Learning to drive in Oxford will give you the edge when it comes to passing your driving test. Oxford city has grown in size since the housing boom. Although, it is a famous worldwide city in heritage, and with the world-famous Oxford University – the city prospers and flourishes for its London commute via the M40 and the A30 dual-carriageway to the south of the country.
Oxford University is in the top 3 universities in the world, and its multi-cultural population welcomes a diverse mix of people from all walks of life. Although not one of the largest city’s of the UK, the city’s road infrastructure certainly boasts some challenging routes for any learner driver.
“population of 150,000”
The city currently has a population of 150,000 residents – and this figure is set to rise with the housing boom that currently is going on in the UK. Although due to the commuter belt of the M40 and the A34 – the roads in Oxford are as complex as other cities such as Birmingham and Manchester.
When it comes to how to learn to drive in Oxford – all learners will experience busy roads, dual-carriageways, bus lanes, cycles lanes and multi-lane roundabouts that are in the city.
Oxford has a large mix of new and old roads. The nearer the city centre you travel, the older part of the city you are. With the world leading Oxford University, there are lots of one-way roads, terraced streets and complex cross-road layouts.
All in which add to the learner driver’s road experience. Although the city isn’t as big as other cities – the compact city centre, terraced streets, cobbled roads and the small – conclude the learner’s drive experience within the city.
Driving Schools in Oxford
When it comes to learning to drive in Oxford, picking a driving school in Oxford will be a tricky challenge. Due to the city having its own driving test centre – in the Cowley district, the city attracts a lot of ‘driving schools’ from out-of-town.
There are a vast amount of driving schools in Oxford to pick from: some national schools, regional schools and there are lots of independent schools to choose from. Many learner drivers will ask friends for recommended instructors, 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 offer evening/weekend/holiday lessons?
- What offers does the school have?
- Do they travel to your postcode?
- What do ‘other’ training courses they provide?
When it comes to picking your driving schools in Oxford these are a few things to consider. The local schools can sometimes offer a better service as it is more personable, against larger schools – with overworked and tired driving instructors.
However- this, of course, goes both ways! Sometimes, learning to drive with a national can guarantee a certain customer service, again this is dependent upon each learner’s objectives.
Picking the correct school for you is the most important thing. Once you have chosen one of your driving schools in Oxford, it is advised that all ‘matters of contract’ are discussed to determine the driving school’s terms and conditions; you don’t want to get your finger burnt later on.
Theory Test Centre In Oxford
When it comes to your theory test, there is a theory test centre in Oxford. Other nearby centres include Northampton and Aylesbury.
58 St Aldates (3rd floor)
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.
Driving Test Centre Oxford
The driving test centre in Oxford is in the district of Cowley, approximately 3 miles from the city centre. The test centre does have a 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 Oxford waiting times can be extremely long – as much as 12-14 weeks waiting. Sometimes, you will be very lucky to be able to get a late cancellation, but these go very quick!
Pass Rate In Oxford 48.5%
There is a college of further education nearby, so during term-time, the waiting list increases due to the increased students in the city. The city also has its own teaching hospital- ‘The John Radcliffe, which has a major network of students, nurses and doctors in the city.
All in which lead to an increase in the volume of traffic. Due to the size of the city – sometimes there are some late cancellation tests, and pupils from out-of-town often come to Oxford to take their driving test, due to not being able to get one where they live. Test waiting times tend to be long all year round. The driving test centre address can be found here:
James Wolfe Road
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.
Driving Test Routes In Oxford
There are about 10+ driving test routes in Oxford. When learning to drive in Oxford it is advised to have some guidance on certain driving test routes within the city.
However, the DVSA does advise that all test candidates should be able to drive in whichever town/city they choose, regardless of familiarity – but from my personal experience as an ADI (15 years) it is important to have a varied training schedule and become familiar with certain elements within the ‘driving test centre area’.
Unfortunately, without such practice, a learner driver could innocently fail a driving test due to little experience on certain roads, or layouts.
There are certain places in Oxford, 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 Oxford can fail – to take note and get some practice in! These include:
- Coming out of the Oxford driving test centre itself. You are emerging onto a busy road, the junction has a slight hill, so be careful to look both ways and maintain control of the car.
- City centre bus lanes
- City centre crossroads
- Cowley ring-road network
- A34 slip roads
- A34 dual-carriageway and overtaking
- Surrounding villages and country lanes
- Cycle lanes in Oxford
- STOP junctions in and around Oxford
- Speed limits including variable speed limits and ‘speed camera zones’.
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 Oxford. If you are from Banbury, but taking a driving test in Oxford, please visit here.
Learning to drive in Oxford will help you to become a competent and a rounded learner driver, having experienced lots of road experience and road layouts.
With anything to do with learning – your reasons have to be strong enough; and when they are, anything is possible because your motivation and commitment to learning will increase, they will improve and ultimately you will achieve your goals! Good luck on your driving journey! Raise your standards.