What is Essential Driver Training?

EDT stands for Essential Driver Training, a course for learner drivers with permits for category B vehicles, such as cars and light vans. EDT will help you learn some of the most vital driving skills as well as improve your knowledge and understanding of road safety.

There are 12 one-hour lessons in the course. You must take the lessons in the order set out by the time you get to Lesson 9, you and your ADI can decide on the order of lessons 9-12 as you should have enough experience by then. Your ADI will record each lesson in your logbook.

Essential Driver Training

Each lesson has a set of expected outcomes- these describe what you should be able to do at the end of a lesson. Your ADI will select routes that will allow you to use the skills covered in the lesson. At the end of each lesson, your ADI will tell you what skills you should practise with your sponsor. You must play your part and prepare for the next lesson.

Remember- the EDT course alone is not enough to make you a competent driver. You will need to practise as much as possible with your Sponsor, using the skills you have learnt in one lesson to prepare for the next lesson. To get the best from your training, you should spread your lessons over six months and leave at least two weeks between each lesson for practice. Your ADI and your Sponsor will advise you about other instruction and support you may need while you learn to drive.

Why Do I Need To Do EDT?

Studies show that young inexperienced drivers are more likely to die or be seriously injured in a crash so it’s important to get the experience you need during your training.

You must complete the EDT course before you can take your driving test. On the day of your test, the tester may ask to see your Logbook as evidence.

Before you attend your first lesson make sure that you have everything you need. Your ADI will check your learner permit. If you provide the vehicle for your training, they will also check your insurance, motor tax, NCT and the roadworthiness of the vehicle. If your ADI is not happy with any of these, they may not go ahead with your lesson. You must sign a declaration that these are in order before each lesson.

At your first lesson, your ADI will register you and give you your Logbook. They will then set out the aims of the course and any rules about things such as asking questions and taking breaks.

At the end of each lesson, your ADI will stamp and sign your Logbook to confirm that you have completed the lesson. They will also give you feedback on whether you met the outcomes for the first lesson. They will advise you on what you need to practise and how to prepare for the next lesson.

The 12 Lessons are set out as follows

LESSON 1: Car controls and safety checks
LESSON 2: Correct positioning 1
LESSON 3: Changing direction 1
LESSON 4: Progression management
LESSON 5: Correct positioning 2
LESSON 6: Anticipation and reaction
LESSON 7: Sharing the road
LESSON 8: Driving safely through traffic
LESSON 9: Changing direction 2 (more complex situations)
LESSON 10: Speed management
LESSON 11: Driving calmly
LESSON 12: Night driving

Box Junction

At a box junction marked with yellow criss-cross lines you must not enter unless the way through to the exit is clear. Is there an exception to this rule?

Yes. If you want to turn right and the way through to your exit is blocked by oncoming traffic or vehicles waiting to make a right turn you must wait in the area marked with the yellow lines until there is a gap in the traffic which allows you to cross over into your exit.

Box Junction

Where is it Illegal to Park?

Lots of people don’t realise there so many places it is illegal to park. These include:

On motorways, within the zigzag lines at a pedestrian crossing, on clearways, where there are single and double continuous white lines in the centre of the road, in a bus or cycle lane, when operative, near a road junction, facing oncoming traffic at night, obscuring a traffic sign, on a pavement, blocking any entrance or where parking restrictions apply, fire station/hospital entrances, parking opposite another vehicle on a narrow road, double parking and parking at road repairs, where prohibited by traffic sign or roadway marking, bus stop or taxi rank, school entrances, foot-ways, grass margins or a medium strip, casual trading reserve, with flow bus lane, cycle track, loading bay, at a corner bend, brow of a hill or hump back bridge, within 5 metres of a road junction.


RoundaboutApproaching roundabouts look well ahead. The sign will enable you to select the most suitable lane on which to approach the roundabout.

  • Get into the correct lane in good time.
  • Don’t straddle lanes.
  • Never change lanes at last moment.


Adopt the following procedures unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise.

Going left:

  • Indicate left as you approach.
  • Approach in the left hand lane.
  • Keep to that lane on the roundabout.
  • Maintain a left turn signal through the roundabout.

Going straight ahead:

  • No signal is necessary.
  • Approach in the left-hand lane. Unless road marking indicate otherwise.
  • Keep the selected lane on the roundabout.
  • Check mirrors especially the nearside exterior mirror. That’s the left mirror.
  • Indicate left after you have passed the exit just before the one you intend to take.

Remember – When using the right-hand lane to go straight ahead be aware of traffic in the lane on your left.

Going right or full circle:

  • Indicate right as you approach.
  • Approach in the right hand lane.
  • Keep to that lane and maintain your signal on the roundabout.
  • Check your mirrors especially the nearside exterior mirror, (that’s the left mirror).
  • Indicate left after you have passed the exit just before the one you intend to take.


Reversing is not as difficult to master as you might think it just needs practice for you to become confident at it. Start at reversing in a straight line, then go on to reversing around corners and more complicated manoeuvres.

Your vehicle will respond differently in reverse gear. You can’t feel the car turning with the steering as you would in forward gears, and you have to wait for steering to take effect.

The secret is to ensure the vehicle moves slowly enough. This way the steering movements will have the greatest effect.


Avoid turning the steering wheel while the vehicle is stationery(dry steering). It could cause damage to the tyres and increased wear in steering linkages.

  • Remember which way the wheels are facing.
  • Turn the steering wheel the way you want the rear of the vehicle to turn.

Seat Belt:

Turn slightly in your seat. You may remove your seat belt while carrying out a manoeuvre which involves reversing. Don’t forget to refasten it before driving off.


When to begin steering?

In reverse, it’s often helpful to begin turning or straightening up sooner than seems necessary.

Remember reverse slowly and you’ll have time for:

  • Unhurried control of the vehicle.
  • Checks to the front, side and rear.

What to check:

All-round observation is just as important when you’re reversing as it is when you’re going forward.

  • Check for other traffic before you reverse.
  • Check to the rear, particularly for children playing behind the vehicle.
  • Check all round- forwards, behind, over both shoulders and in all directions. (Do this before you reverse).
  • If in doubt get out and check.
  • Keep checking all the time when you’re moving backwards, particularly behind you and to the sides and especially at the point of turn.

Always be ready to stop.