You will not be allowed to legally drive on the road until you have turned 17 and your provisional licence has arrived. From here on in, you will be able to take to the road with very cautious abandon, learning a skill that will open up many potential doors for you and make your entire life far easier.
However, when one is first starting to learn to drive, knowing where to start and how can be confusing. For parents, driving lessons will usually be a distant memory, having been taken many, many years ago, and things will have changed so drastically since then that offering sound and focussed advice can be hard. In turn, even experienced drivers will often be starting from scratch when it comes time to choose a driving school and work out a suitable approach to learning.
Choosing an instructor
Do a little research online about the reputations of different driving schools, and ask friends for their help and advice too, looking at track record as much as costs. Even once you have made your mind up about the most suitable driving school , it will be worth taking trial lessons to ensure that you have an instructor that will help you learn in the best possible way. Everyone has different needs when learning something new, and even the most competent and informed instructor, with the best seatside manner may not be right for you. As such, whilst taking recommendations may help, you may find that you still want to change instructors once you begin. Don’t worry about hurting feelings – talk to driving schools about your needs and the best will make sure they pair you with the most suitable instructor.
Be sure you know which car you want to learn in. Whilst some individuals may still choose to learn in an automatic, it will make far more sense to learn in a manual car as these are far more common and will offer far more flexibility in the future.
Finding the right car and the right instructor will make a huge difference to the learning process and the chances of passing your test in a timely manner (or even passing your test at all), so be sure to stick with someone you are comfortable with.
Preparing for your lessons
The first lesson will usually be a mere taster on quiet roads to help get you used to the basics of driving. Taking some time beforehand to learn as much as you can about the fundamentals of driving can help a great deal and allow you to feel more prepared for what is in store. If your instructor then goes too fast or too slow, be sure to let them know rather than becoming bored or worrying that you are getting left behind.
During your lessons
Don’t expect to be an instant expert. Learning to drive takes time and whilst the average learning time is 40 hours of lessons, this will vary from person to person based on numerous factors including the frequency of lessons. Try to have lessons as regularly as possible and where possible go out and practice on the road with friends or relatives in between structured lessons (so long as they are over 21, have held a full licence for three years and you are both insured to drive the vehicle). Go at your own pace and enjoy the process; don’t try to rush through it to get on the road or you may end up wasting even more time waiting for retests and getting frustrated in the process.
You will need to learn a variety of skills and accrue a significant amount of knowledge to pass your theory and practical tests. Listen to what your instructor tells you – they will know what they are talking about, whilst parents or friends may have picked up bad habits or be labouring under misapprehensions.
Author Bio: Alan Holmes is a freelance writer and blogger. He regularly writes articles about the motor industry and driving schools, using sites such as www.drivingschool-croydon.co.uk to stay up to date with all the latest industry news and developments.