A learner driver’s guide for understanding how to make decisions to help speed up learning to drive
If you have ever begun your journey towards learning to drive, you will understand that it’s a process that typically takes some time – from organising your provisional driving licence, to booking test slots and lessons, it can often feel like it’ll take years to eventually get behind the wheel of your own car.
So, we’ve put together a simple set of steps for helping to speed up the process, getting you that one step closer to passing your driving test.
To help you reach your end goal of becoming a fully-fledged licence holder in the quickest possible time, you will need to be prepared and ready to go.
But, we understand that, for some of you, organisational skills may not be your forte – or even in your wheelhouse. Some of us are born with these great methodical approaches to organisation, and some of us live in the moment a little more.
Whichever one applies to you, make sure you are on the ball when it comes to learning to drive.
In the UK, teenagers are able to apply for a provisional licence from 15 years and 9 months old. It costs £34 to apply online, and requires you to be able to meet the minimum eyesight requirements (Read a number plate from 20m away).
It’s important to note that you won’t be able to get behind the wheel, or take your theory test until you’re at least 17 years old (Unless you receive the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) that’s made to long-term sick or disabled people). But in the meantime, you can always start revising for the theory test, familiarise yourself with materials that can ease you into your lessons, and research local driving instructors.
2. Consider your options
If you’ve done your research already, you may have already heard of the intensive driving course, otherwise known as a driving crash course.
Essentially, these are specialist courses that condense the learnings you need to pass your practical driving test, and aim to help you pass in a short time period.
They aren’t hugely different from traditional driving lessons, in all truth, but are designed specifically for provisional drivers who need to pass quickly – whether it’s for work purposes, or you just want to be the first one to drive in your friendship group.
Depending on your scenario, this method of passing your driving test can be a great option, although it’s definitely not for everyone.
Driving takes time (especially if you are brand new to it), so we would usually recommend being patient and gaining your driving knowledge and skills over a longer period of time, to help cement these safe driving practices.
It’s important you go at your own pace – don’t try and rush learning to drive if you aren’t ready for it.
However, taking traditional driving lessons doesn’t necessarily mean committing to learning to drive slowly, but it will allow you to control how comfortable you feel behind the wheel, and help you take things at your own speed.
Just make sure you find an instructor who is able to facilitate how fast or slow you want to take your driving test, to avoid any frustration.
3. Drive outside lessons
An obvious, but overlooked way to speed up learning to drive is to drive privately, outside lesson times. Funnily enough, the DVSA actually recommend you complete 22 hours of private practice, on top of the suggest 44 hours behind the wheel in your driving lessons (Get source).
By taking extra time to learn to drive, you can work on those elements of driving that you feel less comfortable with, and experience different times of day – something which we believe all learner drivers should experience.
Honing in on these skills, and getting extra experience at the wheel of a car can be beneficial for not only building your confidence, but also (hopefully) helping you to be in a position to take your driving test earlier than without lessons.
It’s essential to note that there are some barriers with this though – you will need a friend or family member over the age of 21 to accompany you, who has also passed their driving test, and held their driving licence for 3 or more years.
You will also (obviously) need access to a car, and purchase a set of L plates, which will need to be displayed on the car you are practicing in.
Last, but definitely not least, is taking out car insurance. Failing to have the correct insurance could see you receive an unlimited fine, be banned from driving and get up to 8 penalty points for driving without insurance.
Luckily – that’s where we can help. As the UK’s most experienced telematics insurance provider, we have insured over 1 million customers over the past decade, and would love to have you on board.Get a quote
4. Learn from common mistakes
Over the past couple of years, the pass rate in the UK for driving tests has ranged from 45.3% to 49.4%. So, with around half of drivers failing their driving test, there are some great learning opportunities for you as a learner driver.
Whilst this advice may not help you to take your driving test any quicker, we hope that by understanding other people’s common mistakes, you will be in a better position to avoid these mistakes going forward.
Without further ague, here are the top 5 reasons for drivers failing their driving test, provided by the DVSA:
- Not making effective observations at junctions
- Not using mirrors correctly when changing direction
- Not having proper control of the steering
- Incorrect positioning when turning right at junctions
- Not moving off safely
To find out more information about how to evade these simple, yet avoidable mistakes, take a look at our blog.
5. Know what to expect
If you are one of those hyper-organised people we talked about earlier, you’ll probably want to know exactly what the driving test entails, and hats off to you.
Nerves can often cloud your judgement on the day of your driving test, but by understanding how everything works before you get to the test can help relieve this tension, and give you a somewhat better chance of passing your test.
You can speedily make your way through lessons, and rush into taking your driving test, but ultimately, you won’t gain your driving licence until you are examined to be ready.
While preparation alone does not guarantee success, we would strongly recommend you familiarize yourself with the structure of the test, where you will take it, and the types of questions you will be asked, as part of your ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions.
To find out what happens during a practical driving test, click here.
It’s no secret, nobody wants to wait forever to pass their driving test, and frankly, who could blame them. Whether you are using your car to help your daily commute, or you want to explore distant shores, we can hopefully get you there quicker.
But, it is very important for us that you don’t rush yourself – make sure you are prepared for the test, and feel comfortable behind the wheel.
You will only pass once you are ready, so focus on your fundamentals and hone in on your teachings throughout your lessons.
Passing quickly may not be for you, and that’s fine, but make sure you are the safest driver you can be.