Hey everyone, my name is Brogan and if you’ve read some of my previous blogs you’ll know I am currently learning to drive; although hopefully for not much longer as I have my test booked for the 9th September! I was originally meant to have my test in March but because we all went into lockdown my test was obviously cancelled and rescheduled. I have now had a few lessons back but I wanted to talk about my first driving lesson with my instructor after not driving for five months – I was extremely nervous and anxious but surprisingly it actually went quite well – hopefully some of you can my experiences to help you if you’re preparing for your first lesson after lockdown.
At the beginning of July I got a message from Jason, my driving instructor, basically letting me know that they were allowed to restart lessons and as I was near passing my test, he wanted to give me priority in terms of booking my lessons in with him. A few days before my first lesson back I was feeling really nervous and anxious – it had been almost 5 months without any driving! I was scared that I would have forgotten everything and despite being so close to my test before lockdown, I was worried I now would be quite far from being ready, like going back to square one!
The day of my first lesson back came and I was still feeling quite anxious about it. I got in the car and it felt very different – and not just because I had to wear a mask now. I plucked up the courage and started driving… You know the saying, it’s like riding a bike? Well it really was. After a bit of a shaky start, I got back into the swing of things really quickly and I realized all the worrying was for nothing – I actually enjoyed my first lesson back. Now don’t get me wrong, there were some draw backs to not driving for 5 months, but nothing that I couldn’t fix – for instance, Jason said one thing I needed to work on was my observations and always remembering to look in my mirrors – something I did before lockdown but I seemed to let slip in my first lesson. Not to worry though, I’ll get this sorted before my test for sure!
For anyone still waiting for their first driving lesson back after lockdown, I wanted to share my experience with you as well as some tips I wish I’d seen before. Some of them are obvious, but others, not so much.
- Try not to worry too much. I know it’s easier said than done, but you will likely surprise yourself with how much you remember
- If possible have some private practice before your first lesson back just so its all fresh in your mind; I wish I would have done this
- Familiarise yourself with the new procedures for a driving test (such as having to wear masks) particularly if you are nearing be ready for your test as there are a few changes to a driving test
- As your driving instructor will likely be very busy I would say try and book your lessons as soon as possible so you can get a date and time that suits you – remember that you may be waiting a little longer between lessons now, which is where learner insurance will also help
- If you are nearly ready for your test, keep up to date with the news on how you can book your test in (if you haven’t had it rescheduled). Driving test demand is huge at the moment, so it might take you a little longer to get booked in that you’d hope