10 Top Tips For Learning to Drive

Mum and dad's taxi service is great - until they're busy when you have somewhere extremely important to be. That's when you know it's time to pass your test!

For some people, learning to drive comes as naturally as riding a bike. For the rest of us, it's a bit of a learning curve. However, we've all been there and know the feeling, so to help allay your fears we've put together some great learning to drive tips.

1. Get your license sorted

You’re going to need your provisional license in order to get behind the wheel and you can apply for that through the government website. It typically takes around three weeks to arrive, so make sure you’ve given yourself plenty of time before booking that first lesson.

2. Book that first lesson

When you're learning to drive, it's important to get an instructor that works with both you and your budget. Don't just head straight to the main driving schools; ask friends and family to see if there's a local instructor who they can recommend. These instructors tend to be cheaper too, so they're a good bet.

3. Swot up on your theory test

There’s another important test to consider alongside your actual driving test. You can actually take the theory test as soon as you get your provisional license and it can be booked online. Just make sure you hit the books beforehand so that you’re fully prepared to show your theoretical knowledge!

Also, theory tests are only valid for two years so bear that in mind if you’re in no hurry to pass your practical test.

4. Set a realistic timescale

Speaking of timescales, it’s important to set a realistic one. Learning to drive can be expensive and time-consuming, so make sure that you’ve got the funds and spare time to invest before you get started.

In terms of money, you’ll need to consider the cost of lessons, insurance, the theory and practical tests, and more. In terms of time, have a talk with your driving instructor and family to work out a realistic and achievable timescale. Starting lessons now and then having to stop because you’re too busy is far from ideal and can set you back in the long-term.

5. Practice, practice, practice

The more you can practice, the more comfortable you’ll get with those tricky manoeuvres and the more familiar you’ll get with real-life driving situations that you might not come across in your lessons.

This is where generous friends and family members come in. As long as they’re over 21 and have had a full license for 3 years, you can get insured on their car and practice driving between your lessons under their guidance.

6. Invest in a sat nav

Nowadays, you can be asked to show that you can follow a sat nav as part of your driving test. While you don’t need to buy a sat nav yourself – your instructor will have one – it can be a good investment, particularly if you want to put in hours of practicing outside of your lessons. There are lots of models to choose from on our website including top names such as TomTom and Garmin.

7. Make checklists

Driving tests cover lots of different elements and you’ll probably be better at some than others. Making a checklist of the aspects that you need to improve will help you to develop well-rounded driving skills in preparation for your test. Your instructor can help you to identify the areas you should focus on and you can tackle them one-by-one until they’re all up to scratch.

8. Work on the test routes

Your driving instructor will probably take you on some of the routes that you may be tested on. This is a great way of familiarising yourself with the area and can help to make the real test a little easier.

9. Find out what to expect

Your lessons will have taught you all the technical skills you need to pass your test, but you also need to consider how you’ll feel on the test day. Talking to your friends and family about what to expect can help to calm your nerves and put you in a good mindset.

10. Be patient

We’ve left this one until last because it’s probably the most important piece of advice we can give. Be patient and cut yourself some slack if things don’t always go your way. Just because Gemma down the road passed her test three months after she started learning doesn’t mean that you have to as well (or will).

Everyone learns at different rates and driving comes more easily to some people than others. Take it at your own pace, don’t rush yourself and you’ll be rewarded for your patience.

How Halfords can help

Here at Halfords, we've got plenty of items to help you on your journey when you're learning to drive, such as books and DVDs.

Shop all Learning to Drive products