After passing your test, getting back into your car for the first time can be scary. You’ve gotten used to having someone in the passenger seat to help guide you and now you’ve passed your test, you have to go alone. Driving alone for the first time doesn’t have to be so scary and to help you with this daunting task we have created a list of easy to remember tips to kickstart your confidence behind the wheel.
Drive during the daytime
The worst thing you can do when driving alone for the first time is to drive in the dark. Driving in the dark makes everything much scarier and difficult as it limits your range of view. It is best to drive by yourself for the first time during the daytime in good weather conditions to build your confidence before driving at night.
Drive in an area you’re familiar with
The best thing to do when driving by yourself for the first time is to drive in an area you’re very familiar with, such as around your home. Even if you’re only used to walking around the area you will be surprised how well you know the roads. You’ll find that navigating roads you know will improve your confidence.
Don’t rush yourself
Don’t rush yourself to get into your car and start driving straight away. It can be really daunting and you don’t need to stress yourself out more by forcing yourself to drive as soon as you pass. That being said, you also shouldn’t wait a long time as this will build up your anxiety to get back into the car.
Don’t bring friends along
Don’t invite your friends to join you for your first drive, not only will they most likely distract you, but you’re more likely to drive recklessly. Although you may feel more comfortable with other people in the car with you, it is important that you get over your fear of driving alone and become comfortable with it.
Turn the radio down or off
You need to limit the distractions you have to deal with in your first drive since passing the test. This means putting on soothing music on a low volume or turning the radio off completely to allow you to focus. It’s also recommended to mute or turn off your phone. Using a phone whilst driving is dangerous (and also illegal) and you don’t want the distraction of notifications on your first drive.
Drive when you know the roads won’t be busy
Make sure you don’t drive at peak times during the morning or evening, you need to be aware of any schools you may be passing as this will usually mean much more traffic around 3PM when the children finish for the day, with lots of parents on the roads to pick them up. Sunday is a good day to try driving for the first time by yourself as the roads are usually much quieter.
Don’t allow other drivers to scare or intimidate you
Other drivers may not be so patient with you but don’t allow them to scare you. Once you gain more confidence behind the wheel you will be able to ignore rude drivers. Don’t allow yourself to feel so intimidated as to not get behind the wheel.
Try out the Pass Plus scheme to build confidence
If you’re feeling too anxious to get behind the wheel by yourself for the first time try a Pass Plus scheme to help you build your confidence before doing it alone for the first time. It’s important to keep practising your technique and skills, having a few more refresher lessons will just ensure you remember everything you need to.
Let other drivers know you’re newly passed
Putting a ‘P’ plate onto your car is not a legal requirement, but it helps other drivers know that you may need a little bit more time and hopefully, they will be more patient with you than they would with other drivers.
Make sure you stay calm
Nobody drives their best when they are tense and anxious. Try to ease your mind before you get into your car to drive by yourself for the first time. Whatever you need to do to prepare yourself for the drive, make sure you do it. Remember that even if you make a mistake, you’re still learning and that you will be confident in no time!
Before you get back into your car to start driving by yourself for the first time, just remember:
- Drive in the daytime
- Drive in a familiar area
- Don’t rush yourself
- Do it on your own – no friends
- Turn the radio down or off
- Pick a quieter time
- Don’t be intimidated
- Try Pass Plus for confidence
- Let other drivers know you’re new
- Stay calm