How to prepare to return to learning to drive after a break

Break from learning to drive

Are you ready to get back to your driving lessons?

There are plenty of reasons why you may take a break from your driving lessons. Perhaps your schedule hasn’t left you with much time to dedicate to them, or maybe you’ve needed to save up a little more for consistent lessons, or you may just feel a bit disheartened after not quite passing your driving test. 

Although at the moment, it’s more likely you’ve had a break from your lessons not by choice, but due to lockdowns and restrictions, or the need to shield. 

Driving skills take practice, until they eventually become second nature. It’s easy to think after a break from your driving lessons you may have forgotten everything you’ve learnt and be back to square one, but that’s not the case. More often than not, after a few minutes (depending on your driving experience prior to the break) you’ll likely pick up from where you left off. It’s not that different from riding a bike – give it a little time, and you’ll realise all the knowledge and skills are still there. 

To help you feel mentally prepared for getting back in the driving seat, we’ve put together our top 5 tips that’ll give you the confidence to return to your driving lessons.

1. If you can, spend time studying virtually

If you can’t step into a car, there’s still plenty of resources to help you brush up on your skills at home. You can still keep studying for your Theory Test, or you can look up some videos regarding practical driving tests or other driving advice. We have some useful videos you can watch on our Videos page.

2. Take a walk and pay attention to your surroundings

There’s nothing to say a good walk can’t help with your driving skills. Use a walk as an opportunity to improve on your hazard perception skills. As you stroll along the pavement, take note of the road – are there any potential hazards or obstructions you would need to watch out for if you were in a car?

Think about the road markings and signs, and make sure you know what they all mean and whether you’d have to adjust your driving because of them. This can help you stay up-to-date with your driving knowledge. You can also do this when sitting in the passenger seat of a car too. Instead of simply staring out the window, anticipate and plan what you would do or just pay attention to what other drivers are doing around you.

3. Have a read up on the Highway Code

In case you find yourself stumped with some of the road signs – or if there are just areas you need to study up on more – it’s always useful to take a flick through the Highway Code. The rules of the road will help keep you, and other road users, safe, so it’s handy to refresh yourself on the ins-and-outs.

4. Re-familiarise yourself with the car

When you first slide back into the driving seat, spend a few moments re-familiarising yourself with the different controls in the car. Make sure you feel comfortable with where your indicators, wipers, lights, gears, etc. all are. Give yourself the time to move your seat to where you are comfortable and can reach the pedals, and adjust your mirrors as you need to as well. Most importantly, don’t rush yourself – it’s okay to take a few minutes to reacquaint yourself with the vehicle.

5. Avoid putting too much pressure on yourself

It’s completely normal for it to take a little while to get used to driving again. If you stall the car or need a bit longer to complete manoeuvres, cut yourself some slack. You’ll get back into the swing of things quicker if you don’t beat yourself up over every little mistake. Just give yourself some time, and take things slow – and you’ll get there. Rushing will likely make you feel more panicked and make it harder to focus on correcting yourself. Even experienced drivers sometimes stall or misjudge something when driving. Just notice where you went wrong and what you can learn from it going forward.

While we all are eagerly waiting to hear when driving lessons can resume, we hope our guide can help you keep your driving skills topped up during the break and can prepare you for returning to your driving lessons. 

You can also still pre-emptively book in your driving lessons with Acclaim Motor School now by getting in touch with us now. With your lessons already booked in, you can hit the ground running once driving lessons are given the go-ahead. And if restrictions continue past your driving lessons date, we will contact you to reschedule so you can know you’re ready to go as soon as it is allowed. 

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