Learning to drive in the RN?

Hey, just a quick question, would there be opportunities where i could learn to drive whilst doing specialist training (AET), or would you suggest i learn to drive when ive finnished all of my training!

Thanks, Toast
From my experience there are courses that you can take whilst in the service but these very much depend on the job you're being sent to do and the availability of course places. I managed to get on one myself about ten years ago and it was a cheap and fast way of getting my licence.

My recommendation though is not to wait for a course as it could be years, if you qualify at all. Start now and maybe get it before you start your AET training.

Good luck.

My friend is an Operator Mechanic, she had no funding for her driving lessons, she told me the Navy doesnt pay it. I think it could depend on what branch your in though.

The RN is only going to pay, if it is in "the interest of the sevice". Bearing in mind the Ark Royal is only 689ft long, thier isnt that much need for a Mateloet to have a Driving License.

The army definetly does though my mates at RAF Leconfield doing it now.
Pretty certain that you can also utilise your £175 per year in Education Allowances towards driving. Someone out there must know. Where are all the schoolies when you need them?

I don't see there would be any problems learning to drive while you are on AET course at Sultan, obviously at your own expense! There's plenty of driving instructors in the area who would probably give you a RN discount. You can take lessons out of working hours or at the weekend, chances are you'd be allowed the time off course for your test. Alternately, you can
pay a few quid extra and do it on a Saturday.

Another option is do an intensive course when you're at home on leave. As far as I know you can use your 'learning credits'

If you're looking for a chance to get it done for free then there are opportunities, you will need to be drafted to a job which requires it. Free driving courses have been used as a carrot for volunteers for Falklands Islands drafts. Chances are as a WAFU once you're on a squadron you'll get it done, I know a NA(SE) who got it for free, they even sent him on an extra course to drive a minibus
You can always hold out for a firemans' strike.

IN 1976 A friend of mine, who drove three others from Rowner to Collingrad and back every day, was absent when a CPO came around taking the names of people with driving licences but his name was given. When the class was pulled off course to go and break the strike in the Scottish boarders he was sent, along with all the other LREM course to Retford Barracks Edinburgh to be taught haw to dirve the Green Goddess. The Sgt in charge of training asked the class for their driving licences, at which point my oppo owned up to not having one. He was given five minutes verbal abuse, resulting in severe ear bleeding, put in the cab of a Green Godess and fifteen minutes later he had a full licence and a HGV grade I. or whatever you got for driving GGs. Lucky barsteward.
Pretty certain that you can also utilise your £175 per year in Education Allowances towards driving.
Yes you can. :thumright:

Suggest Toast waits until he gets to Sultan for his Phase 2 AET training, then pops into the Ed Centre and speaks to the POWrn ETS in there.
If your JPA assignment identifies the need to have a civilian licence you may be able to arrange it thru FSL in Pompy - I managed to get one of my division on the course because he had to be part of an on call rota - managed to get the funding for travel as they don't provide courses in Faslane and he passed :iroc:
i was told at the RNAC you get a little money every year.. cant remember the quoted amount but 175 sounds about right. you can use it to learn to drive do GCSE's etc

Might be an idea to get your provisional sent away for already..

I hope to use the money to learn to ride a motorbike. hope im allowed!
Not sure how it is today in the MOB concerning this subject but in 99 a friend of mine had his driving lessons paid for by the MOB as his next billet needed him to take the evasive driving course as he was off to N.Ireland to drive VIP's around. He was an OM
As Silver and Shocks have mentioned the Navy will pay for you to drive, if it's indeed in the best interests of the navy

SOC will mention if you need to drive and if you dont, the navy should be able to afford you time for lessons and a test

if you dont have time, they will try and fill the billet with somebody who can drive

a friend of mine went out to Naples and he was given driving lessons because the living quarters is so far from the base (i believe)


War Hero
Book Reviewer
To the best of my knowledge, most of the info here is correct, apart from some minor mistakes. As stated, the RN will only pay for you to do a driving course if it is a necessary part of your job (Admiral's Steward, Aircraft Handler, Policeman, etc.) or for a particular draft. However this one is unlikely as the Fleet will probably draft someone already holding a licence into that billet, rather than train someone else.

Be advised though; if you fail to pass a driving test in Civvy Street then you just re-sit your test until completion. However if you fail to pass a driving test via Service methods, then you may face adminstrative/discplinary action for this failure to comply with a Standing Order, as a pass is required for the job (similar to people who cannot pass their RNFT). Although it is rare, it does occur.

Finally, to the best of my knowledge, your Standard Learning Credit can only be used for driving lessons if it is in the Service interest for you to complete it, although this depends on how you justify the application when you speak with your Education Officer (for example, I managed to use my SLC to pay for a PADI Open Water course I did on holiday). However this "Service interest" rule does not apply to those who use their SLC in the last 2 years of their career.
Things may have changed, but when I did my basic driving course at RAF St. Athan, we were allowed "3 bites of the cherry" before any proceedings were started. After that it was up to your own OC as to whether or not you were allowed to stay on course.

When I started, there was a newly qualified Killick Dog who'd just failed his 6th test. When I left 2 weeks later, he was still there, and he'd been told he was staying until he passed!

You wouldn't want to get nicked by him if he was driving!

Be afraid!
k800i said:
The impression i got at the RNAC briefing is you can learn to drive using learning credits, regardless if you need it for your job
probably true, but why waste your credits for the year, when there is a chance you could get pusser to put you through for nothing
2 options.
1. Utilise your standard learning credit towards (£175 max but only 80% of the course thus if it costs you £200 you will get 200 x 80% = £160).

2. Ask your Divisional Officer to put it in your RORRS 2 and 3 that you aspire to drive, get drafted to Culd/Yeov`s volunteer to drive or try MASU( everyone has to drive) post part 3, I have argued a had 3 in my division get a free licence through the pusser9 must be signed by a 2 1/2.

Additionally get a railcard and rely on your mates, its cheaper to get a lift home, train in advanced than keeping a car on the road, plus you can go on the piss while your mate drives on a run ashore.
Also use your learning credits every year, prepare yourself for going outside once you have finished your initial training, make the ed centre staff your best friends.

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