After spending a considerable amount of time sat next to your driving instructor whilst you are learning to drive, the first time you step into a car to drive solo after passing your practical test can be a little daunting. Whilst you have immediately gained a great deal more independence, what comes with this is increased responsibility as you now have to go it alone without the tutelage of your instructor.
In order to help you out and reduce some of the worry that might come with driving solo for the first time, detailed below are a few new driver tips for when you first get behind the wheel of your very own car;
Tip One: Get Comfortable
The first thing you must do in your own car is get comfortable and ensure everything is positioned as you require. Move your seat so you are in a comfortable position to easily reach the pedals and steering wheel, before then repositioning your mirrors in accordance with your position in the car. Making yourself comfortable should leave you feeling that you have complete control over the car, so if this isn’t the case, reposition again until you achieve this.
Tip Two: Take Your Time
It can be so tempting once you are in the car on your own without an instructor sat telling you to watch your speed to go a little bit faster than you probably should be. Remember that speed limits are there for a reason and the last thing you want is to lose your licence after working so hard to gain it. Furthermore, as the first time you are driving your car on your own, you are simply getting to grips with the controls and the pedals, which is best achieved when you are driving at a conservative speed.
Tip Three: Don’t Panic
If you stall at a set of traffic lights or look in your rear view mirror and see a long line of traffic behind you, don’t panic. Perhaps invest in green ‘L’ plates before you go out for the first time so other road users are aware that you are a new driver and don’t be tempted to increase your speed to please others. Drive at a speed that is comfortable for you and in the case of stalling, remember what you were told in lessons and take your time to get everything in order again. Panicking and rushing is likely to result in more issues arising, so be cautious and if something does go wrong, don’t worry yourself to greatly about it.
Tip Four: Get Used to Going it Alone
After passing your test, the first thing you will probably want to do is pick up all your friends and head out on the road to showcase your new skills. It is however advisable to get used to going it alone first and becoming confident behind the wheel of your car before you invite others along for the ride. It will also look better on you if you get all the stalling and heavy braking out of the way whilst you are on your own in the car, leaving the good, accomplished driving for when you have passengers!
Passing your practical driving test is a great achievement and a very exciting time, and with these tips on board, you should be well on the way to becoming a successful solo driver without having to rely on the advice given by an instructor sat in the seat next to you.
This post was written by Oliver Kyle for Learn Drive; an experienced intensive driving school that can get you out on the road, driving solo with complete confidence in a far shorter time scale than many traditional methods.