Driving nerves after you've passed

You've passed your test! But now, the first independent drive is looming - here's how do you get over those driving nerves!

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By Chloe Martell

Updated on Dec 4th, 2020

Overcoming driving nerves

You’ve done it – you’ve passed your test! First things first, congratulations! All of the hard work has finally paid off, and you’re free to head out on the open road as soon as you’ve got your ride and insurance. The thrill of passing is probably still fresh in your mind, but the first time you get behind the wheel alone can be very daunting. We’ve collected some real-life stories from drivers just like you. How did they combat their driving nerves once they’ve passed?

Amy – Face your fears

The first time I drove my car after passing my test, I had to drive it back from Lincolnshire to Essex – Great! I was so scared, I wouldn’t go over 50mph at first. My dad was in the car with me, and my mum was following us from behind. The tiny, single carriageway roads through Lincolnshire were busy and it really didn’t help that it was pouring down with rain, also my first car was rather old. It didn’t have air conditioning, it didn’t have power steering but I still loved it. Throughout the journey, I became more confident, until I hit a HUGE traffic jam… so what does my dad decide to do!? Take me down all the little country lanes and back roads! Eeeek! Every roundabout I panicked inside, every tight bend I was scared... But, by the end of the journey, I was driving around as if I had been driving for years! Now looking back, I’ve come so far, from driving in London to driving in a completely different country, on the wrong side of the road and the wrong side of the car! Never let your fears and nerves overrule you, you can do anything, don’t let it stop you.

Alex – Practice makes perfect

My first independent drive after I had passed my test was nothing less than absolutely awful. I found myself getting so nervous without the reassurance of a driving instructor that I must have stalled a million times. I pulled into a car park for a quick breather, and after picking a parking space – I went and stalled again! Why is it when you make a mistake, it feels as though there are hundreds of people watching your every move? That journey alone was a nightmare and made me hate the idea of driving. I kind of didn’t want to get behind the wheel again, but I did and I couldn’t be happier. I find myself now choosing jobs and activities that are far away, so I can commute! Who knew that would happen? I love driving, and if I had let that first drive put me off I wouldn’t have all the freedom I do now.

Hannah – Pass Plus is the way to go!

I decided to do my Pass Plus after passing my driving test because I was so nervous about driving on the motorway! It isn’t something you learn in your driving lessons, so it’s daunting. The Pass Plus helped my confidence because it taught me many things, like lane discipline and the importance of checking my blind spots before moving over. However, this didn’t stop me accidentally running over a seagull in my test! Luckily I was ok (the seagull, not so much) as I managed to keep control of the car and not swerve at all. I knew I was a good driver and I was confident in myself, so even when I hit a small bump in the road (literally), keeping calm and controlled meant I still passed! I definitely think Pass Plus is the way to go. It made my first time driving alone so much more relaxing and comfortable. I would recommend it to anyone!

Lloyd - I felt like I could drive anywhere!

The first drive on my own after passing my test was so scary! Up until then, I had always had someone in the car with me so 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 – I also had work at 6:30 am the next day so I didn’t have much choice in the matter! Typically, the Great British weather wasn't on my side so it was raining the entire journey. I’m not the most confident of guys so the whole journey made me super nervous, but I’m so glad I did it! Once I had done that journey, I felt like I could drive anywhere. That was, until my first attempt at parking on my driveway, when I crashed into the wall. But hey we live and learn, right? Getting out on the road boosted my confidence and once I’d figured out how to get on the driveway without causing any more damage (to my car or my house) I knew I had the confidence and freedom to go anywhere!

Chelsea – I thought I’d never drive again

I didn't drive a car for over 2 years after I passed my driving test. I passed just before I went to uni and honestly, I didn't think I'd ever get back behind the wheel! In the end, 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? It was terrifying driving all that way in the dark by myself, especially when the roads were busy with Lorries at that time of day, but I live to tell the tale! I'm glad I pushed myself into driving this way, as the gap between passing my test and driving again left me thinking I'd never drive again.

Andrew – I was worried I would have forgotten how to drive

My first solo drive wasn’t as soon as I’d passed my test, or anywhere near the time I’d passed really – I didn’t get my first car until nearly 2 years after passing! That first drive wasn’t quite what was expected either. My brother and I got a shared car for Christmas, and of course, the first thing we wanted to do was take it for a spin. We were so eager to go for a drive that we didn’t bother to get dressed. Who says you can’t drive in a SpongeBob onesie? I was so worried I would have forgotten how to drive, it was almost like giving myself a refresher lesson! Luckily it came back to me surprisingly quickly, almost like riding a bike (but with more gears). I had to remember that even though it was 2 years since I passed, I was still new at driving. I took as much time as I needed and slowly got back into the swing of things.

We love these stories! It goes to show that everyone’s driving journeys are completely different, and this doesn’t stop once they’ve passed their test! Hannah made a great choice in doing her Pass Plus to gain her confidence. Chelsea and Andrew both left it 2 years before getting behind the wheel again, and their confidence was definitely knocked. If you’ve passed your test and you don’t want to forget how to drive, but getting your own car seems a long way in the distance – then our Named Young Driver Insurance could be the perfect solution.

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Chloe Profile Picture

By Chloe Martell

As a new driver, I'm so eager to share my driving journey with you all - from when I was a learner, going through my test and all the aspects of my driving life now, including my love of cars!

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