Learning to drive is often seen as one of the most important milestones to take for many in the UK. In the rush to finally get a provisional licence and sit behind the wheel for the first time, however, it’s often easy to miss some of the intricacies involved in learning to drive. If you want to avoid any confusion or mishaps along the way, then, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with a few things all learner drivers should know.
We’re going to take you through 13 things no one tells you about learning to drive. We’ll also provide some handy advice to help make your journey that much easier. Get the full lowdown below!
1. The theory test is just as important as the practical test
Despite what you might have heard from your friends or family, the theory test isn’t common sense. It covers a wide range of important topics—from road signs to the rules of the road to hazard awareness. This means that you will have to put in serious revision to make sure you pass. The effort you put in here will pay off tenfold in the future. After all, learners with a good theoretical foundation are more likely to be safer on the roads.
The theory test is so important that you won’t actually be able to book your driving test until you’ve passed it. Learners need their theory test pass number to be able to book one. Additionally, in order to ensure your theoretical knowledge doesn’t deteriorate much over time, your theory test pass certificate has an expiry date. If you don’t pass your practical within two years of your theory, then you have to retake the theory test.When it comes to revising for the theory test, start with the Highway Code, which provides vital road information and rules. We advise looking into resources like the official WeDrive Theory App which contains official DVSA theory questions with answers. Revise them thoroughly—they could show up on your test.
2. Learning to drive in your local area is important
We can’t stress the importance of learning to drive in your local area enough. You might be tempted to head further afield if you’ve come to the realisation that your local test centres have dismal pass rates. However, this would be a big mistake. Whilst pass rates might be better in rural areas, for example, learning to drive there would do you no good if you live in a city centre.
Once you pass your test, you’ll be taking to your local roads unsupervised. If you’re used to completely different traffic systems and road features, then you could potentially end up in a serious accident. So, instead of dwelling on pass rates, choose a test centre that’s close to where you live. If you’re learning with a local ADI, they’ll help you get used to the area’s most challenging features and road types. By the time your test rolls on by, you’ll know the area like the back of your hand.
3. You might not pass first time
Contrary to what you might have heard, not all learner drivers pass the driving test on their first attempt. Whether it’s nerves or an unexpected hazard on the road, there are plenty of valid reasons as to why a learner might end up failing the driving test. As upsetting as it might seem, however, it’s really not the end of the world. It doesn’t matter if your best friend or sibling passed the driving test on their first attempt. Every driver is different. Instead of dwelling on the fact that you failed, you should concentrate on why it happened. Take a close look at your feedback sheet and you’ll be able to see which exact areas you need to work on before you take another test. If your confidence is shot, a refresher course might do the trick.
4. Passing your test doesn’t make you a perfect driver
It might be hard to believe, but getting your hands on a test pass certificate doesn’t automatically make you a perfect driver. All it means is that you’ve met the minimum standards set by the DVSA. Besides which, driving unsupervised can take some getting used to. Without your instructor hovering over your shoulder, it can be tempting to let your standards slip. You’ve got to remember, however, that you no longer have the safety net of someone with dual controls if you end up in trouble, so you’ve got to be even more careful when driving alone.
Every driver on the road has room for improvement. Try to remember what you were taught in your lessons and, if you didn’t become a member of the zero minors club, try to be extra vigilant on the areas you picked up the most faults in.
With this advice, we hope that you go on to become a confident and safe driver. And remember that there is always learning to be done and there are always ways in which you can improve and build upon your skills.