When you’re a learner, the thought of passing your test often feels like the final obstacle in your journey. However, the first time you drive alone without your instructor is a daunting moment. Even though you passed your test and you know you’re capable, driving alone suddenly feels like a whole new skill. But, as with every skill, you can work on it. You just need to get comfortable flying solo behind the wheel, so follow our top tips to build your confidence:
Taking it easy doesn’t mean kicking back and relaxing, it’s more about going easy on yourself. When you first take to the road alone, make sure you’re on roads that you know well and don’t drive too far straight away. It’s also a good idea to practice your journeys at quieter times of day when the roads aren’t filled with intimidating and angry drivers. If you’ve got your licence so that you can make your own way to school or work, practice these routes before going for real.
Whilst this may sound like it contradicts ‘taking it easy’, you also need to push yourself and expose yourself to new challenges to build confidence. Start by testing out all the manoeuvres you learnt in your lessons; you’ll find your own way of doing them without someone breathing down your neck.
Next up, practice driving with music. Whilst some advise not to listen to music whilst driving, for most people it can actually improve focus, not to mention making the driving experience more enjoyable. For your first time, start with music that you know well that won’t distract you too much and keep the volume low.
Filling up your first tank of petrol is a rite of passage for all first-time drivers- make sure you know how to work the pumps and pay for your full tank at a local garage.
When you’re driving alone, it’s crucial that you know which buttons to press for which function. Whilst you learn the basics of your instructor’s car during your lessons, once you pass your test you’ll be in a totally different vehicle and the controls vary from car to car.
Before you set off, have a play around with your car’s controls and make sure you know how to turn all the relevant functions on and off whilst you’re behind the wheel. You don’t want to get stuck in heavy rain without wipers or thick fog without your fog lights. Remember, you can always pull over and refer to your car’s manual if necessary.
If you’re a first-time driver based in Stoke-On-Trent, make sure your car is fit for the road before you take it out alone with Adderley Green Garage. Our team of specialists provide an extensive range of car services, from servicing and repairs to MOTs and car diagnostic tests. For more information, contact us today.