Learning to Drive: Tips and Advice

Written by Nigel Simpkins

The ability to drive can be extremely useful. It’ll give you the freedom to travel wherever you’d like, whenever you’d like. This can have a profound impact on your personal and professional life – and it can be fun, too, even if it’s a little bit daunting to begin with.

For some people, driving comes naturally. For others, it’s a little bit of a struggle. In either case, you can give yourself a better chance with the help of a few key tips.

Make sure you study and understand the theory

Understanding how the roads work, and how your car works, can be enormously beneficial. You can practice your theory endlessly without spending a penny on lessons. Once you’ve got to grips with everything, you can breeze through the theory part of the test, and stand a much better chance with the practical stuff, too.

Choose a good instructor

Your instructor should be technically competent when it comes to both driving and teaching. Someone who’s good at the first thing might not be good at the second. You should also look for an instructor that you feel comfortable with, to whom you can pose questions whenever they occur to you.

Often, you can have a bad experience with a good teacher, just because your personalities don’t match. It’s better to nip this sort of thing early on. After all, you are going to be spending hours upon hours in a small metal compartment with this person.

Practice with a friend or family member

Sometimes, it’s useful to get out on the road, even if you’re not receiving instruction. This will allow you to build real-world experience, and to become comfortable on the road. This will help you to lower the overall cost of learning. After all, if you have a willing volunteer, the only spending you’re going to be doing is on the cost of fuelling the car. If you have temporary provisional insurance, then you can cut costs still further.

Choose an Automatic

Some drivers struggle with gear changes. If this is you, then it might make sense to aim for an automatic license rather than a manual one. Given that the electric cars of the future aren’t going to have gearboxes, this is a move that you’re probably not going to regret later on.

Plan your lessons 

You’re going to get more out of your learning time if you try to apply some structure to it. Think about what your strengths and weaknesses are, and try to spend time gaining confidence in areas that need improvement. Look at night driving and rainy days as an opportunity, rather than a hassle. After all, if you can reverse parallel park in a thunderstorm, then you’ll probably do well during ideal conditions.