View Full Version : Learning to drive in Liverpool

14th Mar 2006, 13:17
My sister, who left home four years ago to study in Britain, has just been awarded her Masters Degree in Occupational Psychology from John Moores University in Liverpool.

She has begun job hunting and has discovered that the phrases “use of own transport” or “must have full clean driving licence” appear in the minimum requirements for many of the jobs she wishes to be considered for. She is twenty-six and has never held a driving licence.

Her birthday is coming up shortly so maybe I can help her out; she hopes to get some lessons and perhaps buy a cheap car to get her started.

The problem is this; I am not familiar with the systems in place over in Britain, or the reputations of various motor schools.

I would like to buy her some lessons and a good theory book or perhaps CD-ROM for her laptop.

Can anyone recommend a driving school in Liverpool or perhaps a good theory book or CD-ROM? Are there any that she should stay away from?

Is it a good idea to buy an old, cheap car in order to practice driving after the lessons?

Is there any make/model of car that would be ideal for this purpose?

I would be grateful for any guidance or experiences you may wish to share with me. :)

Warm regards,


14th Mar 2006, 13:29
Hi there. Safest thing for her would be to sign up with BSM or the AA driving schools. I don't know any 'local' (where in Liverpool is she-big place) so I can't recommend any as I have not lived up there for some time now but I do have loads of family still there if you would like me to ask around, but, as I say, BSM or AA, then at least you know she will not end up with some dodgy bloke in a cortina or something if you know what i mean. They will also have for sale books and dvd's like the kind you are after. If you go to ebay and type in 'the offical theory test for cars' you can buy a bargin and also check out the other stuff like that on there.

I wouldn't know what kind of car to say to buy. How much will her budget be? Has she also considered trying a motorbike? Liverpool is a busy and congested place now, a bike would be ideal for commuting and there are bike parks, free, all over the city centre now so she would save a lot there.

14th Mar 2006, 13:36

14th Mar 2006, 13:49
I agree with the BSM or AA option, and she would probably get some follow-up insurance and breakdown deals with the latter. But a bike in Liverpool?? It rains there almost as much as it does in Ireland and that just wouldn't work for a girl with the sort of job that a Masters can bring. So it should be a car, but secure or sheltered residential parking in Liverpool, especially in the older parts where most of the rental accommodation is, is nigh on impossible to find so she would need something old, but not interesting enough to be nicked for joyriding. My daughter lives there and has a Renault - and nobody drives Renaults for fun.

14th Mar 2006, 13:50
like BRL I'd recommend AA or BSM, they may charge slightly more than other driving schools, but they have a very good reputation. Also I know BSM do a continous assessment thing where they don't move you on to another driving maneouver until they are fully satisfied that you've mastered the current one they're teaching you.

DX Wombat
14th Mar 2006, 14:35
I learned to drive with BSM in Liverpool quite some years ago now and would happily recommend them. :ok: One small point regarding a car, when I was learning I was advised to learn on a big car, ie not a mini or similar, the idea was that if you could handle a large car properly you would never have difficulty with a small one. I have to say I found it sensible advice which worked well for me :ok:

14th Mar 2006, 14:39
'Learn to drive' type CDs often appear on eBay, usually in the General Software section.

14th Mar 2006, 14:40
I learned to drive (not in Liverpool) on a Humber Hawk (no power steering in those days. It's true, you never worry about any car after you've learned (and passed) on a tank
Also towed a trailer (and a caravan) so nothing phased me. Later drove trucks (with trailers - artics and drawbar) so the progression was easy.

14th Mar 2006, 14:42

Presumably learning to drive without wheels gave you a head start in learning to drive with a caravan ?? :\ :p

DX Wombat
14th Mar 2006, 14:48
At last, all is revealed, it was 10W who pinched the wheels off my Cortina :mad: Good job they had a decent stock of spares available :E :ok:
One still enjoys towing ones caravan around, I get to see lots of different, interesting places. One has even ventured into the Wild Zone located North of N55 (approx) and returned unscathed. :ok:

Rick Storm
14th Mar 2006, 14:49
Took my test in Liverpool years ago, at a test centre in Waterloo (north L.pool) if it's still there it was one of the easiest test routes in the whole area.


Curious Pax
14th Mar 2006, 14:54
Mrs CP learnt with the AA, and was impressed. Also has the benefit that they have backup in case you don't get on with your instructor, or they get sick or go on holiday. Not that she's used her skills much since (it's been 6 years) - various reasons, mostly due to having a mug to act as a taxi service (or should that read a kind loving husband who doesn't mind driving?), but the licence is still valid until she is 70! Frightening thought that in 29 years time she could suddenly decide that she would like another go, jump behind the wheel and head for the nearest motorway.....

Loose rivets
14th Mar 2006, 15:02
At first, it might seem a good idea to have a boyfriend that has a car, but the best advice I can give is don't have driving lessons from a boyfriend...not unless he's a saint.

Mrs R and I ended up striding down the middle of a dual carriageway (they were quieter in those days) hollering at each other. She was (and still is) a spirited lass, and had just told me where I could stick my :mad: car!

Windy Militant
14th Mar 2006, 15:14
Just a thought there's a place somewhere in North Wales, not that far from the Pool, where they do residential intensive training. They have an area of private road that they use for basic training and do classes on theory in the evenings, bit like doing a PPL in Florida without the sunburn ;) . If I remember the name of the place I'll pm it to you. This place became somewhat notorious for gettin Sam Fox through her test.
It's something to bear in mid that learning to drive in large cities in the UK can be a real Pig. My cousin spent five years as an instructor with BSM in London, but gave it up to be a train driver after one particular week where the traffic was so heavy he only managed to do an average of a mile per lesson. Good for clutch control but not so clever for general manovering.

Lon More
14th Mar 2006, 16:02
Surprised no one's suggested doing it with a sim. program. Grand Theft Auto Liverpool might look like this:

Onan the Clumsy
14th Mar 2006, 16:04
Did you know BSM stands for Brakes, Signal, Mirror?


Rick Storm
14th Mar 2006, 16:10
Slightly off topic (sorry) but have any pilots tried to teach the 'little lady' to fly? Did it end in tears? Had a go with my ex on the microsoft 737 sim, never again.

Lon More
14th Mar 2006, 16:10
Onan Having heard the patter, I thought it was Bull .... Merchant:D

14th Mar 2006, 18:45
I agree with the above, BSM or AA.

One thing though, she can only practice driving if she has a licenced driver in the car who has held their licence for, I think, three years or more.

14th Mar 2006, 19:22
Buy a Zone ticket for the buses trains and ferries, probably quicker and less costly. Insurance for inexperienced drivers can be more than the cost of a car!

20th Apr 2006, 16:31
Thank you all for the friendly and informative replies. My apologies for not posting sooner: I had important exams.
I agree with the consensus view, that a big, reputable motor school is the way to go. People frequently forget that a car can be a deadly thing in the hands of the uninitiated, or the plain stupid (maybe you have the same problem with so called “boy racers” in Britain) so a complete understanding of how the motor car and the rules of the road work is important for anyone who intends to get behind the wheel. I would hope such a school as BSM would teach their students how to be safe, responsible drivers.
I am sure many reading this thread will have family and friends on far away shores, and will be able to relate to my concern for my sisters well being.
With regard to the birthday gift, I eventually settled on a theory CD-ROM that covers the theory test syllabus for both motorbike and car and has additional information on hazard awareness. I bought it from BSM.
My sister has her birthday on Saturday next, but unfortunately, she will not be able to make it home to receive her new CD until the May Bank Holiday weekend, so I will post again then, for those who may be interested.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to reply to my post and share your knowledge and experience, it is genuinely appreciated.
Warm regards,

21st Apr 2006, 06:16
If she's going to be driving in Liverpool the first lesson she should learn is that as she approaches her car she should check that all the tyres are in place. :}

21st Apr 2006, 19:26
Why do you want her to learn to drive?? Just get her a car and she's off... happy days!! I think I am the only one with a licence, insurance and car tax in Liverpool............:suspect: