Driving after your test

You’ve passed your driving test and you’re ready to go it alone. Your new-found independence and freedom are something that you just have to try out and all you want to do is get out there and take your car out for a drive. Although the primary emotion you feel is excitement, there can be a tinge of worry as being out on your own can be a little daunting.

Having previously only driven with a comforting relative or an assuring driving instructor, its very normal to feel a little strange when going out on your own in the car. It can take a bit adjustment until it becomes comfortable for you.

Pick a good time

Unless there is a specific reason for going out in your car, then you can pick and choose when to you go out. If you go out at a quieter time, you’ll have more time to practice the parts of your driving that need attention. On the first occasion you venture out on your own, follow a route that you are familiar with.

As you gain confidence in your driving, you may venture further out and into less familiar or busier roads. At the beginning though, it is a good idea to stay on easier roads to build your fledgling driving confidence.

P Plates

It is not a mandatory for you to use the green ‘p plates’ that display that you have recently passed your test, but it is an allowance that you can use to further build your confidence. If the more experienced drivers you encounter are aware that you are still learning your craft, then they will more often than not be more patient with you. Any understandable mistakes or hesitancy should be forgiven, and knowing this might make that first drive more comfortable for you.

Running out of petrol

It’s happened to most of us. We think we can make it just a little further without fuelling up and what happens?…. you run out in just the wrong place on a junction or in the middle of nowhere. If you’re unsure about putting petrol in to your car, it’s not a bad idea to take someone with you who does. It might seem like an over-cautious approach to the task, but there are things that can go very wrong, for example putting diesel in a petrol engine or vice versa. A mistake that can cost you hundreds of pounds in repair costs.

Inform someone where you are going

Tell someone that you are off out on your first drive and approximately when you plan to return. If you only planned to pop round the block or to a local shop, then they will know where to look if you aren’t back within a reasonable time.

Take a mobile phone with you.

In this age of cheap and easy mobile communication, it’s easy to get a means to let someone know that you have either broken down or are in need of assistance. Don’t however, use it when you are driving. Always pull over before calling someone.

Lastly, if you get lost, don’t worry as you won’t be lost for long. Everyone gets lost at some point. If it happens, pull over when it is safe to do so and check either your AtoZ or your SatNav to get you back on track. Just don’t panic!

Your first drive should be just as exciting as you plan it to be. Just remember that you need to legislate for slight mishaps or miscalculations that could turn that drive into a nightmare if you don’t.

Be safe and enjoy yourself. You’ve passed your test!!