The subject of driving is something that often comes up with my family and friends and I realised that it’s been over eight years since I passed my driving test so I thought I would share my thoughts and tips on the subject. I am constantly trying to persuade my boyfriend to get lessons so that we can share the driving the next time we take a road trip to Scotland. But alas, it’s a pretty expensive thing to do. I was lucky that my mum kindly paid for half of my lessons as my 17th birthday present so it was a lot easier for me to save the other half. What also made it easier for me was that I learnt in one week.
I say easier but I only mean that in the sense of it being over and done with. It was actually super, super tiring. I did an intensive course of 30 hours of lessons over five days, and then my test on the Friday afternoon. Six hours of driving in a day would make me fairly tired now, let alone when I’d almost never driven before and did it five days in a row! I remember having sore hands from holding the steering wheel and I would just come home, eat dinner and go to bed. The feeling when I did my test and managed to pass first time though made it so completely worth it. If you’ve got the spare time (I did it in the Easter holidays, over summer would be perfect!) and you don’t want your lessons to drag over months and months whilst you forget everything between each lesson then I’d definitely recommend it.
It’s certainly not for everyone though and probably not the best way for anyone that’s really nervous about learning (I was nervous but wanted to just jump in the deep end anyway). But that’s enough rambling, here are my little tips for when you’re learning to drive. You should also check out the Book Learn Pass website for loads more tips and to start booking your lessons online!
Find your own pace
People are different, you might know someone that got into a car for the first time and instantly felt comfortable or you might know someone in their 50’s that still hates driving and only does it when they have to. When learning you need to find what works for you, whether that’s two hour lessons three times a week or just one hour a week (though most of my friends found two hour lessons much more beneficial than one hour as it gives you time to settle in). It’s not a race and if you’re keeping up with it regularly then you won’t fall too much out of practice.
Find the right teacher
I don’t know anyone personally that has had to change their instructor, but you should definitely feel comfortable with them. Instructors are people too and thus come in many varieties and with different teaching methods. Don’t be afraid to switch if it’s not working with the first one you try.
Do it as soon as you can
If you’re able to learn whilst you’re still in school and all your friends are also learning then jump on the bandwagon. I live in a small town where it’s pretty much necessary to drive so I always thought of it as the norm to start learning as soon as you’re 17. However, when I was at university just a year and a half later, I was in the minority and most of my friends didn’t drive. Personally, I think learning before you go to university is the best way. You probably won’t be able to afford it as a student and when you graduate you’ll be focusing on finding a job. Depending on the type of job you want having a driving license can open up a whole lot more job opportunities. All of the jobs I’ve had since graduating I’ve needed to drive, either because there was no regular public transport in the area or I had to take equipment with me and move from location to location.
And another little bonus tip that is so important – practice makes perfect. Because I didn’t have my own car, I didn’t feel fully comfortable driving until my mum stopped and I had to drive a lot more regularly. This was about 4 years after I’d passed my test. Which kind of leads me to another point, even if you don’t have or can’t afford your own car, it’s still worth learning that skill because you never know what’s going to happen in the future.
This post is in collaboration with Book Learn Pass but all opinions are my own.