the lessons. This is, of course, an important issue; however – cheap isn’t necessarily best! There are lots of driving schools offering ‘extremely cheap driving lessons in Bedford”, but from personal experience, I would steer clear!
Overworked and tired instructors who are franchised by larger companies often brunt the negative reviews, and feedback for dissatisfied customers. However- not all are so bad, but before you jump in make sure to do your research!
Picking the correct school for you is the most important thing. Once you have chosen one of your driving schools in Bedford, it is advised that all ‘matters of business’ are discussed prior to starting your driving lessons.
You should make sure you inquire about your chosen driving schools terms and conditions. Some driving instructors are strict on cancellations and may charge you, and some others are more lenient. However- this isn’t a bad thing; after all, if your boss sent you home you would want to be paid! So, best to get this information from the offset!
For more information on driving schools in Bedford please visit our Sister Site LPOD Academy.
Theory Test Centre In Bedford
When it comes to your theory test, there is NOT a theory test centre in Bedford. Other nearby centres include theory test centres Northampton and Milton Keynes. When you go to your theory exam, make sure you allow enough time for travel. Northampton is approximately 1 hour by bus, waiting times for Northampton theory test centre tend to be about 4 weeks in length.
Northampton Theory Test Centre
You will need to pass two exams to qualify a pass for your theory test. The pass marks are 43/50 for the multiple choice, and 44/75 for the hazard perception. For more information on passing your theory test, please visit the DVSA website.
When booking your theory test- it is advised to plan early and allow up to 4 weeks for an appointment. Sometimes you may be able to get an appointment sooner, but in most cases, they book 4 weeks in advance. You should be prompt on the day of your test and allow an extra 15 minutes earlier.
You will have approximately one hour to sit your exam. Your results will be given to you in an envelope when you leave. Make sure you leave enough time to commute to Northampton for your theory test. If you are late, you will NOT be able to sit your exam and you shall lose your fee. If you need to contact the DVSA about your theory test appointment, you can call them on
Driving Test Centre Bedford
The driving test centre in Bedford can be found near the A14 dual carriageway, approximately 3 miles from the town centre. The test centre is one of the new multi-purpose centres’s that the DVSA built approximately 10 years ago to accommodate for motorcycle tests.
It does have a well laid our car park which is for the sole use of the test candidates and driving instructors only. When booking your practical test it is advised to make sure you book in advance.The driving test centre in Bedford waiting times can be quite long – as much as 8-12 weeks. Sometimes, you may be able to get a late cancellation test, but these go very quick!
Pass Rate In Bedford 48.3%
There is a college of further education nearby, so during term-time, the waiting list increases due to the increased students in the town. The town also has its own train station; in turn, this results with lots of students from out-of-town to take their driving test.
All in which lead to an increase in the volume of traffic and waiting times. Due to the size of the town and its road networks – late cancellation tests can be hard to come by, so some students tend to find test dates at neighbouring towns. Test waiting times tend to be long all year round.
The driving test centre address can be found here:
It is advised to not be late for your driving test appointment. You should allow 10 minutes prior to getting parked and be seated in the waiting room. Also, please do not turn up before 10 minutes, as previous test candidates are still returning from their driving test. The test centre management can issue warnings to driving instructors who persistently ignore this advice. This is standard procedure for most test centres.
Arrive 10 Minutes Early
Driving Test Routes In Bedford
There are about 10 driving test routes in Bedford. When learning to drive in Bedford it is advised to have some guidance on certain driving test routes within the town. It is important to have a varied training schedule, and guidance on test routes, and become familiar with certain areas within the ‘driving test centre area’.
Unfortunately, without such practice, a learner driver could innocently fail a driving test due to little experience.
There are certain places in Bedford, where it would be advised to gain some experience. Your chosen driving instructor will be able to advise you on these, but here is a breakdown on some common areas where learner drivers in Bedford can fail – to take note, and get some practice in! These include:
- The one-way systems around the town centre.
- Changing lanes on the one-way systems
- Practice multi-lane roundabouts tuning right especially
- make sure you get used to mini roundabouts and complex junctions in Brickhill, Castle, Cauldwell, De Parys, Goldington, Harpur, Kingsbrook, Newnham, Putnoe, Queens Park.
- Practice your driving on the A6 road. Ensure you pay particular attention to right turns, and slip roads.
These are places in which some familiarity will help you plan your understanding and journey. Be sure to seek the advice of your trainer when preparing for your driving test in Bedford. If you are from Northampton, but taking a driving test in Bedford, please visit here.
Learning to drive in Bedford will definitely help you with your learner driving and road experience. The town does has some tricky junctions and crossroads. You should ensure practice in the test centre areas, to maximise your learning potential.Passing your test is all about practice and road experience. Good luck on your learning journey.