Top tips for starting your driving lessons

Top tips for starting your driving lessons

Learn to drive quickly and easily with our 10 tips to getting the most from your driving lessons...

1. Be prepared before you start learning

Before your first driving lesson, become familiar with The Highway Code.

​This will give you a good understanding of the rules of the road before you get behind the wheel, helping you understand how to tackle certain driving situations while also helping with your theory test.

A full digital copy of The Highway Code is available online to help you learn the do's and do not's of driving.

You can also follow The Highway Code on Facebook or on Twitter for regular help and advice. 

2. Find the right instructor

To enjoy your lessons and maximise the chances of passing your driving test, choose an instructor who you're comfortable and happy learning with.

Anyone over the age of 21 who has had a driving licence for three years can teach you to drive.

To enjoy your lessons and maximise the chances of passing your driving test, choose an instructor who you're comfortable and happy learning with.

READ MORE: Teen kills deer on driving test - but still passes

Anyone over the age of 21 who has had a driving licence for three years can teach you to drive, however, to get the best tuition that will help you pass the test, it is recommended you choose an 'Advanced Driving Instructor' (ADI) licensed by the Driving Standards Agency.

Statistics show nine out of 10 people who passed the practical test first time round were taught by an ADI.

To help find an ADI, the Government has an online driving instructor directory.

The Government has recently allowed Advanced Driving Instructors to publish their standards check grading and score on the ‘find your nearest driving instructor’ service too.

This facility only lists fully qualified ADIs, allowing learner drivers make a more informed choice when picking their driving instructor. 

Learner driver car insurance

RAC Learner Driver Insurance cover from 2 hours to 5 months*

3. Choose manual or automatic

You can learn to drive and take your test in either a manual-gearbox or automatic-gearbox car.

Automatic cars can make learning to drive easier, but if you take your driving test in an automatic car your driving licence won't entitle you to drive a manual one, however, passing the test in a manual also entitles you to drive an automatic.

There are lots of different names for automatic gearboxes but the official classification is simple: if it has three pedals, you need a manual licence; if it had two pedals, you can drive it on an automatic licence.

4. Wear the right footwear

It's easier to control the pedals wearing comfortable shoes. Heavy boots can make it hard to perfect driving techniques and heels will get scuffed and give you less control. Choose thin, narrow shoes to give you the necessary 'feel' on the pedals.

READ MORE: Driving without shoes is it illegal?

5. Listen carefully to your instructor

Your driving instructor knows what it takes to pass the driving test.

They also know the area in which you’ll be taking your test, so will be able to point out regional peculiarities you should brush up on.

They are on your side and want you to pass so their advice and guidance is invaluable. It is a myth to think your driving instructor has to fail a certain amount of people each month. So absorb their advice fully: that’s a big part of what you’re paying for.

6. Learn at the right pace

Book a minimum of one two-hour lesson per week when you start learning to drive.

As you progress you may find that two or more lessons a week suit you better.

Your ADI instructor will offer the best guidance on the right pace for you. And remember to get back on the horse! If you get nervous or do soemthing wrong it is important to stick at it and not be put off or you may end up never going back to it.

7. Practice between lessons

The average learner needs 20 hours of practice to pass the driving test, in addition to 45 hours of driving lessons.

Once you've started learning, ask your instructor for advice about when you are ready to start practising between lessons.

You can practice driving between lessons while accompanied by anyone who is over 21 years old has held a full British driving licence for at least three years.

DRIVING TEST NEWS: Driving test modernised to include sat-navs and updated manoeuvres

8. If you're in a hurry, take an intensive course

If you want to pass your driving test before a certain time - consider an intensive course.

These consist of extended one-on-one tuition, with some teaching people to drive in as little as a week.

Intensive courses are expensive, hard work and require dedication as well as an empty shedule for the week.

Some companies offer residential intensive courses, to ensure there are no distractions to provide complete focus on learning to drive.

9. Study for the theory test while you learn to drive

Studying theory and practice at the same time makes learning both easier.

Theory gives lots of hints on the best way of driving and their importance can be underlined when on the road.

10. Disability

If you have a disability, learn with a driving school that that can cater to your needs. Driving schools offer special adapted cars and trained instructors can also aid disabled learner-drivers.

* One month’s cover is classed as 28 days, so a 5 month policy runs for 140 days in total.