You have your provisional licence, your ready to go but how do you find the right Instructor? All instructors follow the National Standards for driving. The national standard sets out what you must be able to do and what you must know and understand to be a safe and responsible car and light van driver.
With this in mind you need someone who meets your needs. Manual or Automatic?
What type of car will you learn in?
Check the instructors reviews on Google & Facebook and if possible ask friends and family they may know someone.
Narrow your options down to perhaps 3-4 and be prepared to call them all. You need someone who is available for the days and times you are available and then you can arrange your first contact/meeting. Your short list may only be 2 from the original list.
You have started your lessons - Now what!
Obviously practice is important but it's a lot more about just taking lessons, they need to be consistent. There is no point having breaks between lessons as this will only slow your progress. Make sure you are in the right place to begin your training and allow time to get the essential lessons in over a long period of time.
Something as important as a life skill should not be rushed.
This is often forgotten once someone passes the theory test, but I find often those struggling to learn how to drive do not have the knowledge required to apply this on the road.
The driving test is about following the Highway Code and driving safely, so if you don't know all the rules it's hard to apply them when you are driving. To give you a better chance of passing your driving test its important to continue learning about the rules of the road.
Set yourself regular goals. Even if you set aside 1 hour a week to practice theory. Based on your learning style this could be trying to anticipate hazards whilst in the passenger seat of a car. Understanding road markings. Watching others drive. See what they do well and not so well. Write these down afterwards and come up with a plan how you would do it differently. Example: You sit in a family/friends car. You notice that they had to reverse after taking a corner as another car was already positioned in the new road. What caused the error of judgement?
Steering to early/late
Speed on approach
Lack of observations
It may be more than one of these but understanding why means it can be avoided in the future.
There are certain things that should become second nature regardless of how or when you drive.
A good example is checking mirrors and blind-spots before moving away. It's one of the first rules of driving.
Moving away safely thou is one of the top 5 reasons why students fail their driving test. * DVSA data 2018/19.
So work on those basics and don't let your standards slip.
Are we there yet! You need to enjoy the journey!
If you focus too much on passing the test you will forget to enjoy the journey and it's the journey that matters. We go to school to learn, so why come to driving lessons just to pass the driving test. You will enjoy your lessons more if you can focus on the learning to drive and not just passing the driving test.
I know........These are my tips for passing the test, and one of those tips is to just get on with learning how to drive, the rest will take care of itself. There is often a perceived reality that the driving test requires a certain style of driving or a show of features to achieve a pass but its really just about driving safely and following the Highway Code which is what all drivers should be doing everyday.
We are all different!
Learning to drive takes commitment, from both the student and instructor. There will be high's and low's and overcoming these periods is paramount in how you progress through your training. Be prepared to put extra work in. Use your free time to research YouTube videos. Practice your anticipation skills on the bus or walking to school/college. Take notice of all the road signs as you go about your daily routine. Focus on your progress and try not to compare with others. We are all on a different journey arriving at the same place just at different times.
Reflection is such an important part of everyday life. Before during and after each lesson you need to find time to reflect on your progress.
Have you set realistic goals!
What could you have done differently!
What areas do I need to improve!
How can I achieve that!
It may just take 5 minutes, others may wish to ponder on a lesson between sessions. Your driving instructor will help with this.
Be honest with yourself:
You should be sitting your driving test knowing you can drive in various road and traffic conditions with no guidance from your instructor.
This will give you added confidence and help ease any test nerves and anxiety. It's only natural to feel nervous but this is never helped with lower confidence levels.
Our role is to provide you with the tools for a lifetime's safe driving but if you are honest with yourself (reflect) then you will know you have reached the required standard.
Your instructor will help with a progress report to see how you are improving in all of the key competencies. Summary: I hope this guide helps. As you will notice these tips are based on what you do before your driving test not on the day of your driving test. All the hard work is done in advance, and the safer you drive more consistently pre-test the better chance you have of driving safely for life and passing your driving test.