So, you’ve got your provisional licence, you’ve found a quality, fun and friendly driving instructor (well, you have if you’ve chosen us *wink wink*) and you’ve booked your first ever driving lesson!!…Excited? Nervous? Both? Wondering what to expect on your first lesson? Well – read on and find out!
WILL I DRIVE STRAIGHT AWAY?
On the day of your first lesson, your driving instructor will pick you up at the agreed place and time and your instructor will drive you to a quiet area for you to begin your driving education. That’s right – you won’t be expected to jump in the driver’s seat straight away!
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING WITH ME?
Remember to bring your glasses (if you need them), sunglasses (if it’s sunny), and dress so you’ll be comfortable, for example – wearing a big bulky coat won’t help you – it will restrict your movements as you drive.
Your instructor will need to see your provisional drivers licence so make sure you have that with you, they may also ask for the signed agreement (depending on how they operate) and then they’ll do an eyesight check with you and run through some safety questions – basically just making sure that you are fit to drive.
WHAT IS THE EYESIGHT CHECK!!! ARE DRIVING INSTRUCTORS OPTICIANS TOO!!?
Don’t worry – we won’t be asking you to look through any strange lenses! The eyesight check is simply you reading a registration plate of a vehicle that’s positioned roughly 20.5 meters away – this is the requirement by law. If you’re not able to read the registration plate, your instructor will ask you to get your eyesight checked before you can drive – it’s quite important to have good vision when you’re driving which we’re sure you’ll agree with!
OK, I CAN SEE – WHAT’S NEXT?
Once all the checks have been done, your instructor will then introduce you to the controls of the car, these will include: Doors, Seat, Seatbelt, Steering Wheel, Mirrors, Accelerator, Brake, Clutch, Gear Stick, Hand Brake, Indicators – basically they’ll explain what these marvelous and wonderful things do and how to use them!
WILL I THEN BE ABLE TO DRIVE THE CAR IN THIS FIRST LESSON?
YES!!!! Once you have been introduced to the controls and how to use them, your instructor will then swap seats with you and you’ll be in the driver’s seat!! Don’t worry – you won’t be expected to move off, change gears and check blind spots all at once, you’ll be introduced and talked through all of these steps as you progress – if things go well your instructor will introduce more to you however the first lesson is usually about getting used to the feel of the car – how much pressure to apply to the accelerator and brake, getting a feel of how the clutch and the steering wheel works etc…
WILL I BE RESPONSIBLE AND IN FULL CONTROL BY MYSELF?
Although you will have a level of responsibility as you’re sat in the driver’s seat – your instructor will have dual controls on their side – they will have a brake pedal and a clutch pedal so they can take control if they need to. They can also lean across and adjust your steering wheel if the need arises. You will be completely safe and won’t be expected to take full responsibility and control.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE LESSON IS OVER?
When the lesson has come to an end (you will feel like it has flown by!!) your instructor will drive you back to where they picked you up from – or somewhere else if you have asked (it’s worth noting that if you have driven before, with your mum or dad for example, and are capable – your instructor may get you to drive home on that first lesson!!). They will then do a “debrief” of the lesson with you in order to set a goal for your next lesson. For example, let’s say you were able to drive well in a straight line but couldn’t maintain the straight line whilst changing gear, your goal for the next lesson would be to drive in a straight line whilst changing gear. These goals will differ from person to person – you’ll work with your instructor to set and achieve your goals each lesson to eventually get to the main goal which is TEST STANDARD!!!
I STILL FEEL NERVOUS!!
If you still feel nervous – welcome to the journey of learning to drive!!!! The more lessons you have + the more skills you learn = the less nervous you will feel!! Everyone who has a drivers licence has been where you are – we all had to start from scratch. Just keep focused on achieving your next driving goal and by the time you realise it, you’ll be a confident and safe driver.