Getting your driving license is considered a milestone in adulthood but the road to learning how to drive can be a long and arduous one, and it’s not uncommon in the UK to fail your driving test multiple times before getting your hands on a proper driving license.
So, whether it’s a personal goal or you need a driving license for work, here is everything you need to know to pass your driving test on your first go.
Who can teach you?
First of all, you want to select a good and qualified driving instructor. This is the person that will be best equipped to teach you about road rules and who will create your foundation of knowledge about how to actually drive the car.
Ideally, you also want to involve a family member or friend to help you practice on the side under their supervision. This person must be aged 21 or over, have to be qualified to drive the type of vehicle that you’re learning in, and need to have at least three years of experience driving.
Practicing driving with a person you trust can boost your confidence and increase the likelihood of you passing your driving test. During these private sessions, you must remember to take out provisional insurance to cover yourself in the case of an accident. You won’t need to take out insurance during your lessons with the driving instructor, as this should be covered by the lesson fee.
How long does it usually take?
The time it takes to learn how to drive is highly dependent on the individual and how quickly the person can get used to driving, whilst remembering the Traffic Laws. Deciding to learn in a manual or an automatic car can also make a difference in your learning speed, with automatic learners generally learning faster.
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According to the Driving & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the average learner takes 47 hours of practice with a qualified instructor and a further 22 hours of private lessons with friends or relatives.
Unfortunately, there is no shortcut when it comes to learning how to drive. If you want to learn in the shortest time possible, you should practice consistently for several hours per week; this way, your mistakes will still be fresh in your mind once you go to your next lesson.
Are there other driving tips?
Other than getting as much time behind the wheel as possible, you should start practicing driving on quiet, low-traffic roads at first, and only try venturing on familiar roads once you feel ready. You should also only venture out with someone whom you trust and believe to have sufficient experience to help you. The majority of the time, learner drivers will choose one of their parents, but if they lack patience, you could be better off asking a friend or an older sibling.
As much as practicing is important, knowing the theory behind driving can give you a solid understanding of what you need to do when you are on the road. Start reading theory books as soon as you get your provisional license so that you will know exactly what to do when you are behind the wheel.