It goes without saying that learning to drive and taking your test is one of the most nerve wracking and stressful experiences we have to go through. Parallel parking, stalling, the dreaded roundabouts – all these little things can add stress to learners, and making mistakes can have a knock on effect on your confidence! To combat this, we’ve pulled together 5 different ways that learner drivers can boost their confidence!
1. Take as much time as you need
This goes for two things – the time it takes you to drive and how long it takes you to pass.
You’re learning to drive, so no one is expecting you to be perfect. Take your time when you’re out on the road to practise and perfect your driving skills. Don’t rush through manoeuvres just so you’re out of another cars way as quickly as possible – use the time to improve and get it right first time.
Another thing not to rush is actually passing. Of course you want to pass as quickly as possible, but you need to make sure that you’re as confident as you can be behind the wheel first. If you take your test before you’re ready, it’s unlikely that you’ll pass which means more money out of your pocket to take it again!
2. Figure out how best you learn
Some people work well under pressure, and will thrive when thrown in the deep end. Other learners may need a methodical approach, and refer back to the theory for each manoeurve – essentially, there isn’t a right and wrong way to learn. Once you know how you learn most effectively, you’ll be a much more confident driver.
3. Don’t let other drivers pressure you
If you’ve been behind the wheel of a learner car with L plates showing, it’s very likely that you’ll have experienced impatient road users. Now most people will give learners the time and space they deserve and need, however some people won’t and will go out of their way to make you (as a learner) uncomfortable and scared on the road. You may experience people honking their horns, tailgating you, dangerously overtaking… you name it, and they’ll do it. This can really shake up learners, and with good reason! The best thing to do in this situation is acknowledge the other drives, but ultimately ignore them. As long as you’re driving safely and you’re in control – then that’s all you can do. If you do feel too intimidated, pull over in a safe, legal and convenient place and wait for them to pass you.
4. Practice, practice, practice
If you can, get out on the road as much as possible – more often than just the 1 hour lesson a week. Going for small, easy drives outside of your lessons will help you build up the skills you’ve learned and in turn, will build up your confidence. In a recent survey of newly qualified drivers, almost 30% of drivers wished they were more prepared for driving at night before they passed their test*, and whilst night time driving lessons are uncommon, there’s nothing stopping you from heading out at night if you have private practice. Not only will all this extra practice help you ace your test, but also will help you to be a confident driver once you’ve passed.
5. Don’t compare yourself
It’s so easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to your friends and family when it comes to driving. You may know people who have passed first time, and others who took 10 goes at the test before they nailed it – whatever it is, comparing yourself to others will only bring your confidence down. Focus on yourself and your own progress, and you’ll pass your test in no time!
Taking on these tips in your driving, whether that’s with an instructor or through private practice will bound to help build up your confidence behind the wheel and you’ll pass within no time!
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*This online survey of 1000 UK qualified drivers aged 17-25 was commissioned by Marmalade Car Insurance and conducted by market research company OnePoll, in accordance with the Market Research Society’s code of conduct. Data was collected between 26/03/2019 and 19/04/2019. All participants are double-opted in to take part in research and are paid an amount depending on the length and complexity of the survey. This survey was overseen and edited by the OnePoll research team, who are members of the MRS and have corporate membership to ESOMAR.