Passing your driving test is one of the most significant achievements and landmarks in your life.
For all of the freedom and independence it gives you, it also opens up a world of opportunity both in your professional and personal life, however, in the days and weeks following your driving test, you’re still rightfully going to be nervous when you take to the road.
You’re suddenly at the wheel of the car but you’re all alone.
It’s time to face the road without an instructor and it’s a little bit scary to begin with.
Thankfully, it’s something that you will quickly get used to.
In the early days, remembering to do each of the things you have been taught to do can be tough, so it’s important to give yourself every chance of having peak levels of concentration and focus when you’re behind the wheel.
New drivers are less experienced than other road users, so being alert and in control at all times is vital in case you come across a situation which requires you to take action.
So, before you jump behind the wheel and head out on your own for the first time, take a read of this guide and make sure you’re fully prepared.
You want to enjoy the new-found freedom your driving licence gives you.
It’s so exciting to be able to drive a car on your own once you’ve got over the nerves that the quicker you feel comfortable doing so, the better.
We’ve written this guide to give you the best advice possible for doing this.
It’s natural that you will have some nerves, and even if you manage to go a few days after your test with always having somebody with you, there will come a time when you have to go it alone. It’s best to face the challenge head-on.
Our guide is written in the usual format.
We’ve kept it that way throughout the entire journey of you learning to drive and passing your test, so we’ve done the same here.
It’s broken down in to the following sections:
Mastering driving on your own can be tricky, but as we said above, it’s something you will get used to so quickly.
So, this step-by-step guide is more about reinforcing the key things you learned during your lessons and giving yourself the best chance of being able to concentrate.
Pick A Quiet Time:
If possible, you should head out on your own for the first time when the roads are quiet.
This gives you the best chance to get a feel for driving without company and being comfortable with your own company in the car.
Compose Yourself & Avoid Rushing:
If you’re not used to being in the car on your own, then you really don’t want to be in a rush when you’re behind the wheel.
Give yourself plenty of time to make a journey so that you’re fully composed.
Remove All Distractions & Mobile Phones:
Being distraction-free is vital if you’re going to successfully make driving on your own something that you’re happy with.
So, ditch the distractions.
Lock your mobile phone in the boot or even leave it at home so that all of your focus is on the road.
Display ‘P’ Plates:
Make sure you display a pair of magnetic ‘P’ plates on your car during the early weeks after passing your test.
This warns other motorists that you’re a newly-qualified driver which means they may just give you a little more room on the road and be a little more courteous.
In addition to the steps that we have outlined above, there are other things you can do which will give you a greater chance to really begin enjoying your road driving earlier.
Here’s a few of them:
Avoid Giving Friends & Families Lifts:
In the weeks immediately after your driving test you shouldn’t put yourself in the position of having to drive people.
This just adds more nerves for you and they’re likely to be excited at the prospect of being a passenger for the first time.
So, leave this for the time being and concentrate on getting comfortable behind the wheel.
In a few weeks, once you are happy and comfortable driving alone, then you can consider allowing other people to ride as passengers.
You should pick people who are calm and trustworthy first – family, such as parents, are often good for this.
Practice Makes Perfect:
The first couple of times you head out, you may still feel nervous or anxious.
The trick is to head out as often as you can, even if it is uncomfortable to begin with.
The more you get out on the road and get driving the more enjoyable and comfortable it will become.
Improve Your Skills Whenever Possible:
Whether it’s reading tutorials or doing something practical in the car, you should take any opportunity you get to improve your skills behind the wheel.
While you may initially be excited to have passengers in your car with you, you should actually view driving alone as a benefit.
Being alone while driving obviously improves your concentration on the road, but some people also find it great for being creatively minded and even relaxing.
There are many opinions which suggest that the benefits of driving alone aren’t just safety related!
Driving should be something that brings you joy and enjoyment, or at least a tremendous sense of freedom.
That said, for some people, driving is never something that they truly enjoy.
Therefore, the first step is to always aim to be comfortable when you’re out driving on the road.
The quicker you do this, the better driving experience you will have.
Even if you’re nervous or not enjoying it, just use any free time you have to jump in the car and take it out for a short drive.
Even frequent 5-10 minute drives along familiar routes will make a positive difference in terms of familiarising yourself with being out on the road alone.
With enough practice and by following our guide, you will be well on your way to mastering driving in the car alone before you even realise.
Congratulations and happy driving!