New driver just passed test

Things I Wish I Knew While I Was Learning To Drive

Michael Rodrigues De Jesus September 7, 2022

Learning to drive isn’t an easy task, but it sure would be easier if we were aware of particular things beforehand. 

Don’t Settle For An Instructor You Don’t Get Along With

This was the first mistake I made. I never enjoyed driving with my first two instructors. Not because they were awful people, but because I always felt nervous driving with them. In essence, they didn’t do much to reassure me or support me to feel more confident with my driving.

The issue is that I didn’t acknowledge these problems for a very long time and it resulted in me wasting time and money. I even failed two driving tests. 

My third (and thankfully final) instructor was a godsend. He made sure I felt comfortable and confident but he was also honest. If there was something that needed refining, he would tell me. My previous instructors would sugarcoat it, which made me less confident because I knew what they were saying wasn’t true. 

What I’m saying with all of this is that you should feel free to shop around for instructors. If you feel that you won’t get on with your instructor after your first few lessons, find a new one. Learning to drive is very expensive and you don’t want any money to go to waste. 

Teenager girl having driving lesson with female instructor

Practice Makes Perfect

I learnt to drive whilst at university. As someone whose parents both have cars, this was a silly decision. The only time I had in a car was with my instructor. Which as you can imagine, was very costly.

If you can get insured on someone else’s car, you should do so! This will save you so much money as you’ll need to spend less on lessons. All the while building up your confidence.

Give Yourself Time

The more time you have, the less pressure and stress you will have to deal with.

Of course there are success stories, where some have passed their test after learning for a week. In that case, it depends on how much pressure you’re comfortable dealing with. 

Choose Your Test Time Wisely

Presently, people’s choices when it comes to test dates and times are seriously restricted. This is partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic causing a test backlog. However, where you do have the choice, choose wisely. 

My first test was during morning rush hour. Needless to say, that was a mistake. My third test, where I passed at last, was one of the first tests on a Saturday. It was a coincidence as this was the only test available; nonetheless it was the perfect choice. The roads were quiet, dreaded roundabouts were a breeze, and executing my manoeuvres was just as easy.  

To figure out a time of day you feel most comfortable driving in, try having lessons at different times and on different days. For example, driving on a Friday afternoon will feel very different to driving on a Saturday morning. 

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Hi, I'm Michael! I'm a Social Policy and Sociology student at the University of Birmingham. I am the current Head of Podcasting at BurnFM, a student-run radio station, and also have my own podcast. I'm excited to be writing for Freshered and branching out from radio! I enjoy writing (and reading) about social issues, music and pop culture.