When people talk about the path to their driver’s licence, they can be a bit like a fisherman bragging about how big that fish was. It’s entirely possible that you’ve met someone who will tell you that they passed first time they did the test. It may take a while before you meet the person who says they passed first time, after only three, four or five lessons. Yeah right.
Every driver is different. Without fail there is at least one aspect to driving that is any drivers pet hate. It could be starting on a hill or parallel parking. Then there are the five road roads that intersect at a roundabout. Even the most competent of drivers with decades of experience will have a pet hate. That hate is usually linked to their driving weakness.
Statistics provided by the DVSA indicate that it takes at least 45 hours of driving instruction and an additional 22 hours of practice before a driver is ready to take their test. Intensive courses are designed to get you through a pass after only 10 hours of training. That however is the exception rather than the rule.
How quickly you learn to drive is based on a number factors, some of which you will have control over and others which you don’t.
Find an instructor that has a good reputation. Ask your friends and family who already have passed their test to refer you to a good instructor. Word of mouth is the best way to find someone who will suit your needs. Driving instructors have personalities too and will click instantly with some students and not with others. Don’t feel afraid to change instructor if you don’t get on with the instructor. Learning to drive should be a positive rite of passage, not an ordeal.
Although you only need to pass the theory test before you complete your practical driving test, most instructors will advise you to complete the theory test as soon as possible. By preparing for the theory test you will equip yourself with quite a bit of knowledge that will advance your practical learning quicker. Recognising roads signs and understanding the rules about intersections, crossings and overtaking will all speed up your confidence while training behind the wheel.
If you are naturally an anxious person, try to have the initial lessons at a time of day when there are fewer users on the road. Ask your driving instructor for late evening or early morning slots. This will enable you to build up confidence once the basics such as changing gear and approaching intersections become second nature. Once you have developed the skills required to maintain control of the car, you will be able to prepare for your test by tackling the roads when they are busier. Ask your instructor to graduate you to busier times, so that you don’t leap from no traffic road conditions to peak hour traffic. That would simply be a baptism of fire.
It’s not a race
The best drivers are not the ones who passed their test first time after ten minutes behind the wheel. According to the DVSA, the safest drivers are those that had to take the test twice. Space your lessons in such a fashion that they are not so far apart that you must relearn half of the previous lesson. However, try not to cram them too close together either. It’s often important to grasp one concept before moving onto another in any sphere of learning. The same applies to driving. While one driver may learn a concept quickly and pass the test on that concept, another may take longer to pass the test but have mastered the skill in a better way.
Time is relative.
Someone that takes one lesson a week for a year, will have taken the same amount of time to learn to drive as a person who takes a lesson every day for six weeks. Will the one who took the daily lessons be a better driver? Rather than calculating your progress on linear time, work it out in terms of time it’s taking to reach milestones in your driver education. When you are more relaxed and not trying to cram all your driving lessons into a short time, the learning experience may well be enhanced.
Ask your instructor how long it will take you to learn how to drive
Your instructor will be able to gauge your strengths and weaknesses. Ask them about what you should be working on and when you get the opportunity ask a relative or friend to help you practice. Remember to insure yourself in their vehicle first. By practicing the weaknesses, you will reinforce your strengths