Learn to Drive in Central Edinburgh
At Driving Lessons Edinburgh, we offer affordable driving lessons in Edinburgh’s City Centre area, including both Old Town and New Town. Our driving instructors are all fully-qualified and hugely experienced, and provide an excellent level of tuition for pupils of all levels.
Edinburgh City Centre has gone through a lot of changes in recent years, with the (re)introduction of trams to Princes Street in 2014, the introduction of 20mph zones in 2016, and the introduction of bus lanes and bus gates all adding to the already complex process of driving through the middle of town. Edinburgh’s medieval Old Town features internationally recognised landmarks including Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh Castle near the Royal Mile, while the Georgian landscape of the New Town boasts the shopping and dining heart of Edinburgh near Princes Street.
To help pupils who are just starting out learning to drive in Edinburgh City Centre, our instructors have put together the following informational guide to help prepare you for some of the unique challenges you will face on the roads around the centre of town.
However you should remember that there is no substitute for learning from a good driving instructor – and every single instructor in the driving school is a fully-qualified ADI with a friendly teaching style and a huge amount of experience. To speak to us about learning to drive, intensive driving courses, or block booking lessons please call now on 07447 928 225.
Test Centres Near Edinburgh City Centre
If you are taking driving lessons in and around the City Centre, then your nearest Test Centre will be Currie Test Centre. Currie Test Centre is situated at 13-15 Bryce Road, Currie, just beyond the City of Edinburgh Bypass to the South-West of Edinburgh.
The next closest test centres are Musselburgh Test Centre (Newhailes Industrial Estate) and Livingston Test Centre (Houston Industrial Estate), so most pupils in the middle of Edinburgh will sit the practical test at Currie.
City Centre Speed Limits
Like many other European cities, Edinburgh has rolled out a large number of 20mph zones throughout the City Centre and surrounding areas. Affecting primarily residential and shopping streets, the 20mph zones covering the city centre area came into effect on the 1st of August, 2016 – and learner drivers should be aware that by breaking the speed limit you risk facing fines of £100 as well as three penalty points on your licence.
Most of the roads that are affected by 20mph restrictions should be clearly signposted, with large signs when entering or exiting each area, as well as a number of smaller repeater signs throughout.
Traffic Cameras near Edinburgh City Centre
Edinburgh has a number of different types of traffic cameras – including fixed and average speed cameras, mobile speed cameras, and red light cameras. In addition to this, there are a number of bus gates and bus lanes that operate at different times of the day throughout Edinburgh, and some of these have enforcement cameras installed as well.
There are several traffic cameras as you leave the centre of Edinburgh travelling south along the A7 / A701. There are two red light cameras, the first on South Clerk Street at Hope Park Terrace, and the second on Newington Road at Salisbury Road. Immediately after that, there is a fixed speed camera (30mph) on Minto Street south of Duncan Street.
Where to Practise Between Lessons in the City Centre?
Unfortunately, because of a number of factors – including congestion, trams, cyclists, foreign tourists, one way systems, and full- and part-time bus lanes – we do not recommend the centre of Edinburgh as a good place to practice your driving skills between lessons. Roads such as the Cowgate and Grassmarket are busy and attract a high volume of tourists on car or on foot, so are not suitable for learners who are just starting out. For more experienced drivers who are nearly test-ready then it can be a decent place for you to refine your ability to identify and respond appropriately to a wide range of hazards in the road.
From December 2017 you are required to do one of three possible reversing manoeuvres during your practical driving test – parallel parking (at the side of the road), bay parking (either reverse-in-drive-out, or drive-in-reverse-out), and pulling up on the right hand side of the road (reversing for 2 car lengths, then rejoining traffic). The centre of town is really not suitable for practising these kinds of manoeuvres due to the high congestion and low availability of suitable parking spaces.
If you live in Edinburgh Old Town or New Town, your instructor will give you some alternative suggestions of nearby residential locations that you can use to practice manoeuvres in a lower-stress environment.
Ideally you would gain experience in a quieter part of Edinburgh further out from the middle – so you may wish to read through nearby area guides, such as our guide to driving in Haymarket and Dalry, our guide to Stockbridge and Inverleith, or our guide for learners in Morningside.
Book Driving Lessons in Edinburgh City Centre Now!
The Driving Lessons Edinburgh group has been providing affordable high-quality driving lessons across Scotland since 2003. Save money on your lessons by booking a block of lessons – all levels of pupil are welcomed, and we offer a pick-up and drop-off service.
Get in touch with us now by calling Robert on 07447 928 225 – or alternatively you can drop us an email using the contact form below.