You’ve finally passed your driving test and got the coveted pink license – that’s great! But, now you’re faced with a bigger problem; your confidence behind the wheel isn’t exactly what you thought it would be. When you’re suddenly driving alone in a completely different car without the safety net of your instructor, all it takes is a couple of stalls at the traffic lights and you’re reduced to a gibbering mess.
But, don’t panic – this is completely normal! After all, most new drivers have only had around 40-50 hours on the road, which is nothing when you think about it. On top of that, newbies who’ve only ever driven a learner car have never had to deal with only having one set of pedals: theirs. Putting it that way, is it any surprise that your confidence has dropped? Not to worry – here are three top tips to help you get back on top of your driving game.
Tip #1. Take Somebody Along
Driving on your own can be a scary experience when you’re in your new car for the first few times. Perhaps you’ve been saving up for your insurance for a few months, so it’s been a while since you were last behind the wheel on your test day. If this is the case, expect your skills to be a bit rusty.
For your first few trips, it’s a good idea to take somebody along – your mom or dad, or perhaps a friend, if they know how to drive and can help you get used to your car. They can give you friendly reminders about gears, mirrors or signals, and act as an extra pair of eyes on the road whilst you become re-accustomed to being in the driver’s seat.
Tip #2. Keep Your Theory Up to Scratch
If it’s been a while since you passed your driving test, then you can bet it’s going to have been even longer ago when you got your theory test certificate. Be honest – when was the last time you brushed up on your knowledge of road signs and markings?
Knowing what everything means on the road is important; you’ll be able to concentrate on driving without worrying about what that sign is talking about up ahead. More importantly, there’s a lower risk of you being caught unknowingly doing something illegal. Revise driving theory free with practice tests at toptests.co.uk.
Tip #3. Get ‘P’ Plates
‘P’ plates might seem a bit lame if you’ve just passed your test aged seventeen, but alerting other drivers to your inexperienced status can work wonders for building your confidence.
Granted, there’s always going to be dangerous drivers on the road who’ll shake you up (even after you’ve been driving for years!) but for the most part, when other drivers see a ‘P’ plate, they’ll be a little more patient and forgiving. After all, everyone on the road was a new driver once!
Above all, don’t forget to drive safely – this gives you more control over unexpected situations on the road.