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0800 169 1901

Office:  01803 310 141
Mobile: 07966 475429

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Contact 1st Gear


1st Gear Driving School

18 Grenadine Close Torquay, Devon TQ2 7GN


0800 169 1901


01803 310141

Open 8am – 9pm


07966 475 429

Looking for Driving Lessons in Torbay, Exeter and surrounding areas?

Please contact us using the form below or you can give us a call on 01803 310141 anytime but the best time to call is after 4pm. We are open until 8pm.

Note: Please leave a message if we are unable to take your call – we will call you back.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to pass my theory first before I start driving?

No, providing you are 17 and have a provisional licence you can start learning to drive a car.

Where can I do an intensive course?

You need to have passed the Theory Test first only then can we arrange a practical test. The intensive course will usually start 1 – 2 weeks before the practical test.

What is involved in the theory test?

The driving theory test has two parts, part one is a multiple choice test and part two is a hazard perception test. The multiple choice test consists of 50 questions of which the pass mark is 43. The hazard perception consists of 14 clips.

This is delivered on a computer and you respond by clicking a button on the mouse. You will be presented with a series of video clips which feature every day road scenes. In each clip there will be at least one developing hazard, but one of the clips will feature two developing hazards. To achieve a high score you will need to respond to the developing hazard during the early part of its development. The maximum you can score on each hazard is five. Please browse our online shop for training materials to help you prepare for the test.

What are the show me / tell me questions?

These are safety checks that should always carried out on your vehicle on a regular basis. The examiner will ask you 2 questions at the beginning of the test there are 19 in total. All the questions can be found on the navigation menu (Driving Tests) at the top of this page along with a video to help.

How much are the current driving tests?

Currently the Theory test is £25.00 and the Practical Driving test is £62.00. If you require information on any other tests, this can be found on the Driving Standards Agency website.

What happens on the test?

The examiner will call your name, and then he/she will check your documentation. He/she will then ask you to read a number plate. You will then be asked 2 questions about the car: one tell me and one show me. The examiner will check the car before entering it to see that it is roadworthy, and displaying L Plates. Once seated in the car he/she will offer an explanation of the test.

Always listen to this carefully, and ask any questions you wish to. Once on the drive the examiner will give you clear directions in plenty of time. If there is anything you don’t understand ask him/her to repeat the instruction. During the test the examiner will ask you to drive on various road types; to carry out 1 of 4 manoeuvres and possibly execute an emergency stop. You will also be asked to stop on various road types, to show that you can stop/move off safely with due regard to other road users.

You will pass if you can show your examiner that you can drive safely, and demonstrate through your driving that you have a thorough knowledge of The Official Highway Code and the theory of driving safely. Remember, the examiner prefers to pass you as he has less paper work to do afterwards!

How do I book a theory or practical test?

You can book your theory or practical test by phoning 0300 200 1122 or on-line at

How long does it take to learn to drive?

Everyone’s different in the time it takes to learn. If you are having private practice alongside driving lessons you may only need 10 hours. Most people will need between 30-40 hours

What Pupils Are Saying

I had Tim as my instructor and I passed first time . He’s calm and very patient.

-Sophie Moss

When I first started looking into driving lessons, I walked straight to NA DVLA test center ’cause it was only round then corner and asked about intensive courses. Dan, from first gear happened to be there, approached me and talked me through everything I needed to do.

Although lessons did not continue with Dan due to complications, I don’t think I could have asked for a better instructor starting out as a learner. Great character and definitely knows what he’s doing.

-Daniel Harwood

When i first called 1st Gear School of Motoring they were very helpful and put me at ease straight away. My lessons were with an instructor called Graham Woodcock and i would recommend him to anyone for driving lessons.

I passed 2nd time but that was my fault. A great driving school Graham was always on time and never cancelled any of my lessons. Cheers Graham. See you on the road mate.

-Jame Williams

Brilliant! A large family means more than one driving lesson trauma for the brood so what a relief when we finally chose the right tuition and chose a driving School that demonstrated a friendly professionalism that surpassed all previous experiences. Well done First Gear… will definitely be sending the grand children your way soon!

-Robert Jack

I was recommended 1st Gear by a friend and I would recommend them too. The lessons went very well and I learnt to drive quickly. The instructor was a good laugh and good at his job. I live in Torquay but I know they have instructors all over Torbay and Exeter.

-Mark McCann

Areas we cover

  • Torquay
  • Paignton
  • Teignmouth
  • Newton Abbot
  • Totnes
  • Milber
  • Brixham
  • Buckland
  • Kingsteignton
  • Abbotskerswell
  • Dawlish
  • Chudleigh
  • Bovey Tracey
  • Ashburton
  • Buckfastleigh
  • Heathfield
  • South Brent
  • Dartington
  • Ipplepen
  • Harberton (Ford)
  • Dartmouth (meet in Kingswear)
  • Exeter
  • Exton
  • Clyst St Mary
  • St Thomas
  • Exwick
  • Whipton
  • Broadclyst
  • Exminster
  • Topsham
  • Ebford
  • Alphington
  • Ide
  • Pennsylvania
  • Pinhoe
  • Kennford
  • Woodburry
  • Clyst St George
  • Lower Wear
  • Wheetley
  • Heavitree
  • Sowton

Driving lessons

Driving lessons
Paignton & Brixham

Driving lessons

Driving lessons
Newton Abbot

Driving lessons

Questions about getting started? – Give us a call to find out more!

Please leave a message – If we are unable to take you call, we’ll call you back