The essential things every learner driver should know

Driving is one of those things that looks like it’s easy. You see so many people out on the road every day, and people are managing to do it while following their GPS, chatting to their passengers or singing along to the radio. But there’s a lot that goes into driving that every learner driver should know. These tips will help you be even more prepared for your journey to becoming a fully qualified driver.

What you need to know as a learner driver:

1. You might not always enjoy driving

Let’s get this one out of the way first. While a lot of people really love getting behind the wheel of a car, for others it’s purely functional in getting you from one place to another. And when starting to drive is so hyped up, it can sometimes fail to live up to expectations. Remember that even when you find learning stressful, or feel frustrated if you’re struggling with certain areas, that what it ultimately provides is more independence and freedom for your life once you pass.

2. Choosing the right way to learn can be cheaper

Learning to drive has a lot of associated costs, but there are certain factors that can help it be more cost effective for you. Firstly, deciding whether you want to learn on a manual or automatic transmission – as it can be quicker, and therefore cheaper, to learn on automatic. It’s also important to find a driving instructor who you feel comfortable with and whose teaching style fits your needs.

3. Block book your driving lessons

When you’ve found the driving instructor you want to learn with, it’s worth block booking some lessons for a few weeks at a time. We recommend at least one or two lessons a week as this will help you remember what you learn. By booking your lessons for a few weeks in advance, you can make sure you have your lessons booked in and you won’t have to worry about your instructor’s diary getting booked up.

4. Your Theory Test is important

All too often people think the Theory Test is something that’s just common sense and doesn’t need much thought, and that you only need to worry about the practical Driving Test. However, the Theory Test helps you build an incredibly useful foundation to keep you safer out on the roads. By taking the time to study for the Theory Test you can learn important information such as what different road signs and markings mean, the lesser known rules of the road, and how to develop your hazard awareness skills. 

When you learn to drive with Acclaim, you’ll be given your own copy of The Highway Code. If you read The Highway Code, you’ll find you recognise many answers in the multiple choice selections in the Theory Test and will be more likely to already know the answer.

5. There’s often waiting lists for Driving Tests

Most Driving Test centres are booked up far in advance, meaning you can’t just suddenly decide you feel ready to take your Driving Test and book it for the following week. It can take several weeks for an available space. 

It can be a good idea to have a practical Driving Test booked early, but ask your driving instructor for some advice. It’s always worth taking a driving lesson with an instructor first before booking a test – as this will give you an idea of how many lessons you’re likely to need and how quickly you will take those lessons (based on budget and time), so you’ll know when to aim to get a test booked for. 

If you’re planning on taking the test using the driving instructor’s car, you should check with them first that they’d be available at this time for you to use the car. Often driving instructors are incredibly busy which can lead people to booking tests that then go to waste.

6. Some things can take a while to grasp

For a lot of people, there’s at least one major skill or area they struggle to master for a little while. It might be clutch control, parallel parking, or steering – but remember that it’s okay. You will get there. If you’re finding that there’s something about it that’s just not clicking in your mind, speak to your instructor. They should be able to find other ways to approach it – whether through analogies, diagrams, or a different practice to find a way that works you.

7. Other road users can be unpredictable

You might be the one learning to drive, but you can’t rely on other road users to know what they’re doing and always behave in the way they should. Often other drivers can be distracted or reckless and do something dangerous – just because they’re qualified, doesn’t mean they’re always driving correctly. This is why one of the important skills you need to learn is how to anticipate what others around you may do before it happens. For instance, if you’re following traffic and you see cars braking up ahead, if the driver ahead of you isn’t braking, you should be ready for them to perhaps brake abruptly – which may need you to adjust too.

8. Extra practice can be useful, when done right

It can be helpful to get more hours on the road, outside of your scheduled driving lessons. Whether you’re in the car with a parent, partner, or friend – you need to make sure you’re getting the most out the extra time behind the wheel. Driving more can help you get more comfortable and confident, but be aware of any bad driving habits they may as these can easily get passed on to you if you’re not careful.

9. Learner insurance is a thing

Most driving instructors will have insurance that covers you driving their car built into their lesson price. However, if you learn on a parent’s car or your own car, you will need to have learner insurance to cover you before you pass your test. If you take your Driving Test on your own car, you will also need to make sure you have insurance for this.

10. It’s okay if you don’t pass your test first time

Taking your Driving Test can be a nerve wracking experience, and if you don’t pass first time it can leave you feeling disappointed or less confident in your driving skills. However, it’s important to remember that it’s common and nothing to be ashamed about. You can still be a competent driver, but may just need a little extra time to practice and ensure you’re prepared for any situation you may encounter on the road.

Everyone’s experience learning to drive is different, but these tips will give you some areas to think about and help you be more ready for whatever is to come in your driving journey. 

If you’d like to start learning to drive with Acclaim, get in touch with us now on 07769 711 877 to book your lessons or email martin@acclaimmotorschool.co.uk

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Learner drivers and new drivers can enjoy the flexibility of paying for insurance by the mile and earn a £10 Amazon.co.uk voucher* with Pay As You Go Insurance from Marmalade.
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