Top Tips for Learning to Drive
If your New Year’s resolution is learning to drive, and you are in or around Manchester we’re here to help! Here’s a comprehensive list of what you need, what will help you, and a number of tips and tricks that have helped our new drivers pass their theory test and practical driving test with ease.
Can you learn to drive?
Things to note before you start:
- Be 17 years old, or older
- Hold the appropriate provisional UK licence
- Be able to read a number plate at a distance of 20 metres (using spectacles or contact lenses if you use them)
- Ensure the vehicle you drive is safe to be on the road, taxed and insured for learner drivers
- Display L plates on the front and back of any vehicle you’re learning to drive in (in Wales these can be L plates or D plates)
- Be accompanied by a qualified driver, over 21 years old, and who currently holds a full car driving licence and has done so for three years minimum.
Becoming a good learner driver
The theory and practical driving tests both look for similar attributes. Rather than thinking about learning to drive as a test you must pass, why not look on it as the ability to learn how to be safe on the road, keep others safe, and keep your insurance costs down? That way you’ll get the most from your driving lessons.
The five key skills of great drivers:
- Takes responsibility for their driving
- Concentrates on the road, weather conditions and other drivers rather than allowing distractions
- Is aware of what might happen and prepares for it (e.g. bad weather, variable road conditions, unpredictable drivers in other cars)
- Has patience with other road users
- Displays confidence in their driving skills and gives confidence to passengers.
Using a Driver’s Record
Passing your test is only the beginning. You’ve invested time, money and energy in learning to drive, so why not make the most of it? Research shows that learner drivers who keep a log benefit more from their driving lessons because they increase their skills base and improve their memory of key tips. The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has a Driver’s Record you can download to help you maximise the investment you’ve made in professional driving lessons.
You can download Freeways own version of a Driver Record and a progress Record here:
Booking your Theory or Practical Driving Test
For some people, especially busy students or those with learning difficulties, it can be a good idea to see if your driving instructor will book your tests for you – some instructors charge a small fee for this, but if it saves you time and stress, it’s worth considering. It’s good to be aware that while some non-government agencies and websites charge a fee, you can always book your theory and practical tests directly with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency which has a page detailing the current charges for driving tests.
Pass your Driving Test First Time!
Of course we can’t guarantee you’ll pass first time, but using our key tips will help you maximise your learning and develop a love of driving that will help you take your tests with confidence, so you’ll be more likely to pass quickly and go on to become a safe and happy driver.