Driving Lesson Tips and Advice


A photo of my driving certificate came up on my Timehop this week, marking two years since my test. I passed second time around and actually haven't driven a car since... I know, it's pretty bad but it's totally been my choice, and not without a lack of opportunities. Following that, it's probably unsurprising that I didn't particularly enjoy my driving lessons (read: I despised them) but all I knew is I wanted to finish them and have a full driving licence to my name. I tried to have a lesson a week and just get it done and dusted. 

Which leads me to Tip 1: Book your theory as soon as possible. It's a good way to force yourself to get revising the rules of the road and have a bit of background knowledge about what is going on. Yep, some of the questions seem really obscure. Yep, they can actually ask you about sheep in the theory test. But getting your theory out of the way early gives you plenty of time to get ready and book your practical test. 

Tip 2: Check the waiting list for your nearest test centre. I'm not sure if this is the case everywhere, but when I was learning to drive the waiting list for a test was 3 months... This obviously meant I had to book my test in waaaay before I thought I was ready to take it so that I didn't have to wait another 3 months when I felt comfortable to take the test.

Tip 3: If you're unhappy with your instructor, change!! This is something I should have done, but for some stupid reason I chose not to. It's very easy to get the vibe of someone, and if you don't get the impression that they are the right person to teach you to drive, find another instructor!! Similarly, if they keep double booking you, cancelling lessons and messing you around, find another instructor!! It's not awkward and there will be plenty of other instructors looking for people to teach. 

Tip 4: Pretend to yourself you know what the hell you are doing. It's all about confidence, isn't it? If you act like you know what you are doing, the chances are you do know what you are doing. The second you start hesitating and worrying things sh*t starts to hit the fan. So, when coming up to that huge multi-lane roundabout, instead of sweating like a Brit in the Algarve, change gear, find the right lane and play it cool. 

Tip 5: Go out and practice between your lessons. If you have your own car, fab, just get learner insurance, whack some L plates on it and find someone older than you who's held a licence for a while to sit in the car with you. If not, do what I did and put yourself on your parent's insurance, and try not to write off their nice car. No, but seriously, going out driving in my mum's car was really beneficial for both my confidence and general road knowledge as I got to drive to places I hadn't yet been, and had to get used to being let loose on the road without my instructor for guidance.

Tip 6: Don't compare yourself to your friends. If you, everyone, and their cousin's neighbour is learning to drive at the same time it can very quickly turn into a competition as to who passes first, does this first, does that first etc... Don't get caught up in it, just do what you can do. There's no point comparing yourself to Petrolhead Peter who's been breathing exhaust fumes and polishing wheels since he was 3, go at your own pace.

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