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Learning to Drive: The Dos and Don’ts



So I’ve finally started driving again! For people who don’t know me, I failed my test at 18. In my opinion, I wasn’t ready to take the practical. I was a nervous driver, and when I was thrown into a test situation, both my nerves and my anxiety got the better of me. After 6 years, I’ve finally decided to try again. Although it’s hard finding the right instructor for me, I’m determined to have my license before the end of the year. With that in mind, here are some dos and don’ts I’ve learned along the way, hope they help!

DO


Now obviously, these are on top of feeling emotionally ready and getting in the right headspace to learn. If you don’t have any of these three, wait until you are ready. A car can wait – there’s no need to put driving in front of your mental health.

SORT OUT YOUR LICENCE


Before you take your theory or practical tests, you will need to have a provisional license. You can order this online, or contact the DVLA for some help on how to do this.


REVISE YOUR THEORY


Don’t go into your theory test thinking that you’ll smash it. Believe it or not, the theory test Is quite hard, and if don’t revise then you’re just setting yourself up for failure. I used the Official DVSA Theory Test Kit, and I passed the multiple choice with 100%. The questions are exactly like the ones you will see on the test, so it ensures you don’t have any nasty surprises on the day.


FIND THE RIGHT INSTRUCTOR


When I first learned, I was with an instructor who I really got on with. Ultimately, I feel as though he pushed for my test at the wrong time, but that isn’t his fault. Since deciding to learn again, I have driven with two instructors. Both, I think, where the wrong fit for me. I got on with them, but I need an instructor who understands that I’m an anxious driver, not someone who will look over it and hope for the best. A simple google search will show you the instructors in your area, and asking for recommendations on Facebook is a great route to go down too.

DON’T


Before I started driving, I had no idea how much could actually go wrong. Here are some don'ts when it comes to learning to drive.

FORGET TO RENEW YOUR LICENSE


Much like a passport, driving licenses need to be renewed. This is supposed to be done every 10 years, and can be done online and via post. It will cost you £14 to renew, which is annoying, but it beats the £1000 fine you would receive if you’re caught with an out of date license. You will also need to renew if you have lost your driving license.

TAKE YOUR THEORY TEST BEFORE STARTING LESSONS


It’s easy to get excited and try to smash the theory test before you begin lessons, but it’s important that you don’t Once you pass your theory test, you will need to pass your practical test within 2 years in order to obtain your full licence. It’s best to start your lessons first, then apply for your theory test. At least this way you’re not panicking trying to find a suitable instructor before your theory test runs out.

REMEMBER THAT PHOTOS LAST A LONG TIME


This is pretty vain, but for real, don’t let bad photos end up on your license. In my photo, I have a pixie cut. And since my hair is so thick, I literally look like a lego character. I’ll have to deal with this photo for another 4 years, so make sure you’re happy with your license photos before you send off your application!


Xo

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