The ingenie guide to learning to drive
Here’s some useful stuff you’ll need to know if you’re learning to drive, to help you pass your theory and practical tests and get on the road. Let's go!
1. Find the right driving instructor
Personal recommendations are a great way to find a good driving instructor, so ask friends and family who’ve passed which one they used. There are also plenty of reviews online. Just remember that what works for one person isn’t necessarily right for another, so try before you commit to multiple lessons.
Make sure your driving instructor is DSA approved. Ask if they offer help with driving theory, lessons in evenings and weekends, motorway practice, post-test lessons and advice on private practice.
2. Get ready for your theory and practical driving tests
Tips for passing your theory test
There are over 1,000 questions in the driving theory test but you'll have to answer just 50 of them. This means there's a lot of study ahead, but don't panic as there are a ton of useful study aids to help with that. Most people find theory test apps helpful and the most popular ones at the moment are the official DVSA Theory Test Kit and the 4-in-1 Driving Test Success apps although they do cost £4.99.
These apps help with training for the hazard test as well as the Highway Code multiple choice, although we'd also recommend getting out on the road to do some real-time hazard spotting. Do this both as a passenger and when you're practicing outside of lessons.
While doing Q&A on an app is massively helpful, we also find that having a friend or family member test you verbally helps with memory. You tend to get used to answering questions in a certain format when you're practicing alone, so testing yourself in different way can help a lot.
Not all of us are great at doing exams, no matter how much study we do beforehand. If you suffer from nerves which push the answers you normally ace out of reach, it might help to remember that the theory test can be retaken and failure won't stop you from continuing with lessons and practice.
Get ready to pass your practical test
Practice is the best way to prepare for your practical test. If you can, drive as much as possible outside of your official lessons. You’ll need to get insured to drive someone else’s car, or your own car if you have one. Like anything, the more you drive the less nervous you’ll feel on the road. And nerves are what tends to be the cause of many test fails. Check out our advice on getting the most out of private practice.
If you’re taking the test locally, you can also help yourself by paying attention as a passenger. Learn the road routes, the layouts at junctions, where there are crossings and traffic lights. Note which lane the driver gets into for roundabouts and how they indicate. You might even be able to teach them a thing or two!
What if you fail? Around half of drivers who take their test for the first time fail. It’s frustrating and upsetting but take some time out, practice more and then you’ll feel better about the second test. If you’ve failed or are worried about failing, visit our facebook group #ItsOKtofail for a bit of support from other learners in the same situation.
If you want a few more tips for driving well in advance of your test, check out our ingenie driver training playlist on YouTube. It covers speeding, cornering, braking and accelerating as well as how to drive in different weather conditions.
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