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What happens in your first driving lesson?

Cailyn Bendall profile

Cailyn Bendall

May 15, 2019

Learning to drive Young driver stories 6 min read

Hey, my name is Cailyn and I’ve recently just started to learn to drive at 19 years old! I have done nearly 10 hours of lessons so far and here’s how my first lesson went. I’ve decided to share my experience with you as I remember how nervous I was before I hopped into the car for the first time. Hopefully, by sharing my experience, I can reassure you what to expect in your first lesson- it’s not bad I promise!

Starting my Lessons:

Before starting my driving lessons, there were a couple of things I had to do first! Some of these are easy to forget, but without them, you’re not going anywhere. Make sure you follow all of these things!

1. Getting a provisional licence

I applied online at the GOV.uk website on my 17th birthday for my provisional licence. I had to fill out the application online which required details such as my address, age and identity documents. I had an email of approval saying the application is being processed and all I had to do was wait. 3 weeks later, my provisional licence arrived! I decided to buy my provisional licence before thinking about driving lessons. 2 years later, I decided to start my driving lessons!

2. Choosing an instructor

I decided to go with a driving instructor which my close friends and family have used before. They all passed their tests with her and have always said good things about her and her teaching style. So for me, finding an instructor was pretty easy. I’d always recommend getting recommendations off of friends and family of who they used if you can – you can then get first-hand reviews on how their lessons went.

via GIPHY

Finding time, scheduling the first lesson

I got my instructors number from my friend (who just recently passed his test, just as I started looking to learn) and text her. It didn’t take her long to get back to me and we arranged our first lesson! We booked it in for 2 weeks later. I had lots of encouragement from my friend to book my lessons and is the reason I started driving!

I am fitting my driving lessons around college and working. After my first lesson, I booked lessons in 10 hours’ worth of driving, so I have the freedom to do 1 hour, 1.5 or 2-hour lessons.

What happened in my first lesson?

Getting in the car for the first time, I was obviously nervous, as anyone might be.  I had little to no experience in driving – so I didn’t really know what to expect. I also started my driving lessons the same day my sister passed her driving test, which added an element of pressure on me! Before my lesson, I read tips for ‘first time driving nerves’ and ‘an instructor’s tips for calming my nerves’ on Marmalade’s Driver Hub which helped me to understand what the lesson may be like… I remember sitting in the car, slightly shaking but my instructor assured me it was completely natural to be nervous, which helped me in feeling a lot calmer.

I met with my instructor at my college as this was the closest meeting point for us. We chatted for around 15 – 20 minutes – mainly to get to know each other and discuss what I expected from my first lesson and how I was feeling a.k.a calming my nerves! After our discussion, she drove me to a quiet area of town and that’s where I learnt safety procedures, cockpit drills and was my first time hitting the pedals!

My instructor introduced me to the pedals, and we practised finding the biting point parked up. Once I gained confidence, we ‘trundled’ up the road to my first junction. My instructor was very calm which reassured me that I was in safe hands. She got me to use the brake for the first time – basic stuff but enough to introduce me to the journey of driving.

via GIPHY

After my first junction, I did a little loop around the quiet part of town. I was quite impressed I even moved the car more than 10 yards, let alone tackled junctions! I was simply practising using the clutch, brake and acceleration pedals – which is super important and something I need to master before trying to learn more. We looped around this area multiple times to make sure I was understanding how each pedal worked.

By the end of the lesson, I was feeling more confident than ever. I was worried and scared of the road before starting my lessons, as you always hear horror stories of terrible accidents and awful drivers. However, after my first lesson, I felt confident to start my driving journey. I was so excited about the next lesson that I went home and told my family about my lesson in detail – which they eventually told me to shut up about because I went on and on! It’s exciting though – the roads aren’t a place to be petrified of. Yes, other drivers can act recklessly, and accidents can happen – but I was on my way to learning how to be a safe and confident driver, and I can’t wait!

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Cailyn Bendall profile

By Cailyn Bendall

'Learning to drive is an exciting journey! My name is Cailyn and I am a new learner myself. I have been driving for a few months as of May 2019 and I want to share my experiences with you. My aim is to pass my test before I go to university in 2020.'  See more posts by Cailyn

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