Passing the driving test comes with a fresh sense of freedom, but also obligations. Here’s ten things every new driver should know…
So, you’ve passed both your theoretical and practical driving tests. You’ve got the coveted driving licence, and can now take to the roads on your own. You might be tempted to feel a tad overconfident at this point, but you shouldn’t bite off more than you could chew.
Before travelling far from home, take a few practice runs in select areas and get used to what it’s like to drive without an instructor or an experienced passenger.
Explore your Car
Knowing how your car works should be at the top of your priorities. Consider the feedback it gives you, where the bite of the clutch is, how much you need to decompress the brakes etc. You should also know where the spare tyre or tyre repair kit is kept, as well as where you’ll be topping up fluids (such as antifreeze or screenwash).
It’s also worth getting used to readjusting the steering wheel’s position and the car’s seats, so you can be as comfortable as possible whilst driving.
Use Bad Weather
Bad weather, within reason, is an opportunity for a new driver. The chances are that, whilst you were taking lessons, you weren’t able to experience all of the weather conditions; whether it’s heavy rain or snow. In which case, it’s important that you familiarise yourself with the driving conditions that come with them.
Even though you don’t need to, you should take an experienced driver with you as you experiment and practice; just for added reassurance and guidance.
Consider ‘P’ Plates
Some new drivers don’t like the idea of ‘P’ plates, feeling that they’re now just like every other driver. However, they’re a good way of signalling to other road-users that you might be a little slower, or a little less decisive, than they may expect. This gives you a bit of space for making mistakes and can help boost your confidence.
Plan your Journeys
As a new driver, your experience is naturally limited. You likely won’t have much experience with radically different driving conditions or with having to think on your feet when you encounter a road closure or tough conditions. This is why planning your journeys can be so critical after passing your test – it will help you anticipate challenges and obstacles, allowing you to plan ahead.
Fight Bad Habits
Your driving instructor probably wanted you to drive in a particular way. Indeed, they may have asked you to do things which, over time, simply don’t reflect your driving style. So, after passing your tests, you may feel tempted to discard what they’ve taught you.
Most drivers will develop their own style of driving over time, but you should be careful not to pick up bad habits. Don’t let your newfound sense of freedom cloud your judgement.
Drivers never stop learning, no matter how much experience they have. Which is why you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions after passing your test. You’ll still have a lot to learn about what to do in given situations and how to properly maintain your vehicle.
The best drivers, or students in general, ask the right questions and at the right time.
Record your Costs
One downside about being a driver is that you’re going to face a lot of new expenses. Whilst you won’t be forking out for lessons anymore, you’ll be paying out a lot more for car insurance, fuel and service and maintenance. It can be a bit overwhelming at first, and it’ll be easy to go over budget if you don’t get a sense of how much you’ll be spending over a given period.
Record your driving expenses, and budget accordingly early on.
Driving In Heavy Rain? Here’s What You Need To Know – https://autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/heres-how-you-can-drive-safely-in-heavy-rain/
EV Drivers May Face A £227 ‘Pavement Tax’ – https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/ev-drivers-may-face-a-227-pavement-tax/