Your first time driving alone will be nerve-wracking.
The entire time you’re learning to drive, there is always someone in the car with you. During your lessons, your driving instructor had their own set of pedals. If you did anything truly dangerous, they could effectively take control of the car for you. And even when you were practicing outside of lessons, you still had a more experienced driver by your side.
After You Pass Your Driving Test
But from the moment you pass your test, that’s it: You’re now free to drive by yourself. You don’t need a driving instructor, or a more experienced driver in the car with you. And this can be terrifying.
Inexperienced drivers are almost always nervous behind the wheel. It can take many, many hours to build up all the instincts and habits that veteran drivers take for granted. This is one of many reasons why new drivers can expect to pay more for car insurance.
Tips for Your First Time Driving Alone
But the only way you’ll ever become a better driver is through practice. The more time you spend behind the wheel, the better you’ll get a driving.
Your first time driving alone will be scary. But here are some tips for after you’ve passed your test, to help you build up experience and become a safer and more confident driver.
Make as Many Small Journeys as You Can
If you’re using your car to commute to work, you’ll drive through complex and challenging environments every day. Long journeys by car will become routine. So even if you’re brand-new to driving, you’ll soon build up your confidence behind the wheel. Trust us!
But if you don’t commute by car, or if you want to get as much practice in as possible, look for opportunities to make small journeys. Maybe you could help with the school run, or maybe you could drop your partner off at work. You could help with trips to the supermarket, or simply offer to drive friends and family to places they need to go.
You can learn something new on even the smallest of car journeys. And any time spent driving is going to pay off in the long run. This is how you build up the habits and the reflexes safe drivers rely on!
Practice in Different Weather Conditions
A good driver needs to be prepared for anything – rain, snow, wind, ice, the lot.
If you feel nervous about driving in any particular weather condition, look for opportunities to build up your confidence. So when the rain starts to fall, grab your keys and head out! You’ll soon learn that driving in the rain is not as scary as you imagine – you just have to take that little bit extra care.
And once winter rolls around, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to drive in the ice and the snow. This can be a lot more challenging than regular driving, so read our guide to safe winter driving here.
Stay in Touch with Your Driving Instructor
Even if you’ve just passed your test, your driving instructor will still be happy to ride with you (so long as you pay them for their time).
Ask them to accompany you on a few drives, perhaps in situations that you’re not very comfortable with, such as driving on the motorway. They’ll be able to talk you through the tricky bits, and they’ll know how to give you the confidence boost you need to finally start driving alone.
Take the Government’s Pass Plus Scheme
Finally, the government has a specialist scheme specifically designed to help first-time drivers build up their confidence behind the wheel.
It’s called Pass Plus, and it takes at least six hours to complete. Any qualified driver can take the course at any time. But you’ll find it particularly helpful if you’ve just passed your test, and you’re worried about driving alone.
If you successfully complete the Pass Plus scheme, you may be able to make some savings on your car insurance. Read our guide to getting cheaper car insurance here.