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So you’ve decided to learn how to drive? Well done! It is honestly one of the most important skills to have in the modern world, and will give you a lifetime of freedom. But as well as learning how to drive there are plenty of other things to know as you take your first few lessons. And with that in mind here are my 5 top tips for learner drivers that I wish I’d been told before I booked my first test!
*Disclosure – this is a collaborative post – for more information, please see my disclosure policy
5 Tips For Learner Drivers
As a new driver, you’re probably already hyper-vigilant and eager to drive safely. However, despite your eagerness, driving with an instructor can be quite daunting and there’s still lots to learn about getting from A to B.
1. Don’t just go with the first instructor you try
I always think that you should trust your gut when you are learning anything new. And that also means that you have to have confidence in the person you are learning from. So my first tip is to not just stick to the first driving instructor that you try.
Paying for lessons from a driving school? Maybe try out your instructor for one lesson before making a block booking. And make sure that you click with them, feel comfortable and have some trust in your driving instructor before booking more lessons. It actually took me three times to find someone who I felt truly happy with, and I’m glad I persevered.
Driving with a family member or friend and it’s not working out? Maybe ask someone else if you can practice in their car instead. But do remember, when driving a private vehicle you will need to sort out temporary learner insurance on the car that you are driving.
2. Apply “L” plates
Do remember to apply those “L” plates to any vehicle that you are driving. Of course, most registered car instructors will have them. But do also remember to add them to your parents or friend’s car if you intend to go out with a chaperone as a practice between lessons. (As well as getting temporary learner insurance, of course)
Not only is it a legal requirement, but these little plates will let other drivers know that you’re not quite as confident, that you’ll be taking things a little slower and they should be patient.
3. Get to know the vehicle
Driving a car for the first time car is exciting and a little daunting at the same time. It takes a lot of getting used to, so it’s best to get to know the vehicle you are driving before you drive in it for the first time. Adjust the mirrors and the seat, and check where the signals are and where the lights are.
Once you’ve been driving for a few lessons, you can explore how to work the de-mister and how to keep your windshield clean and clear too.
But just be aware that not all cars are the same, so if you are practicing in a different car, familiarise yourself with the set up before you drive off.
4. Get more practice on the test route
Do you know where you’ll be taking your test? Well, do remember that most test centres have favoured routes and places that they take their candidates. It is good to know these routes, and to practice where you’ll be taking your actual test before the day.
Maybe check out the roads when the traffic is quiet or non-existent. Practice your parking skills, suss out the spots that may be a little more tricky and get ahead of the game before you have to drive it under the examiner’s beady eye!
And practice in unfamiliar conditions too.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice.
In fact, my fifth and final tip is to practice as much as you can! Driving, once mastered, has to feel a little intuitive. You have to anticipate the road ahead well before you reach it in a car.
Mastering reading the road and anticipating what may happen is one of the major skills of driving. And one that only really comes with practice and experience. Read your highway code book. Practice this skill a lot and you will pass your test with ease!
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