The winter is here which means we’re coping with short cold days, and a constant worry of Beast of the East 3.0 heading our way. Now you wouldn’t be alone in wanting to completely hibernate this winter and spend your days inside bingeing Netflix Christmas films, but we’re here to tell you why we think getting behind the wheel for extra driving practice is the best way to spend your time this winter.
Driving in the dark
You’re likely to have lessons with an instructor during the day which means many drivers don’t actually experience driving in the dark until after they’ve passed. In fact, 71%* of Marmalade customers said they felt like driving at night should be incorporated into lessons and whilst you may not be able to book your lessons in for the night-time, private practice is the perfect excuse to get out on the roads no matter what. It’s very different driving in the dark than it is in the day so get in as much practice as you can with a parent or friend by your side, and by the time you pass you’ll be a pro at heading for those late-night drive-thru’ treats!
Driving in fog
When it’s foggy, visibility on the road is seriously reduced which can make driving very difficult and concentration is key. Luckily, there are a few tricks that can help and things to know when driving in the fog (for example, did you know that you should never use high-beam lights in the fog?) which is why practice is key. Figure out what kind of lights to use and get used to concentrating in the fog for when you pass, by practising as a learner! That way, you won’t have to deal with fog for the first time on a murky morning when you’re rushing to get to work!
Driving on ice
The thing we all dread the most – driving on ice (and the fear of black ice). It’s pretty obvious that this can be quite dangerous, which is why we think practising driving on ice will help you in the future. For instance, pulling away in second gear is recommended when driving in the snow and ice – but it’s probably not something you’ll have done before! This and many other driving tricks are things you can practice as a learner in the winter – however, we would recommend only practising driving on ice somewhere quiet and only if you and your supervising driver are comfortable in doing so. Perhaps speak to your driving instructor first, they may also be able to give you some tips!
Driving in heavy rain
I mean let’s be honest we live in the UK – it rains all year round – but pair heavy rain with other wintery weather conditions and it can make driving pretty difficult. Practice driving as much as you can in the winter, and you’ll pick up so much for when you pass. For instance, did you know that you shouldn’t use your cruise control when it’s heavily raining, or do you know what to do if you start to aquaplane? Many young drivers don’t – but preparing as much as you can with a supervising driver beside you, and L plates on the car to let drivers know you’re new at this, is going to seriously help you in the long run.
Don’t forget to look after your car
You may be learning to drive in a friend’s or parent’s car, but it doesn’t mean you can’t take your private practice time to learn how to look after a car! When you pass you’ll need to know everything from how to top up your screenwash to knowing the best de-icing tricks!
If you want more tips on driving in the winter, check out our winter driving guides to help even more!
Learner Driver Insurance→
Get short term cover on a friend or parent's car as a learner, to help you get that magic pass!
*April 2018 census. Survey of 636 young drivers.