It’s finally time to get behind the wheel, as you know from the theory test learning to drive takes time, practise, and dedication. You will also need plenty of support from your family, friends and driving instructor. To help calm your nerves and give you a leg up on your driving lessons we have put together our 10 essential tips for learning to drive.
1. Get to know the car you’re learning to drive in
Getting to know every button, pedal, icon, and symbol in your car before heading out on the road is essential. Knowing what your dashboard warning lights mean, or how to use the windshield wipers, will help you react quickly to any changing road conditions. Being confident in your car will keep you calm and collected, and ultimately make you a more competent driver.
2. Always wear your seatbelt
This is automatic for most entering a car but it's worth reminding yourself, that a part of being a good driver is being responsible. Wearing your seatbelt will protect you and those who are travelling with you. Don’t be afraid to ask anyone else in the car to put their seatbelt on.
3. Practice your routes and stick to familiar areas
Give yourself a head start, have a family member or friend drive you as a passenger around your lessons and test routes. This can help give you a leg up on what to expect, in terms of the speed limits, and what each stop sign means. If you come prepared you will be bound to have a successful lesson. Sticking to quiet and familiar routes can also help you ease out anything you are struggling with.
4. Keep your theory test revision material
Keeping this information handy can help you when it comes to your driving test. On the day your examiner can ask several questions related to the rules of the road. After all your hard work, time and preparation you don’t want to fail on something you have already covered. So, make sure you revise the material you used to prepare for your theory test.
5. Get used to using your handbrake
Using your handbrake is an essential safety measure for driving. It keeps your car in place and prevents you from rolling backwards when moving off. Sometimes it takes an extra bit of effort to get into the habit of using it with ease.
Make sure it becomes a part of your driving habits. You will be tested on your use of this in the driving exam.
6. Don’t forget about your mirrors
When you first get into the car you need to check your mirrors and adjust them to your own line of vision. Your side view mirrors are used for blind spots and the rear-view mirror must always show you the full back window of your car.
You’re driving instructor will explain the importance of checking your mirrors before and after you turn, change a lane, or stop. Getting in the habit of this is key to passing your driving test and becoming a safe and sufficient driver.
7. Never drive without a fully licenced driver
For learner drivers in Ireland, you are legally required to always have a fully licenced driver with you. They must hold a full licence for a minimum of 2 years. This is a legal requirement in Ireland and failure to do so can result in a hefty fine, points on your licence and your car impounded.
8. Learn some basic car maintenance
At the start of your exam, you will be required to carry out a technical check of your car. You need to know all the basics, from how to check your tyre pressure, the engine oil and how to open and close the bonnet correctly. You can also be asked about the different functions of your car.
Once you are out on the road as a full-time driver knowing how to maintain your car and change a tire is a part of being a responsible driver.
9. Always manage your speed
Managing your speed will help you stay in control of the car. Speeding or driving too slowly can cause you to fail your driving test. Stay as close to the speed limit as possible, this will help you stay aware of your changing surroundings.
10. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in your lessons
If your instructor gives you a direction that you don’t understand, or you are confused about, ask them to explain it again. The more you ask the more you know. Your lessons will only last between 1-2 hours, so get the most out of them. Make sure you are clear on the advice your instructor is giving.
Learning to drive isn’t just for the driving test, it’s for life. You will continue to hone your skills over the years. It takes time to build confidence on the road so be patient and keep putting in the effort. You will be walking out of the test centre with your pass results in no time.
We offer a great level of cover and competitive prices on car insurance for young drivers, get a quote with us today!