Laura Henley

Laura Henley

Laura is a Digital Copywriter in our (award-winning) marketing team, tasked with keeping you up to date with all the latest industry news and gossip. With a wealth of experience under her belt, there's no one better to keep you entertained and informed.

Read time of 3 minutes.

Ready to get behind the wheel and book in your driving lessons?

Learning to drive is an expensive and often time-consuming venture, so it’s important you pick the right driving instructor, communicate clearly and, most importantly, enjoy the process!

Learning to drive is something most of us will experience at some point in our lives. There’s a lot to think about when you’re learning to drive, and it can be quite daunting for some people.

If you’re looking for first time driver tips, we have compiled some helpful ideas to help calm your nerves (with a little expert help from some of our local driving schools).

And once you’ve passed your test, you can find your first brand new car with our best car lease deals.

Kia Picanto

Our 5 top tips

Use a fully qualified instructor

Learning to drive is going to be time consuming, it’s vital you pick the right driving instructor as you’ll essentially be spending a lot of time together meaning you’ll want to get along.

When speaking to Kay Tomlin from KT Driving Devon, she said “I find people choose me because I’m friendly, approachable and adaptable to client’s needs”. Having a friendly instructor makes you feel like you’re in a safe environment which will benefit you and make you feel supported.

The best way to pick the right driving instructor is to go by recommendations and reviews. Ask your friends and families or look at reviews online to see what other learners have said about the instructor.

When getting in touch with David Johnson, a co-owner at First Drive South West, his first piece of advice for a first-time learner was to ‘find a reputable instructor and if they can’t work with you immediately, join their waiting list’.

A fully qualified instructor will know the rules of the road like the back of their hand, will know the best routes to take in your local area and will be able to spot any bad driving habits you’re forming before they start to become a problem.

Knowledge is key

Knowing the rules of the road will increase your confidence when learning to drive. Your theory test is just as important as the practical test, in fact you can’t take your practical test until you’ve passed your theory anyway.

So, when prepping for the theory test, you want to carry out some serious revision and study in your own time. This will benefit you greatly as knowing road signs and potential hazards will mean you know what to do and will make the roads as safe as possible for everyone.

First Drive South West even offer online video courses for students who can’t access an instructor at the moment in time but have their own car to practice around Exeter.

The videos cover various aspects of driving and consist of quizzes and step-by-step guides to help with driving around difficult areas of Exeter. The online videos are a great way of reinforcing learning and will expand your driving knowledge, making you more confident on the roads.

Be patient

David from First Drive South West said that “learning to drive can sometimes take a while! Be patient with the process”. On that account, patience is vital when learning to drive.

As Kay from KT Driving Devon said, “everyone learns at their own pace” so, it’s important to understand that you’re not going to master everything in the first lesson.

Some skills and maneuvers take a while to grasp, so don’t get frustrated! Keep practicing and you’ll get the hang of it over time.

Enjoy your lessons

If you’re not getting things quickly and the initial excitement of hitting the road wears off, you could start to dread your lessons. Relax! It’s normal to warm up to the experience of driving.

Remember that making mistakes is normal as learning to drive is something you’ve never experienced before, so do try to enjoy your lessons.

If it’s your instructor that’s the problem, you should find a different one, your instructor should make you feel at ease.

Communicate clearly

David from First Drive South West suggests, “Really engage with your learning.” If you don’t understand something straight away, don’t be afraid to ask your instructor to explain it to you. They are there to share their knowledge with you, so make sure to ask questions if you’re unsure about something.

A good driving instructor will be a brilliant communicator, but also patient within themselves. They’ll understand the time required to prepare someone for their test. Clear communication with your instructor is paramount to making the most of your time together. 

Driving instructor explaining something to his student

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