Gaining the Most from Driving Lessons
The decision to
learn has been made the time is approaching. The nerves are building, and the
anticipation is welling up. How best will you get the most you’re your lessons?
Following a few ideas can help and will ensure you get the best value and
satisfaction from your training.
Order a Provisional Driving Licence early
As of 2022, the waiting time for a Provisional licence ordered online from DVLA is considerable, so order it early, and be prepared to wait weeks, or even months for it to arrive. Order it from DVLA here
Dress comfortably, but practically and sensibly.
One of the biggest issue driving instructors have on early lessons is when new learners turn-up wearing huge shoes. Either trainers so thick-soled that they can’t feel the pedals, or sometimes backless shoes, stiff-ankled boots or simply shoes with heels too high. Well fitted shoes with flat, thin soles are best. No-one is going to see your feet, other than your instructor, who will have to look at your feet as they operate the pedals, but unless you want to waste several lessons on getting your clutch-control right, get your shoes sorted from day one.
Long nails – Yes they look great on Insta, but when you catch them on the controls of the car and snap them, they hurt. Be practical. You’ll need to hold the steering wheel and gearstick properly, not just with fingertips.
Wear what you want - there's no uniform - but remember - you will need to be able to move your arms and legs freely to operate the controls safely over a period of time. Your instructor will keep the car at a nice temperature for you, but if it's cold outside, you won't need a coat INSIDE the car. Likewise, on a hot day, you wont need a swimsuit - the car will have air-con - but if you want to wear shorts, that's fine. Be comfy, but practical.
Try to be at your most alert and receptive.
Your instructor will try to schedule your lessons at a time to suit you, but if you have a morning appointment, get up in time to be alert for your lesson. You will have lots of notice of your next appointment, so try to be fully awake and ready to go.
Think about your driving theory test.
There’s no need to book and pass your theory test before starting to learn to drive. You will learn a lot of theory whilst driving on the road. Combining the two is by far the best way forward. Don’t forget about the theory though. Talk to your instructor about the best way to approach your learning.
Do NOT book a Practical Driving Test BEFORE starting to learn to drive
There’s absolutely no need to book a practical test before starting lessons. It's a very bad idea, no matter how long the waiting list is. It puts you, and your instructor under too much pressure to just pass a test. You might think that's what it's all about but what you are really supposed to be doing is learning to drive and becoming a safe driver - and passing the test is the bonus at the end of that. Your instructor will discuss with you when to book the test so it coincides with you being ready so you are not waiting long after you are ready, and so that they are available with their car for you when you need them.
Check your eyesight before beginning lessons.
This is overlooked by many people. Your new instructor will ask you to read a car registration plate at 20m when you first meet. You can wear glasses or lenses or have undergone night time corrective lens therapy. If you cannot read the registration, no driving can take place. If you need to visit an optometrist before your lessons begin, allow time for this.
Check the details of any medication you are taking.
This is very important, as some common over-the-counter medication can make people feel drowsy. Other prescription medicines such as diazepam are subject to rules. Check here.
Block book your lessons.
This is normal practice nowadays anyway, and will take pressure off you. A normal block with The DriveAll Driver Training Co. is 5-lessons of 2-hours each – 10 hours, and it's cheaper than paying per lesson anyway.
Don’t just jump into private practise. Speak to your instructor first. In the early part of learning to drive, doing private practise can have a negative effect, as you will have two different cars to contend with and a family member or friend often saying things contrary to your professional instructor. Later, when the time is right, your instructor will encourage private practise if it is right for you.
Try to want to learn to drive.
This might seem strange, but there is no doubt that those who are keen to learn to drive will succeed quicker than those who are indifferent to the process. Enjoying lessons is important. Most will go well, but some will not. Realising this will help you understand that the process has it’s ups and downs. In the end, you will succeed, and if you can have some fun along the way, you will remember your lessons fondly, as you move into the next stage of your driving life as a qualified driver.
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