So you’ve made the decision, booked the driving lessons and now you’re almost ready to start learning! It’s an exciting time and following a few simple steps can help you get the very most out of your driving lessons.
1. Dress practically and comfortably. Whilst clearly your shoes are going to be the most important element of your outfit, it’s a wise idea not to wear tight, impractical clothing that may distract you while you’re at the wheel. You should always wear well-fitting, flat shoes. Heels can create a problem with leverage on the pedals, especially if you’re a brand new driver.
2. Schedule your lessons for when you’re at your most alert and receptive. For most people this is the morning, only you will know what suits you best. If you don’t wake up properly until lunchtime then recognise this and arrange your lessons for the afternoon.
3. Think about your driving theory test. If you are preparing to sit your theory test at the same time as you’re getting to grips with practical driving, the combination of these will benefit you enormously and help the new, unfamiliar information to sink in.
4. Study a map of your test centre area. If you are used to familiar public transport routes then suddenly driving around town from one end to the other can leave you feeling out of control. Familiarising yourself with the road and traffic systems will help you feel more relaxed when you’re in the car. Using a map to study the area can also make you more aware – mark difficult areas on it, such as double mini roundabouts or one way systems so they don’t creep up on you unexpectedly when you’re at the wheel.
5. Check the details of any medication you are taking. Some medicines can make you feel drowsy, especially hayfever and cold and flu remedies. If you’re prone to feeling drowsy with medicines be careful to take it well away from any time that you will be driving.
6. If you can afford it, block book your lessons. This will avoid you feeling pressured to cram as much as possible into your lesson. You don’t have to book forty at a time, but bookings of ten or so will help you recognise that there’s no rush to learn to drive. If you prefer, you can book an intensive driving course.
7. Consider using learning aids. Many companies have DVDs or manuals for complementary learning which you can use in your spare time to go over key skills or use your computer for tutorial sessions or to practice driving with the mouse.
8. Get the best deal for your provisional driving insurance. Insurance for provisional drivers can vary in price so it’s important to make sure that you do your research to find the best option for your provisional driving insurance policy.
9. Finally, enjoy your driving lessons! There is a lot of evidence to suggest that people learn more quickly and easily when they are happy and enjoying it. Learning to drive is a rite of passage for most and passing your test will bring many benefits. Ensure that your instructor is right for you and if you sense they’re not, there’s no shame in changing. Try and put to one side any perfectionist tendencies; you will make mistakes while you learn to drive and that’s completely natural. Enjoying your lessons will help you to get the most out of them.