The prospect of learning how to drive can be exciting yet scary at the same time. However, it is important to remember that everyone learns differently – for example, if your best friend took two months to learn, it is not necessary that you might also need that much time. What your friend learned in sixty days, you could pick up in merely seven (especially if you take an intensive driving course). Hence, the first rule of learning to drive is to let go of any and all assumptions that you might have about the experience.
However, before actually learning to drive you need to book driving lessons. This is the most important part of learning – you have to find the right school, the right instructor and the right course for yourself. This is crucial as the right driving instructor who is also a good fit for you and your learning style can really help you to learn quickly and efficiently without unnecessary stress and hassle.
Hence, here are 9 things you should consider before booking driving lessons.
1) Finding the right school and instructor
Each school plans its lessons differently – there is no standard approach. Similarly, every instructor has his/her own method and style of teaching and some might be more suitable to your learning style than others. It is therefore important to conduct thorough research before deciding on a specific instructor or school. You can do this by reading reviews from pupils online, asking for suitable instructors on social media platforms or searching for schools/instructors closest to you. Asking family and friends about their experiences with driving instructors can also help you in finding a suitable school or instructor.
2) Review costs and your budget
The cost of getting a provisional licence combined with the costs of driving lessons can often amount to a hefty sum. Hence, work out a budget and be aware of how much you will have to invest in learning this new and extremely useful skill. Different schools have different fee structures so it is important to find one which matches your budget. Also keep in mind that you have to pay for a theory test and a practical test, each of which have different fees.
3) Consider intensive driving courses
Depending on the amount of time and money you have, an intensive driving course of five or seven days can be a very good option if you want to learn to drive quickly. While traditional lessons give the learner more time to practice and prepare for their driving test, it is easier to book a crash course with a driving school so you can quickly get it over and done with. Thus, if you think you can master driving in a week and need to pass as soon as possible, sign up for an intensive driving course to learn quickly and efficiently.
4) Learn some basics beforehand
While this is not a requirement, learning a few basics beforehand can usually eliminate any stress you might feel on the first day of your lesson. You don’t have to actually know how to drive, just learning a few basics such as the number of gears, where your brake, clutch and accelerator pedals are, etc.
5) Be aware of certain road rules and traffic signs
Just as it is helpful being aware of certain basics of driving, it is also useful to learn common road rules and traffic signs before booking driving lessons. This will not only ensure that your lessons go smoothly, but you can also learn quickly.
6) Understand the requirements of driving and theory tests
The driving test is divided into two parts, a practical test and a theory test. Knowing what to expect in each beforehand can allow you to carefully prepare for the test. You can also ask your driving school or instructor to help you with mock tests to ensure that you can pass all sections of the test. This can also help in avoiding stress during the actual test which can cause you to forget important lessons. Remember, practice makes perfect!
7) Getting car insurance
While most professional driving schools provide car insurance while taking lessons and the driving test, it is important to inquire about it before hand. This can help save you any unnecessary hassle. If you wish to practice between lessons in your car, then you need to purchase insurance yourself.
8) Check your eyesight
This is an obvious, but often overlooked aspect of driving. Get your eyesight checked before booking driving lessons. Often, driving schools and instructors also facilitate the pupils in checking their eyesight to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations of driving in the UK. For example, it is important to be able to see the number plate in front of you at a distance of 20.5 meters at least. This is one of the first things your examiner will ask you to do and you can fail the entire driving test if you do not meet the standards of vision for driving. If you have weak eyesight, be sure to wear the glasses or contact lenses according to your number.
9) Avoid drinking and taking drugs
One of the most important parts of driving or learning how to drive is to be alert and attentive. Hence, it is important to not drink or take drugs before a driving lesson as they can seriously impair your ability to drive (not to mention the fact that driving whilst intoxicated is illegal). Moreover, if you are on medication which can cause drowsiness, then consult your doctor before booking driving lessons.
If you follow this list of 9 things to do before booking driving lessons, you can save yourself serious hassle and stress in the future. Other tips include ensuring that your documents are in order and being prepared to gain some experience on the road.
While there are many other things to consider before starting your lessons, just remember that you are on the verge of learning a new skill. This will take patience and persistence, so don’t be disheartened if you are unable to master driving in the very first lesson.