The other day I was taking a break in between driving lessons and I got thinking about when I first started learning to drive – “What was my first driving lesson like?”. In all honesty it was a while ago now, so I can’t remember a lot about it! But I tried to put myself in the shoes of someone in that situation now. Lot’s of questions and uncertainties were coming to mind.
What am I actually supposed to do on the day? What do I need to bring? What if my driving instructor makes me drive straight on to the main road? – Don’t worry, we’ve all been there!
It’s actually a really exciting time to look forward to and it may even be something you have been thinking about for months or even years. But, for a lot of people, once it dawns on you that it’s only a few days away, the thought of ‘my first driving lesson’ can be a bit scary!
My name is Steve Hull and I’m a Driving Instructor in Norwich. I want to ease your fears and cover as many questions I can in this blog post. I’ve listed what I think may be the most asked questions below. If you have any more, please do get in touch with me and I will do my best to answer them.
What do I bring to my first driving lesson?
This is a good place to start, because without most of these things there will be no driving lesson!
+ Provisional driving licence
It is a legal requirement for your driving instructor to check this before you do any driving. There is also an online licence checking system, which your driving instructor will probably ask to use, with your permission.
+ Payment for the driving lesson, if not already pre-paid.
+ Glasses or contact lenses, if you use them. Your driving instructor will ask you to read a number plate from approximately 20 metres before you get in the driver’s seat. This is also a legal requirement for your driving test.
+ Comfy clothes, including suitable footwear.
You won’t want to be too hot or cold. It’s also important that you are able to move your hands and feet freely, so high heels are probably not the best option for driving – maybe leave that for Saturday night!
+ Drink – We won’t be cracking open a 4-pack of beers, for obvious reasons! But it may be a good idea to bring a small bottle of juice or water to keep yourself hydrated. The mouth can get very dry once nerves begin to kick in!
Meet Your Driving Instructor
So it’s time for the driving lesson and hopefully you will be greeted by a happy, smiley driving instructor at your door! They will introduce themselves and probably check that you have remembered the things listed above, including doing the driving licence and eyesight checks.
Once you get to the car it is more than likely your driving instructor will drive you to a suitable location for the driving lesson. He/she will get in the drivers seat and you will be in the passenger seat.
Your driving instructor should have their ADI licence displayed on the windscreen of the car. So don’t be afraid to check this to make sure they are a professional driving instructor, with the relevant qualification and all is above board.
Don’t panic, you will not just be chucked in the driving seat and expected to drive around where there are multiple lanes and big lorries baring down on you!
For a first driving lesson, suitable places would be either a big open space like an empty car-park or a very quiet residential street.
To begin with, your driving instructor will talk through the controls of the car, including setting everything up to suit you (seat, mirrors, seat belt etc.) and you may practise some things like clutch control before you actually start to drive the car.
There is a fair bit of talking on the first driving lesson, but don’t be put off by this. It’s just that there is quite a bit to get through and it is important you have a good understanding of the basics of how the car works. We don’t want you getting to the end of the road and worrying that you don’t know how to stop the car!
The driving lesson should be tailored to you as an individual. Not everyone is the same in their natural ability to pick up the skills or absorb information.
The main objective for the first one or two driving lessons is simply to get used to the basics of moving, stopping and steering the car. And also to enjoy yourself in the lesson. If you get anywhere beyond that then brilliant, but look at that as a bonus!
End of the Driving Lesson
Usually, your driving instructor will drive you back home again at the end of the lesson, at least for the first few times you drive. This will depend on where you live and which roads/junctions you would need to drive on to get home though. Sometimes you may be okay to drive back home even at the end of a first driving lesson. This will be up to you and your driving instructor to decide between you.
You will have a short time allocated at the end of the driving lesson to discuss how you did and to set objectives for the next driving lesson. It is good if you can get involved in this yourself, as well as your driving instructor giving their feedback. Please don’t see this as wasted driving time. It is a very important part of learning to drive and when used effectively it will really help you to develop your driving ability.
Got More Questions?
If you do have any concerns, or would like to ask questions about your driving lessons then please feel free to get in touch. I will be happy to help as best I can.