Preparing for your first driving lesson will be an exciting prospect. However, you’re bound to feel a bit nervous about getting behind the wheel for the first time.
Pass ‘N’ Go is here to help ease your mind and ensure you that getting out on the open road will be enjoyable and stress-free. Simply read on to find out everything you need to know about driving lessons ahead of your first experience:
Get your provisional driver’s licence
Before you even start to think about when to have your first driving lesson, you’ll first have to ensure you have your provisional driving licence.
It’s important that you don’t start driving until you have your provisional driving licence in hand. Doing so puts you at risk of receiving a maximum fine of £1,000 and three penalty points on your driving licence for breaking the law.
Fortunately, you can get this out of the way early as you can apply for this licence as soon as you’re 15 years and nine months old. However, take note that even when you have this you can’t start learning to drive a car until you’re 17 years old.
To apply for a provisional driving licence, head to the GOV.UK website and make sure that all of the following applies to you:
- You are a resident of Great Britain — those based in Northern Ireland should head here.
- You have a valid UK passport or another form of relevant identity — a full list can be found by clicking here.
- You know your National Insurance number.
- You have the details of the addresses that you have lived over the past three years.
- You have not been prevented from driving for any reason.
- You have the £34 to cover the application fee.
You can also apply for a provisional driving licence by post — just pick up a D1 Application form your local Post Office.
Take the eyesight test
Before a driving instructor lets you get behind the wheel of a car, they must first ensure that your eyesight meets the minimum requirements set out by the Driving Standards Agency.
Save yourself the trouble of having to postpone your first driving lesson by taking this test ahead of time. It’s simple enough — just stand 20.5 metres away from a vehicle and see if you can read its number plate in good daylight.
If you struggle to identity the number plate accurately, you’ll need to visit an opticians and get a suitable pair of glasses or contact lenses.
Familiarise yourself with the cockpit drill
The cockpit drill will be the stage of a driving lesson when a driving instructor will explain and demonstrate all of the safety procedures of being behind the wheel of a car. With this in mind, it will pay to get used to this before you begin learning if possible.
Ask a family member or a friend if they can talk you through this process, where they should advise on the following aspects:
- Are all doors of the car closed securely? (This includes the boot)
- Is the seat in a comfortable position? (You should be able to reach all of the foot pedals without needing to stretch your legs awkwardly)
- Has a correct steering position being established? (You should be able to reach the steering wheel comfortably and hold this no matter how much your twist it)
- Is everyone in the car wearing their seatbelts? (The driver will be responsible for everyone on board during a journey)
- Are the mirrors adjusted correctly? (The rear-view mirror should give you a clear view of the entire rear window, while the side mirrors should be adjusted so that you can identify your surroundings from the rim of your rear wheel upwards)
Have a read of the Highway Code
We don’t expect you to study ever page of a copy of the Highway Code when you’re just starting out with your driving lessons.
Instead, either buy or borrow a Highway Code book and make sure you at least have an idea of what the UK traffic rules and regulations are. Understanding what various road signs mean will also be useful.
That way, you will be at less risk of panicking if you come across something while driving that you’ve never seen before.