For most of us, learning to drive is a very stressful experience. On average it takes around forty-five hours of lessons to pass a test, which will cost in the region of £1,000, so the prospect of failure carries with it a renewed financial burden. Everybody needs a little bit of luck on their test day but there are things you can do to improve your chances of success.
Get a driving instructor who is right for you
Your relationship with your instructor is a crucial factor in your success. You need someone with whom you feel relaxed and confident, someone competent and committed to your success. If you feel that your instructor is not giving you their full attention or who uses part of your lesson as an opportunity to pick up their next pupil, then it is time to switch.
Learn in a car similar to the one you intend to drive
Getting extra practice with a friend or family member can be a good way to boost your confidence on the road, but not if the car that you are driving is very different to the one in which you are learning or which you intend to drive. Clutch control is often stressful for new drivers and switching between cars with different clutch operation may serve to damage your confidence rather than improve it.
Use online practice tests to prepare for your theory test
With appropriate preparation you should pass your theory test first time, but do not under-estimate its difficulty. Make sure that you have a thorough knowledge of the highway code and that you have made full use of the free practice tests available online.
Get learner driver’s insurance
The longer that you have insurance, without making a claim, the cheaper your insurance will be. That’s why it’s best to get insurance as soon as you can, even when learning. Getting learner’s insurance for your car also means that you can practise your driving without your instructor, as long as you are with someone who is over twenty-one and has been a licensed driver for over three years.
Of course, you are desperate to get your licence, it’s going to make such a difference to your personal freedom, but rushing into a test before you are ready is a waste of money and may also be a serious setback to your confidence. Not everyone will pass their test first time and you need to prepare yourself for the prospect of multiple attempts, but to rush into a test before you are fully prepared is foolish.
Drive when you are tired
Don’t book lessons for times when you know that you are likely to feel tired. Learning to drive is demanding and you need to feel alert and refreshed, that way you will gain confidence and learn much faster.
Worry about making mistakes
Making mistakes when driving can be very stressful, but everyone does it. Mistakes are an inseparable part of the learning process and a good instructor will help you to remain calm and learn from your mistakes.