Becoming legally entitled to drive on British roads is no mean feat. If you’ve passed your test and gotten hold of your license, or you anticipate doing so in the near future, then you might think that the hard part is (just about) over. But it’s still worth thinking about the challenges that you’ll face out on the road without anyone in the passenger seat to offer you guidance.
Let’s look at some of the things you’ll want to think about before you head out onto the road for the first time.
Finding your first car
Before you can drive, you’ll need a car. But not all cars are built with new drivers in mind. You’ll want something economical, affordable, and easy to park. In other words, you really want something small. You can either buy your car outright, look for financing, or think about a long-term personal lease. Each of these has its relative advantages, so think about it before you make any big investments.
To drive on British roads, you’ll need to be insured. As a new driver, you’ll pay more than those who’ve been on the road for years, as statistically, you stand a higher risk of crashing. You can lower this risk by agreeing to drive with an onboard black box.
New Driver – Get Used to Driving
Once you’ve passed the test, you’ll want to spend some time getting used to the experience of driving. That generally means starting with a few small trips around your estate and to your local shop. You might also take a trip on the nearest motorway with an experienced driver in the passenger seat to offer you some reassurance.
Drive in Bad Weather
Being able to cope with extreme wet weather is essential. Try to get this experience when you don’t have any urgent place to be, just so you can get used to the effect that it has on your cornering and braking distance.
Prepare to Keep Learning
The truth is that many drivers don’t go strictly by the book, and some of the rules of common sense will need to apply. As you gain experience, you’ll more easily distinguish driving situations that are some way different from normal. This might be an erratic driver in front, of whom you’ll instinctively want to steer clear, or a traffic light that’s broken, or a one-way system in an unfamiliar town for which there isn’t really any way of preparing.
New Driver – Get the Right Apps
There are certain apps, like Waze, that’ll make the experience of driving that much more pleasant, especially if you’re in London. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should be looking at the screen while you’re driving; that’s just asking for trouble.
When you’re new on the roads, always try to remain calm, clear-headed and remember that with time, smooth driving will just come naturally. Good luck!