Covid-19: Learning To Drive During Lockdown

Last Updated: 14/05/2020

The current coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc with just about every part of our everyday lives and if you’ve been learning to drive, then it’s likely your lessons have also been impacted.

But regardless of where you are up to in your journey to become a fully qualified driver, there are still plenty of things that you can be doing to continue your learning.

Since lockdown was imposed in March, there have obviously been restrictions on what you can do.

Taking lessons with a DVSA approved instructor have been off the table.

Similarly, if you relied on someone for help learning to drive who was outside of your immediate family, then you’re also not going to be able to venture out in the car with them.

While there may actually still be opportunities for you to jump behind the wheel during lockdown, it’s important to stay mindful of the regulations.

For example, if you’re only permitted to do essential travel only, then taking a driving lesson with a member of your immediate family will not qualify for that.

So, with that in mind, if you’re keen to continue your driver education during lockdown, here are a few things you CAN do.

Swot Up On The Highway Code

While the Highway Code isn’t going to be the most entertaining piece of reading you do in 2020, if you’re learning to drive then you could do much worse than spend a few hours touching up your knowledge of it.

The Highway Code has remained a key part of how we use the roads in the UK for many years and has some key information that drivers of all levels of experience should know.

You can still pick-up a printed copy of the Highway Code from online book retailers during lockdown, or alternatively seek out a digital version via the website (see link below).

Familiarise Yourself With A Car

Lockdown is actually a great time to familiarise yourself with a car, if you have one.

Even if you do or don’t own a car, sitting in one to familiarise yourself with the layout and where some of the instruments are can be really useful.

Look for things like where the fuel cap lever is and other small things that you may not otherwise be looking for.

Learn More About Car Maintenance

Questions about basic car maintenance were added to the driving test a good few years ago now but it’s often one area of the education process that new drivers worry about.

Lockdown is perfect for getting to grips with these simple maintenance tasks so that you’re totally at ease should you be asked on your test.

Questions can be about many things; demonstrate using windscreen washes, show where you’d find recommended tyre pressures, how do you check oil levels and other similar questions.

They’re all really simple to answer as well.

So, grab your owner’s manual and hit the internet if you’re struggling.

This is an ideal time to get on top of this area.

Practice Your Theory Test

Whether you have passed your theory test or not, lockdown actually gives you a great opportunity to refresh your knowledge about what is likely to come up on the theory test.

Loads of resources exist online for this but information such as knowing different road signs, understanding the rules of driving on motorways and becoming familiar with stopping distances, both in dry and wet weather, are all vital.

Go For A Drive ‘IF’ Circumstances Allow

As we said earlier in this article, driving during lockdown may well be impossible to do legally, however, if you have use of a car in the family and an immediate family member (or member of your household) who has a full driving license, then you can potentially venture out on to the road for some driving.

Depending on the status of lockdown, it may still need to be only as far as the supermarket for essential supplies but worth looking in to.

If you are able to legally get behind the wheel and do some driving, it could be the perfect time to get a bit of practice in while the roads are fairly quiet.

Watch Some Driving Lessons & Tutorials Online

The internet is a wonderful place for learning things.

Helpful guide videos and YouTube tutorials exist for just about every subject matter with driving being no different.

So, spend maybe half an hour a day watching some driving tutorials or maybe videos specific to a manoeuvre you struggle with.

It can make a really big difference in terms of knowledge, technique and confidence the next time you are able to get behind the wheel and do some driving yourself.

An important note on this one; if you do watch some driving tutorials, ensure they are from UK road users.

Watching ones from other countries, such as America for example are probably of very little use and can just confuse you further.

Plus, many of their road rules are different to those here in the UK.

Familiarise Yourself With The Driving Test

Whether you have taken a driving test before or not, you are going to experience some nerves on the big day.

For some people, the nerves get the better of them and become more problematic than the basic skills of driving.

Therefore, plan things out to see if you can turn things in your favour.

One such way of doing this is to be as familiar as possible with how a driving test is structured.

What’s expected of you?, how long will it last?, what are the best tips for taking your test?

Also, have a look to see where your nearest test centre is on Google Maps, if you’re not already aware.

The more information you have ahead of your test, the more likely it is that you’ll feel confident and fully prepared to tackle it when the day comes around.