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Driving nerves after you've passed

You passed your test! But now, the first independent drive is looming - here's how to be a confident driver and get over those driving nerves!


Nick Pitman Marmalade

By Nick Pitman

Updated on Mar 7th, 2022

You’ve done it – you’ve passed your test! Nice one! The question now is - can you drive straight after passing your test? You certainly can (provided your new driver insurance is in place of course!). For many that first drive, especially alone, can be a daunting experience. Driving test nerves and confidence issues are natural so we've collected some tips from drivers just like you. How did they combat their driving nerves once they’ve passed?
1

Don’t let fear rule you

The fear of driving alone after passing the test was too much at first. I was a nervous driver after passing my test. The first time I drove my car after my test I had to drive it back from Lincolnshire to Essex with my Dad. He decided we should take the little country lanes and back roads, and at every roundabout and tight bend I was scared. By the end of the journey I was driving around as if I had been driving for years! Never let your fears and nerves overrule you, you can do anything, don’t let it stop you - Amy.
2

Wear P plates with pride

Do new drivers need P plates? It’s not law but they do help! My 1st drive after I passed my driving test first time was nothing less than absolutely awful. I was too scared to drive without the reassurance of a driving instructor that I must have stalled a million times. Why is it when you make a mistake, it feels as though there are hundreds of people watching your every move? Thankfully they saw my “Just Passed” Plates and were friendly and considerate to me - Alex
3

Take someone with you

How to get over your fear of driving - take a sibling or best mate! I passed the second time (I flunked the show me tell me questions) I didn’t get my first car until nearly 2 years after passing - and that first drive wasn’t quite what was expected either. Because I have panic attacks and an anxiety disorder my brother offered to join me on my first ventures. I was really nervous about my first drive but having my brother next to me really helped with overcoming nerves and fears - Andrew.
4

Drive off-peak

I passed my theory test and driving test first time, and while I was confident in the test, I hadn't driven since passing. I had to insure myself on my Mum's car when, in my third year of uni, my weekend job was a 12-mile commute away and I started at 6 am. Strangely enough - no one wanted to drive me there! I was terrified in the lead up to that drive, but the quieter roads gave me valuable experience and my confidence soared! - Chelsea.
5

Practice makes perfect

Driving is hard - the first drive on my own after I passed my test was so scary! I accidentally drove the wrong way on the way home! Up until then, I had always had someone in the car with me so the fear of driving a car alone was almost too much and I was definitely on edge, but I knew I had to do it. I had worked hard to pass my test so I wasn’t going to let my nerves get the better of me. Plus my new job required me to start every day at 6:30am so it gave me the opportunity to practice driving and master the journey - Lloyd.
6

Consider extra training

How long after passing a driving test can you drive on a motorway? As long as you have the right car insurance then as soon as you leave the test centre! Personally I was too nervous so I decided to do a Pass Pluscourse because I felt I needed refresher lessons and my fear of motorway driving was huge! It isn’t something you learn in your driving lessons, so it’s daunting. The Pass Plus made driving on a motorway after passing the test much easier. It helped my confidence because it taught me many things, like lane discipline and the importance of checking my blind spots before moving over. I would recommend it to anyone! - Hannah.

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