Learning to drive and carrying out the test can be a nerve-wracking
experience. Read how to get the most out of learning to drive and successfully
pass the test.
Being taught by a professional driving instructor is highly important, and
although many friends or family members helping a learner driver may be reading
this and thinking “I can do just as good a job as a driving instructor can!”,
the fact is that many experienced drivers are almost certainly used to driving
with bad habits. Take this example; a large number of drivers will not use the
interior mirror as often as they should, nor drive with their hands positioned
on the steering wheel correctly.
A professional driving instructor of course knows (or should know) the correct
procedure for safe driving, and will teach you the correct way to drive in order
to pass your test. They are also trained and experienced in teaching skills to
nervous drivers, which can allow learners to feel more comfortable on their
When choosing a driving instructor, remember that the cheapest option is not
always the best. Having someone recommend an instructor is quite likely the best
method of finding one that is appropriate for you, as your referrer will be able
to highlight how helpful the instructor is, whether they are friendly and can be
approached with any questions you may have whilst learning, and can also
emphasise how successful the instructor is at teaching the driver the criteria
that needs to be learnt. Speak to friends to discuss which instructor they used;
their advice will be both helpful and impartial.
However, don’t rule out tuition from friends and family completely. The more
practice a learner receives, the better the driver should become, and many
driving manoeuvres may become second-nature. During these sessions, the learner
driver needs to remember what they have been taught by their driving instructor
and should put the methods into practice. If a learner chooses to practice with
a member of the family, or a friend, then ensure that:
- the person accompanying the driver is at least 21 years of age, and have held
a full driving licence for at least three years
- the car being driven has ‘L’ plates at the front and rear
- the driver has adequate insurance cover
Squeezing in as many lessons as possible in a short period of time may not be
beneficial for all learners. If time and money allow, the learner should try to
book in at least one lesson per week with a driving instructor and preferably
two, for 1-2 hours per session. These lessons will cover all of the driving test
criteria over the weeks, which will include:
Moving off smoothly and safely on a level surface and at a gradient.
Applying appropriate safety whilst driving, and abiding by the Highway Code.
Using the controls (accelerator, footbrake, clutch, gears, steering) smoothly
Reversing manoeuvres, including reversing round a corner and reversing into a
Using interior and exterior mirrors effectively, before signalling, changing
speed and direction.
Performing a controlled stop.
Turning in the road, and many other manoeuvres.
When the driving instructor feels that the learner is ready for the full
practical driving test, it may be beneficial to perform a mock test. This will
involve the driving instructor to act as the examiner and for the learner to
take instruction and execute a number of procedures that will be given, such as
turning the car in the road. This will give the learner a good example of what
to expect on the actual test, so that they can be prepared as well as possible.
The examiner will test the driver on a selection of exercises that will have
been covered in the lessons, and will assess the ability of the learner to drive
About the Author: Justin Brown is
the owner of the site
http://www.idealauto.co.uk where you can find various driving school
information and resources and also sell any used car in the UK.