The freedom of hitting the road is something we all dream of, right? Whilst you may be eager to jump behind the wheel the second you turn 17 – there are some things you need to ask yourself before you start your driving journey.
1. Can I afford it?
Learning to drive and passing your test is amazing, but can come with a hefty price tag. Before getting ahead of yourself, try to work out how much it’s going to cost. It’s also important to remember that stopping and starting driving lessons can cost you more money in the long run, so it’s best to pick up driving as soon as you can afford to do it all. If you’re looking for tips to save money when you’re learning to drive – we’ve got you covered on that front, too.
2. Do I need insurance?
Basically – yes. Whenever you’re behind the wheel, you’ll need insurance in some form. In your driving lessons with an instructor, they’ll have their own insurance that covers you. The DVSA recommends that outside of your driving lessons, you get in some private practice, and for this – you’ll need insurance. If you’re unsure of what kind of insurance you need, you can see our guide here.
3. Do I have the time?
There’s no denying it – learning to drive is a big time commitment. Not only do you have to fit in time to drive, but there is also time to practice for your theory test, as well as booking both tests in at convenient slots. The hardest thing to fit into the plans is likely to be your driving lessons with an instructor. Luckily, with learner driver insurance, you can drive any time you like – but your instructor is unlikely to be available for a spontaneous 1-hour lesson. Get a calendar together and plan out when your lessons are. Your private practice, theory test practice and booking your tests should hopefully be able to slot around this.
4. Is it the right time?
Once you’ve worked out what time you’ll have to set aside to learn to drive, it’s probably worth asking yourself ‘Is now the right time?’ Yes, many of your friends may be diving in head first, but it doesn’t mean you have to. Make sure you’re in the right head space and consider the costs and time commitments in relation to your situation.
5. Do I have everything I need for my lessons?
Learning to drive is more than just finding an instructor and hopping behind the wheel. Unfortunately, there is some boring stuff you need to sort out, but essential in order to be able to learn to drive. Have you done everything on the checklist?
1. Be 17 or over
2. Get your provisional driving licence
3. Get your eyes checked if needed – don’t forget, you’ll need to be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away
6. Do I have everything I need for private driving practice?
As well as what you need for driving lessons, there are a few more things you need for your private practice.
1. L Plates
2. A car that is taxed & MOT’d
4. Someone to supervise you (make sure you check the criteria of your insurance for this person)
If you want to make driving as easy and cheap as possible, you need to be committed. Learning, stopping, and learning again will make the process much harder and cost more. You don’t just learn overnight, but it’s a skill you’ll have for life so make sure you start your driving journey when it is right for you.