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What to expect on your 1st driving lesson

 In Motoring, Road Safety

Many of us when we turn 17 want to learn to drive, starting on our 17th birthday. If you want to do this you need to plan ahead. Before doing anything you need to do two things;

1 – You need to apply for your provisional licence. This may take a few weeks to arrive, depending on the time of year, so be sure to apply for this well in advance. You can do this months before your 17th birthday.

2- You need to do your research to find the right instructor for you. To find an instructor for you ask your friends how their instructor is, look at positive reviews online, look at instructor passes etc. Make sure your instructor is qualified (ask for their green badge number), you could even ask for their instructor grade (we are all reassessed every 4 years to make sure we are up to standard). Even though we all hold the same qualification each instructor is different and finding the right one for you is important. Make sure you book your 1st driving lesson as soon as you can as many instructors have full diaries and may need to add you to a waiting list.

Once you have done the 2 steps above you are ready to get going. It’s worth confirming your lesson with your instructor a week before your lesson, especially if your lesson was booked months in advance.

The First Driving Lesson

The day of your 1st lesson is always exciting but be careful to stick to your usual routine that day and turn up nice and relaxed. It’s completely normal to be both nervous and excited for your first lesson as of course you don’t know what to expect.

A good instructor will turn up on time (or let you know if they are running late due to bad traffic for example). He or she should be well presented and have a professional vehicle with dual controls fitted.

Your instructor should introduce themselves and ask you to get in the passenger seat. They will then reassure you that they will drive you to a safe and quiet training area and tell you about how they will keep you safe and that they are trained to use the dual controls. As an instructor I also tell the student to have fun and not to be afraid of asking questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question. If you don’t know something, you don’t know. As instructors, we have heard every question. Interacting with your instructor will be very important throughout your learning.

Watch Your Driving Instructor

During the short drive to the quiet training area please be sure to watch your instructor on how he steers and how he uses his mirrors. This is an important time of learning as your instructor will drive to a standard (minis bad habits that you might see on a day to day basis) that you probably haven’t seen before. Use this time to get to know your instructor. We all know that both your nerves and excitement will grow during this short drive so it’s an important time to feel comfortable with your instructor.

Once at the training area you will swap seats and you are now ready to go…. Your learning will now start from the beginning and the all important cockpit drill, ie how to set up the car correctly so that you can be safe in your driving…. How far you get in the 1st lesson isn’t important but this lesson sets the standard for the rest or your learning.

Above all, enjoy this 1st step into a wider world. Happy safe driving!

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