Learning to drive can be a liberating feeling. Getting behind the wheel, albeit next to an instructor, means you’re one step closer to enjoying the freedom that comes from having your own set of wheels to get around. However, there are certain things you’ll need to remember when you start taking lessons if you want your journey from learner to fully-fledged independent motorist to be a smooth one – and here are five of the most important.
1) There’s no substitute for time spent on the roads
Even if you’re a natural, you’ll need to put in plenty of hours in the driving seat before you’re ready to take your test. All too often, eager learners sign themselves up for tests when they’re lacking in experience on the highways. The result in these cases is almost invariably failure. Most people opt for a mixture of professional and private lessons to help build their experience on the roads. Bear in mind though, friends or family members who take you out for lessons must be aged 21 or over and they need to have held a full driving licence for at least three years.
2) Insurance is a must
Then there’s insurance to think about. It’s vital that you have suitable cover in place for any car your drive. If you lack appropriate cover, you could land yourself in major legal and financial trouble. It’s true that policies can prove costly for young motorists, but there are ways to make getting financial cover that bit easier and cheaper. For example, Chill car insurance policies are available with easy payment plans that can help to break up the cost. By searching the web, you should be able to find competitive deals on car cover.
3) Don’t forget your L plates
You’ll also need to make sure that ‘L’ plates are clearly displayed on the vehicles you drive. These signs have to be placed in prominent positions on the front and back of your car whenever you get behind the wheel until you have passed your test.
4) You’ll have to get to grips with the highway code
It’s easy to focus on the practical side of driving and let theory fall to the wayside. However, this is a mistake. Bear in mind that you’ll need to pass your theory exam before you’re allowed to take your practical test, so it’s worth setting aside some time to swot up on the highway code. Your theory test will include a multiple choice and a hazard perception section, and you’ll take both parts on the same day.
5) Ensure your eyesight meets the required standards
It’s important to make sure your eyesight is up-to-scratch too. At the start of your practical test, you will be asked to read (with contact lenses or glasses if you wear them) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from a distance of 20 metres. If you are not able to do so successfully, you’ll fail your test, the DVLA will be informed and your provisional licence will be revoked. So, if you think you might need glasses or you already have glasses but require a prescription change, make sure you visit an optician before your test.