Things I Wish I Knew When I Learned to Drive

I started learning to drive in June 2016 and passed in
November 2016 – so basically it took me four months to drive. I’ll admit I hated it at first. Truly, I didn’t
understand why it was a privilege and didn’t appreciate the opportunity at
first. After every lesson I wanted to give up. Now that I’m an independent and fully
licenced driver, (who passed first time with one minor may I add) I look back
and realise there’s a couple of tips I wish I had, before I got into the driver
seat.

Keep calm!

Panic is an understatement when it comes to an error when
driving. I remember the first time I stalled, oh my goodness I basically had a breakdown. It’s difficult to
encourage yourself to keep cool, calm and collected, but really helps. It’s
really easy to allow nerves to take over. There’s this little thing called
clutch foot, which is a result of nerves taking over the body. It’s definitely
terrifying when it comes to getting in a car for the first time, 10mph feels
like 500 – but freaking out is not the answer. Take a few deep breathes when
the pressure gets too much, roll down a window to cool down or request silence
to help concentrate!

Be honest!

Let me tell you a little story: I needed the toilet while on
one of my two-hour driving lessons. I hid it from my instructor for most the
hour, but then told him I was bursting (I really was – the nerves got to me)
and pulled (unsafely) into a random street. Because I was so desperate, I
managed to accidentally mount the rather high pavement, and basically got out
the car and ran. I knocked on the friendliest looking house and asked to use
the toilet. The lovely woman (shoutout to Linda) allowed me to use the
bathroom. Once I returned to the car, my instructor said: “maybe next time we
just stop at a supermarket when you need the loo, huh?” I was so embarrassed.
So quick tip: be honest with your instructor about how you’re feeling
emotionally… and physically.

Do research!

Before even learning to drive, it’s good to know you’re a
really good company. I really like Pass ‘N’
Go
, mainly because they offer such a wide range of courses and have their
own online blog. Driving instructors can be expensive, and not all are well
trained, so going with a well-known company is useful. Plus, Pass ‘N’ Go have their own shop, when you
can purchase study packs for theory and motorway courses. I did hours upon
hours of revision for my theory test and that’s what help me pass first time! I
managed to get majority of the test answers right, and got only two hazard perception
clips wrong – but it still counts as a pass! If I didn’t revise before, there’s
no way I would have known the answer to half the questions so doing the right
research is very important. Then you
don’t have to pay for a whole new theory test!

Cars are expensive!

As a child, I was always saying: “So basically when I’m 18 I’ll
but my Range Rover Sport in matte black with hot pink rims and chrome accents.”
Yeah… that didn’t happen. I didn’t even know insurance, break down cover and
road tax existed back that and I still struggle to accept it now. Trust me,
when I bought my adorable little Vauxhall Corsa in January, I had tears in my
eyes. Partially from happiness, but also from the paid of paying for insurance
and having to live the next twelve months with a black box. Anyone relate? Yup,
black boxes suck. Even when I began driving lessons I assumed I would just be
able to buy a car the day I passed. I’m not super rich, so sadly that didn’t
happen.

Traffic is the new hell!

 

Before I knew how a car even operated, traffic didn’t bother
me! I will never forget being with my mum or dad, who would yell and huff and
puff in frustration of stand-still cars, and I never understood it. Now…now, I
understand it. My goodness, it has got to be one of the worst things in the
world – how do people in capital cities live?! Oh and I hate traffic lights
too, they’re nobody’s friend. Before I got my licence, I thought things like
getting MOT checks and have to park would be the bane of my life. Nope! Driving
at peak times is.

This post is in collaboration with Pass ‘N’ Go.

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