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Driving Lessons

Can I start driving lessons before passing my theory test?

Yes. As Leinster Driving Campus is off road you can drive without having completed your theory test. You can be building your driving skills while studying for your theory test. When you’ve passed your theory test you’ll then be more prepared for driving on the main road. However you cannot drive on the public roads without having first passed your theory test.

Can I start driving lessons before I am 17 years old?
Yes. You need to be a minimum of 14 years of age and a minimum height of 4 foot 11” in order to reach the pedals. This is because our purpose built facility is off the public roads.
What kind of cars do you have?

We have both manual and automatic cars available for your driving lessons. All vehicles are dual controlled. All cars are fully insured for learner drivers

Do you do 2 hour lessons?

Yes we do both 1 hour and 2 hour lessons. While off road on our campus we would recommend 2 hours lessons as you progress that much quicker, then while on the main roads we’d recommend 1 hour lessons as it’s a little more intense on the main roads. When we are on pre test lessons again we’d recommend 2 hour lessons.

Can I take driving lessons in my own car?

While your driving lessons are on our off road facility at Leinster Driving Campus you will use a school car.

When going on the main roads you can use your own car?

If its your first time with us it will depend on the discretion of your Driving Instructor. Generally the first lesson is taken in a driving school car, so as to assess your current driving ability and level you have reached.

Can I do an intense course in one week?

Popular with learners of all ages, intensive courses make it possible to learn with a 5 day course what could take up to 6 months to learn taking a 1 hour lesson every week with a driving instructor. You’ll also avail of discounts on the number of lessons booked. Get more details of our driving discounts here.

Can I block book then use them all in one week?

Yes as long as there are spaces available.

How long are my lessons valid?
6 months on vouchers
Do you know where I can get cheap car insurance so I can go out with my family as well and practise?

On completion of 10 driving lessons with Leinster Driving Campus you can avail of insurance discounts with our business partners First Ireland Insurance Brokers.

Do you charge for cancellations?
Yes. Please give 48 hours notice if you need to cancel a driving lesson, allowing us time to try re sell that slot.
Do you have automatic cars?
Yes. We have both manual and automatic cars.
What will I do on my first driving lesson?

We recommend the first lesson being a 2 hour lesson if possible. We’ll start by getting you familiar with the car and all the foot and hand. We’ll then get you moving off and stopping safely, moving up and down your gears. If you’re doing really well on your first 2 hours we’ll also do some straight line reversing and maybe even a hill start!

Can I be collected from my home?

Yes. We can pick you up from Maynooth for a 2 hour lesson. Generally we don’t advise pickups for 1 hour lessons as it will encroach a little on your driving lesson time. We can also pick you up from Maynooth bus station or Maynooth train station. Please let us know if you require a pickup when you are booking your driving lesson.

Can I get a gift voucher?

Yes. You can get a voucher for as little as one lesson or as many as you wish. So make someone happy buy one today by calling our office on 01 6286377 and we’ll get it out in the post to you.

What is a Learner Permit?

A learner permit is a licence issued to learner drivers. It enables them to learn to drive and to apply for a driving test six months after date of issue. The learner permit replaces the provisional licence, which is no longer issued.
Further important changes to the licensing regime came into force on 1 July 2008. The most significant of these is that as a holder of a learner permit you must:

  • Hold a licence for the category of vehicle you are driving and comply with the conditions attached to that licence when driving
  • Be accompanied at all times by a person who holds a full driving licence in the same category for a continuous period of two years (this applies to categories B, EB, C1, C, D1, D, EC, EC1, ED & ED1)

In addition, a number of penal offences have been introduced for learner drivers. These include driving unaccompanied (see above), not displaying ‘L’ plates when driving, and the carrying of a passenger by a learner motorcyclist.
These offences are punishable by a minimum €1,000 fine for a first offence.

Other requirements

There are legal restrictions on what types of vehicle you can drive at what age. For example, you have to be 16 to ride a moped, 17 to drive a standard car, 18 to drive a truck and and 21 to drive a bus.

‘L’ plates
All learner permit holders, with the exception of those who hold learner permits in category W (work vehicles/land tractors), must display ‘L’ plates while they are driving. Vehicles in categories B, C1, C, D1, D, EB, EC1, EC, ED1 or ED must display L plates at all times. The letter L should be at least 15cm high and appear as red on a white background, in clearly visible vertical positions to the front and rear of the vehicle. Drivers of vehicles in categories A (Motorcycle no greater than 125cc), A1 (Motorcycles) and M (Mopeds) must also display L plates at all times. The plates must be displayed on a yellow fluorescent tabard worn over the person’s outside clothing. The letter L should be at least 15cm high and appear as red on a white background and in clearly visible vertical positions to the front and rear of the person’s body.

All learner permit holders, with the exception of those who hold a learner permit in category A1 (Motorcycles), A (Motorcycle no greater than 125cc), or M (Mopeds), must be accompanied by a qualified driver at all times while driving. A qualified driver is one who holds a full licence for acontinuous period of two years in respect of the vehicle category being driven by the learner permit holder. A person holding a category W(work vehicles/land tractors) learner permit is not permitted to carry a passenger unless the vehicle is constructed or adapted to carry a passenger and the passenger is a qualified driver – i.e. a person who has held a full licence for the vehicle category for at least two years.

A motorcyclist applying for a first-time learner permit is restricted to riding motorcycles with an engine power output not more than 25kW. Such restriction applies for the duration of all learner permits and for the first two years after taking out a full driving licence in category A.
Vehicles in categories A, A1 and M (motorcycles and mopeds) cannot carry a passenger and are required at all times to display ‘L’ plates front and rear on a yellow fluorescent tabard.


A person who holds a learner permit in:

  • Vehicle categories A1/A and M (motorcycles/mopeds) is not permitted to carry a passenger
  • Any vehicle category is not allowed to carry any passenger for reward
  • Vehicle category W (work vehicles/land tractors) shall not carry a passenger unless the vehicle is constructed to carry a passenger and the passenger is a full licence holder for a continuous period of two years
  • Vehicle categories B, C1, C, D1 or D (cars, buses and trucks) shall not be driven while towing a trailer

What is the theory test?

The learner driver theory test was introduced in 2001. By law, before applying for a learner permit, candidates must complete and pass a test of their general road safety knowledge and motoring legislation. It applies to anyone applying for a first learner permit in any vehicle category.

The test is designed to check knowledge of topics such as:

  • Rules of the Road
  • Risk perception
  • Eco-driving
  • Hazard awareness
  • Good driving behaviour

The test is computer-based but, like the fast check-in kiosks at airports, is designed for those who have little or no experience of using computers as well as those who do. You will have a chance to take a practice session on the day before starting on the actual test. If you have special needs please contact the Driver Theory Service and explain your requirements.

Driver Theory Service contact:
1890 606 106 (English language)
1890 606 806 (Irish language)
1890 616 216 (text phone – for the hearing-impaired)

A driver theory test for motorcycles and mopeds (category AM), cars, work vehicles and land tractors (category BW), heavy goods vehicles (category C) and buses (category D) costs €35.60.

Get further information on the driving test here.

Driving Test

Do you do mock pre tests?

Yes. On our pre test lessons we will carry out mock tests to give you an idea of what areas you may need to focus more on in preparation for your upcoming driving test.

What test centres do you cover?

We cover Naas, Tallaght and Mullingar test routes.

What if I fail my test?

If you fail don’t worry try again, not everybody passes first time. The tester will give you a report detailing aspects of your driving that caused you to fail. The tester is not permitted to discuss your test results with you. We will access your driving test sheet and identify and then rectify the areas that caused problems. You will also receive a certificate indicating that you failed the test; keep it in a safe place as you may need it to renew your learner permit. If you wish to apply for a further test, application forms are available at test centres or on www.rsa.ie.

How long do I have to wait before booking my test again if I fail?

You can apply again after 10 working days. This gives you time so you can practise where you went wrong so do exactly that get some more lessons booked in so you feel more confident next time.

Can I take my driving test in a vehicle fitted with an automatic gearbox?

Yes, but when you pass your practical driving test in an automatic this will be the only type of vehicle that you will be entitled to drive. Whereas if you pass your practical driving test in a vehicle which has a manual gearbox you are then entitled to drive both automatic or manual gearbox vehicles unaccompanied.

Where can I find more detailed information on the driving tests and driving licence categories?

You’ll get all the information you need at www.rsa.ie

What if my test is cancelled by the R.S.A?

In these cases the R.S.A. will arrange another test for you free of charge at the earliest date possible.

Graduated Driving License (GDL)

What is a Graduated Driver Licensing system?

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) is a programme of staged licensing, with privileges gained over time, that aims to increase road safety by providing new drivers the opportunity to gain driving experience, skills and maturity.

I already hold a learner permit—how do the changes affect me?
The compulsory lessons will not apply to you as you already hold a learner permit in the applicable licence category. The lessons will apply to those taking out a first time learner permit after the dates for introducing the lessons (for motorcycle permits 6 December 2010, for car permits 4 April 2011).
Why are compulsory lessons needed by learner drivers?

We learn skills in many different ways—the research about learning to drive tells us that formal lessons from a driving instructor covering the basic skills, combined with many hours putting the skills into practice under supportive supervision, is the best way to learn to drive.
Many learners already take lessons, focussing largely on how to pass the driving test, and this is important. However, the aim of the programme of lessons now being developed is to build long-term skills that will benefit the learner for life.

What will be involved in the compulsory motorcycle lessons?

An initial basic training programme covering on-road and off-road lessons has been developed calling on best practice. The lessons will cover: rules of the road, motorcycle controls, technical checks, managing the vehicle and motorcycle riding skills. Click here for more details.
The off-road element will be delivered by the driving instructor in a secure compound; the instructor will also oversee the on-road lessons. Completing all the lessons will take a minimum of 16 hours. Whilst there is no formal examination at the completion of the lessons, the trainer will continually assess the learner’s progression through the modules.

How will the lessons be enforced?

You will get a certificate when you finish your course of lessons and this must be kept with your learner permit. For both car and motorcycle lessons, you will have to present evidence of having taken the lessons before sitting a driving test. Motorcycle riders must complete the programme before driving unsupervised on the road as a learner.

What changes are planned for the driving test?

It is proposed to introduce changes to the test in late 2011 that will improve the learning experience. Both Holland and the UK have introduced aspects of independent driving to the test and this addition is being considered for introduction in Ireland.
Generally, independent driving involves asking the learner to drive to a set point (usually a local landmark) without direction from the driver tester; this requires decision making by the learner that has been shown to be a good indicator of driving ability. It is planned to carry out a pilot phase of any changes with first time learner permit holders to assess its effectiveness. The driving test service will be subject to external accreditation.

How will the role of the accompanied driver be strengthened?

The best way to learn is through practice. A rounded driver needs to have driven many thousands of kilometres to experience the many different kinds of traffic, weather and road conditions that demand a reaction from a driver.
It is now well established that learning under the guidance of a knowledgeable supervisor is an effective way to build up driver competence. Too often the experience in Ireland has been that the accompanying driver acts in a passive role. Suitable support and guidance materials are now being developed to help the accompanying driver better understand the role he or she can play in the learning process. Driver reference manuals will be published shortly.
Following the passing of legislation, the role of the accompanying driver will be formalised. Before taking the driving test, the learner will be required to present a signed log book in which the accompanying driver will have signed off on aspects of the practice sessions undertaken.

What is the significance of introducing R Plates?

In recognition that the learning process continues after the driving test is passed, some restrictions will continue to apply to drivers for two years after taking out a full licence.
New legislation is needed to introduce the R Plate. The first related restriction will take effect after September 2011, when the lower alcohol levels are applied to novice drivers.
It is also planned to apply a higher level of penalty points to learner and novice drivers for specific high risk offences when the legislation is in place. The R Plate also indicates to other road users that you are a novice driver.

What changes will happen to the driver theory test?

The driver theory test was updated in 2006 and it will be further enhanced in late 2011.