There are very few words in the English language that bring quite the same satisfaction as “You’ve Passed” following that all-important driving test. These two words are guaranteed to change your life in ways it’s almost impossible to imagine, though suffice to say it’s a day you’ll never forget.
Of course, all of this does little other than pile immense pressure onto those learning to drive for the very first time. Some take to the driving tuition process like ducks to water while others will find the prospect more daunting than a trip to the ER. In all cases, however, there are certain long-standing tips and insights from industry veterans than can certainly help, which for the most part involve getting yourself into the right mind-set…not to mention the right hands.
1 – The Right School
For example, to choose any Oxford driving school at random is never the ideal way to go as all schools are by no means cut from the same cloth. Quality standards vary dramatically to say the least, so prior to going ahead and booking a block of lessons it’s important to vet the available options by way of reputation, success rates and general feedback. What’s more, consider booking a single trial lesson first before committing yourself for weeks, even months on end.
2 – Focus Beyond the Test
One of the most important tips the professionals offer every day is that of setting your sights way, way beyond the test itself. The reason being that while it is of course the test that will determine whether or not you get your license, the skills and experience you collect while learning to drive will stay with you for life. You’re setting the building blocks in place for a safe and happy future of motoring – not to just tick a few boxes on one specific day and that’s that.
3 – Music On or Off?
Some instructors will tell you it’s crucial to practice driving in complete and total silence, while other swear by having a little gentle music in the background. In reality actually neither is right or wrong, as it all comes down to personal preference. Just as is the case with studying, working and generally doing anything productive, if you work better and focus harder with music on or off, it’s your choice.
4 – Don’t Fear Errors
There isn’t a driver on the roads anywhere in the UK today that doesn’t make at least a handful of mistakes each and every day while out and about. It’s natural to occasionally not get things perfect and the thing is, it’s really not 100% perfection you’re going for. Learning to drive is all about showing you’re capable of safely handling a vehicle, not that you’re some divine driving force sent down from above. So when you do make a mistake, there’s nothing to gain from panicking – it’s all part of the driving experience!
5 – Dress Appropriately
This particular tip cannot be overstated as it is simply impossible to learn how to drive comfortably and efficiently if you’re wholly uncomfortable in the clothes and shoes you’ve decided to wear. You need to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible, with shoes that give you a good feel for the pedals under your feet. In addition, any accessories that might end up distracting you should be avoided altogether.
6 – Learn the Area
There’s nothing more daunting for a first-time driver than heading down the streets and roads you’ve never, ever seen before in your life. You have no idea where hazards may appear from, which bits are one-way, what kinds of speed limits to expect and so on. As such, it’s never a bad idea to get out and about in any way possible to learn the area you’re learning in a little better. Just a couple of hours in the passenger seat of a family member’s car or even behind the wheel under their guidance can make a huge difference.
7 – Practice Where Possible
Speaking of which, if you’re able to get yourself insured on a car prior to or during a course of lessons, it could be one of the most valuable investments you have ever made. The reason being that over the course of a single week, you could easily clock up more driving practice hours than would be possible in several months with a standard driving school. It can be expensive and you’ll need an experienced driver in the passenger’s seat next to you, but if you’re able to go this route it really can be pure gold.