Bradley Jando | Wednesday 20th October 2021 9:20am
Today marks the start of Learner Driver Week - a campaign aimed at educating learner drivers towards safe driving for life.
Learning to drive can be one of the most difficult but worthwhile experiences. From anxiety to disabilities, there can be many reasons why people choose not to get behind the wheel. However, through sharing positive experiences and practical tips, Learner Driver Week aims to give provisional licence holders the confidence to get on the roads. In this blog, we explore some tips for learning to drive and how to continue to drive safely once you have passed your test.
Practice makes perfect
Driving can be tricky to get to grips with. However, many experienced drivers look back on their learning experience and wonder why they found it so tough. This is because with experience comes confidence on the roads, meaning things that you have to think carefully about when you’re learning become second nature after driving for a while. During your first few lessons, you are bound to find elements of driving difficult and some people take longer to pick it up than others. However, if you stick with it, you will get used to different scenarios whilst driving and how to react to them calmly and confidently.
Find a patient instructor
When learning to drive, an angry or impatient instructor can cause you to become flustered and make mistakes. It is important to feel comfortable with your instructor and confident that they understand the best way of teaching to suit your learning methods.
Everyone learns in different ways and if your instructor’s style doesn’t suit you, it’s worth trying a new instructor to see if a new approach is helpful. Whilst many driving schools offer discounts if you pay upfront for multiple lessons, make sure that you have a taster lesson first to ensure that the instructor is suitable for you.
The length of your lessons can also play a vital part in your experience of learning to drive. Some people swear by two hour lessons but others find it difficult to concentrate for that length of time. Try different lesson lengths out and see which ones you feel are most beneficial and fit in with other work or study commitments.
Practice with experienced drivers
Whilst it is important to regularly have lessons with a driving instructor, the cost and availability of these lessons means that it is often tricky for learner drivers to spend more than a few hours a week with their instructor.
As a result, it can sometimes be frustrating starting a lesson and feeling as though you have forgotten everything that you practised in previous lessons. That’s where practising with friends and family members can be useful. Although, this is no substitute for lessons with an instructor, it can be crucial for you in remembering the skills you have learned in between lessons.
Sometimes learning to drive in a manual car can be overwhelming and it can feel like you have too much to do at once. Although it is best to pass your test in a manual car as you then have the freedom to choose between both manual and automatic vehicles, if this is proving difficult, give an automatic car a try.
Once you are more confident with the basics such as steering, braking, accelerating and anticipating hazards, you could then try manual again. If you pass your test in an automatic car and decide that you would like to drive a manual vehicle, you can always take the test again in a manual car.
Don't stop learning even after you've passed
It’s important to keep learning as a new driver as you will still face new driving hazards regularly. In addition, after passing your test, it will be your first time driving without the aid of your instructor, family or friends. This can be a daunting prospect for many inexperienced drivers. However, small tricks such as listening to music during your driving lessons can prepare you for driving alone and feeling comfortable in your vehicle.
Another tip is to practice parking in a large car park at a quiet time, many inexperienced drivers can find it difficult to master parking, especially under pressure with a queue of cars forming behind. Taking the time to practice when it’s quiet will increase your confidence with parking under pressure in tight spots.
Buying your first car
Choosing your first car is undoubtedly an exciting experience. However, it is easy to get caught up in selecting which car you want and forget to sort out the added extras that come with owning a car such as insurance and road tax.
Before you purchase the car, it would be sensible to create a checklist of everything that needs to be sorted out before your car is road safe and legal. It is also important to keep hold of your vehicle registration log which will be provided when you purchase the car and remember to update the details when necessary. For example, if you change address from the one registered with the DVLA, you must change this or risk a fine of £1,000.
Although the driving test involves knowing some basic vehicle maintenance, it is not until you are driving your own car regularly that you realise how important vehicle maintenance is. Whilst learning to drive, many people aren’t shown how to complete maintenance tasks such as checking tyre pressures.
For this reason,
it is important to ask an experienced driver or your driving instructor what
vehicle maintenance checks should be carried out and how often these should
take place. We have put together a list of some vehicle maintenance tips which
you can view here.
If you’re learning to drive or have recently passed your test and have any questions, get in touch with the experts at your local Kwik Fit centre who would be happy to help!
Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.
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