Driving is one of those things where you learn, you pass and then you never really talk about that about that time of your life again. It's a strange year or two, finding your feet and learning a brand new skill which will last a lifetime, so today I'm sharing with you ten tips to do it like a boss. I've been on the road for four years now (oh man, I feel so old) and it's a skill you will continue to keep learning. It's amazing to have the independence but damn, it costs a pretty penny and takes practise.
Oh and by the way, you can probably guess that I'm not a driving instructor - I'm just here to share my experience and tell you what you can expect. It's fun - I promise!
It's so important that you budget for learning to drive. This includes applying for your provisional license, driving lessons, theory test, practical test and if your lucky everything that comes with owning a car. It's expensive alright so make sure you save for your provisional and lessons to get you off on the right foot. After that you can worry about budgeting for your tests and also for your very first car - yay, the excitement!
Your driving instructor matters
I was really lucky that I had a rad driving instructor who was really calm, friendly but also professional. Personally, I think it's all about word of mouth, so ask your friends who they learned with and get the goss on the lessons. It's always good to know what to expect and don't be afraid to ditch your instructor for another - sometimes it simply doesn't work out.
Also, I once had a nose bleed half way down the dual carriageway and my instructor handled it rather well. In my head though, I was thinking THIS IS THE END. You'll be happy to know this hasn't happened since, phew.
Revise for your theory test, I mean it!
There are so many people who will tell you that your theory test is easy and you won't need to revise. They're wrong, oh so wrong! I was quite the revision queen back in the day, which means I was right on it with the practise DVDs and revision guides. There are so many ways to revise today, including websites providing you with all the information you need.
There is so much to cover within the Highway Code, so practise practise practise as you never know what may pop up. It was always the road signs that alway caught me out.
The theory test is separated into two parts, multi-choice questions and also the hazard perception test. When you attend your test, you will usually sit in a room with others also taking the test and you will be given headphones in a booth and a computer - the rest is down to you!
Don't compare yourself to others
It can be hard not to compare yourself to others when you turn seventeen. Many of your friends may be fortunate to have a little help from their parents for paying for lessons or even buying their first car. Also, it can be annoying to fail on your tests or take a little bit longer to learn but everyone is different - we'll all get there in our own time.
It's nervewracking but keep your cool
Sitting in the driver's seat for the very first time is, well, scary. Your legs are probably going to feel a little like jelly and start to shake but try and relax. Remember not to sweat the drivers around you too much, they were learners once too.
When it comes to the big test day, as long as you have prepared yourself and feel like you have had enough guidance from your instructor - you won't need to worry. You have done everything you can, so let your worries disappear and don't forget to check all of those mirrors!
Be confident(ish) in all four manoeuvres
When it comes to your driving test, you will be tested on any of the manoeuvres you have learned.
Turn in the road
Reverse around the corner
This all comes down to practise, so don't worry if you haven't got these down to a tee - I certainly didn't! I was so lucky I didn't get parallel parking because even after four years of driving, I have only just nailed this.
Don't be worried about asking questions
Your driving instructor will want you to ask questions, how else will you learn? If you have any worries just ask.
Take your mock driving test
Before your test comes, your driving instructor will do a mock driving test to make sure you're ready for the big day. This is a great confidence booster if you pass, but also you will know what needs that extra practise.
It's ok to fail and make mistakes
Luckily for me, I passed both my theory and practical test first time but I have plenty of friends who took a few tries to pass. This is totally fine and try not to feel disheartened if it didn't work out the first time, stay positive.
And trust me, we all make mistakes when driving. Whether you drive too close to a hedge, or misjudged the width of the road - we all do it, even years after passing!
Enjoy the experience
And the most important thing is to completely enjoy the experience. It's such a fun skill to learn and once you have, it will be like riding a bike! You won't believe that once you didn't know how to drive, it seems like second nature now but it takes a lot of practise to get there.
I would just like to take a moment to dedicate this post to long road trips, McDonalds drive thru milkshakes and singing your fave pop song as loud as you want.
Are you learning how to drive?
*This post is in collaboration with Book Learn Pass but all driving tips and nose bleed experiences are my own!