Keeping you up to speed
It’s a great feeling when you pass your driving test, whether you pass first time or have had to come back a second or third time to get through. But it’s important for new drivers to remember that passing your test is just the start of learning to drive. Many drivers will tell you that you only really learn to drive when you go out in the car on your own. It will take years of experience and regular driving to really hone your skills.
This can be daunting for all new drivers without the reassurance of your instructor next to you and you’ll need all your concentration. Like most things, it’s better to think through this in advance and plan a strategy for your first few ‘solo flights’.
Here are our top tips for keeping safe as a new driver and building your driving confidence:
You should want to keep safe for your own sake but you also need to bear in mind that the New Drivers Act means that if you manage to get six penalty points within 24 months of throwing away your L-plates, your licence will be lost and you’ll have to take your test again (theory and driving).
Remember, new drivers who are caught using a mobile phone at the wheel will get six points instead of the usual three, so switch it off and put it away while you are driving.
One of the hardest things about being a new driver is the cost of car insurance. Since inexperienced drivers are much more likely to have an accident, your car insurance premium will be quite scary. However you can reduce them more quickly by taking a Pass Plus course from the Driving Standards Agency. These courses cover advanced driving subjects such as motorway driving, night driving and skids may reduce your car insurance costs by as much as a third in your first year. However, a small number of car insurance companies offer a Pass Plus discount to young drivers, so do your research and make sure a discount is available with your car insurance policy.
Finally, don’t forget to upgrade your drivers licence when you pass your test. If you don’t get your full licence from the DVLA within two years, you will have to take your test all over again!