Simplifying learning to drive in the UK

words Al Woods

learning to drive UK

For many learners, the first time they get behind the wheel of a car can be a nerve-wracking experience.

Not only do you have to navigate other vehicles on the road, but you also need to be mindful of the road signs, hazards and landmarks such as pedestrian crossings and roundabouts.

So how then can you get into a position where you are ready to take your test?

The key is to simplify the process of learning to drive. Here are some ways you can do that. 

Watching Brief

The process of learning to drive starts long before you take your first lesson. Or at least it should do with a watching brief.

In the weeks and months before you are eligible to get a provisional licence, you should make a conscious effort to understand what is involved in driving a car.

Watch what your parents, siblings or friends do when they are in charge of a vehicle. Take note of how they start it, drive on the road and perform manoeuvres like changing gears (if they are driving a manual), three-point turns, reverse parking and moving lanes.

As a child, you would have perfected the art of learning with your eyes. So, make sure you harness this skill from the passenger seat.

Learn the Road Signs

During your watching brief you should also be making the effort to understand road signs, as the better the knowledge you possess of them the easier you will find it to drive.

While it will take you quite a long time to be fully au fait with the Highway Code, you can kickstart this process by asking the driver to test you on the meaning of the signs you pass.

You should also ask them to clarify what some mean should you not know or refer to the Highway Code for confirmation.

Doing this will go a long way to helping you pass the theory part of your test. 

Find a Driving Instructor 

Once you are aged 17 or older and have your provisional licence, you can begin your search for someone to teach you.

A good starting point is driving lessons with EZLicence. Not only do they connect with instructors in your area, but they also provide you with trusted ratings and reviews about them from other learners whom they tutored. Therefore, you can get a feel for who has a good reputation and track record.

Additionally, if you wanted a female driving instructor, possibly for personal preference or religious reasons, you will easily be able to find one.

Have Lots of Lessons

Once you have found your driving instructor, it is important to have lots of lessons with them.

The DVSA recommend that learners take about 45 hours of professional driving lessons from a qualified instructor. So, this is a good benchmark to work towards.

During your lessons, your instructor will train you on all aspects of driving. If you are struggling with a particular aspect or want any feedback from them, don’t be afraid to ask for it. 

Keep practising

As well as the lessons you have with your driving instructor, it is important to practice as much as you can with a trusted adult, such as a parent or family friend.

Try to practice in all weather conditions and at various times of the day to build up your driving experience.

Learn the Test Route

As you get more confident on the road, you will eventually feel ready to take your test. Once you have been given a date and assigned to a driving test centre, it is a good idea to spend some time learning the route that you might possibly be asked to drive.

It is impossible to know the exact route your examiner will take you. However, if you familiarise yourself with the roads around the immediate vicinity of the test centre, you should get a good enough feel for the locality and, therefore, not be thrown off course come test day.

Don’t Talk to Anyone About Your Lessons

One of the best ways to simplify learning to drive in the UK is to keep it under wraps. The more people you tell you are learning to drive, the more pressure from the weight of expectation you might feel from them.

At the end of the day, it is better to surprise your friends and wider family by telling them you have passed your test than to feel overwhelmed by the support or potential horror stories they might tell you. 

Believe in Yourself

Lastly, a good way to simplify the process of learning to drive is to be confident in your own ability.

The more confident you are and the calmer you feel behind the wheel, the more likely you are to develop your driving proficiency at a faster rate and eventually pass your test.



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