Driving lesson tips

We know that driving lessons aren’t cheap. So how do you get the most from your lessons and increase your chances of passing first time? We’ve got lots of driving lesson tips from driving instructors and experienced drivers, giving you practical advice that really helps.

If you’re new to driving and fretting about your very first lesson, check out our First Driving Lesson page. It’s packed full of advice and tips especially for you.

orange_line_icon_alarm_clock Lesson times

There are a few steps that you can take to ensure that you feel fresh and ready for driving lessons. Book them at a time when you’re feeling at your most alert, awake and receptive to learning. Are you an early-bird-catches-the-worm type, or do you spend your mornings battling with the alarm clock and don’t feel truly awake until lunchtime? Just try to pick a time which suits you and fits around your daily schedule.

orange_icon_driving_instructor_icon The right instructor

Over the coming months you'll be spending a lot of time with your driving instructor, so it can make all the difference when you are learning with someone that meets your needs and that you get on with. 

Studies show that being happy, calm and relaxed helps you to learn and remember better.  So don't be afraid to change instructors if you don't feel that they provide the right environment.  A good driving instructor should be experienced and qualified, as well as someone you feel comfortable with and trust.

orange_line_icon_computer Start prepping for your theory test now

It may seem like early days, but preparing for your theory test from the get-go will help you perform better and get more from your driving lessons. Familiarising yourself with road signs and the Highway Code early on means you’ll feel more confident during your lessons. Check out our How Many Lessons Should I Take? section for advice on when to book your theory test.

orange_line_icon_map Check a map of your test area

Not everyone has a great built-in sense of direction. Get a head start by checking out a map of the area where you’ll be taking your driving test. This will prepare you for the roads you’re going to be driving on and means you can identify any tricky junctions, one way streets and roundabouts.

orange_medicine_bottle Medications

Are you taking any medications? Some medicines can cause drowsiness, anti-histamines for example - so take this into consideration when you’re scheduling your lesson times. If in doubt it doesn't hurt to check your medication for advice about driving.

orange_line_icon_step_by_step Be realistic with your learning goals - break up your learning

Learning to drive takes time. No one’s going to be able to pick it all up at once. Break your learning up into smaller, bite-size chunks. Instead of trying to do it all, focus on learning new skills in every lesson, and you’ll soon build up your learning in a safe and solid way that’ll serve you for the rest of your driving life.

orange_line_icon_learner_symbol Forget the test - learn for life

Every learner driver is focused on, or stressing about, their test. It pays to remember that your driving lessons are about far more than passing first time. They’re about giving you the vital skills you need to drive safely for the rest of your life. Bear this in mind rather than just focusing on your test. Ask yourself if you’d feel safe driving with a small child in the back of your learner car - that’s when you know you’re really ready.

orange_line_icon_steering_wheel Driving gear

What to wear? Driving lessons can be stressful, so think about what to wear to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible. Stick to clothes that aren’t restrictive, allow for easy movement, and that aren’t too hot or heavy.

Put your best foot forward - it might not be the first thing you think about when you start driving lessons, but wearing the right footwear makes a big difference. Heels, and heavy footwear with thick soles, aren’t ideal. Clunky shoes make you a clunky driver. Stick to flat, thin-soled shoes so that you can really feel the car respond to what you’re doing.

orange_line_icon_medication Take a chill pill

Nerves and anxiety have been the cause of many failed driving tests and plenty of stressful lessons too. There are lots of relaxation techniques you can use, during lessons and in-between lessons, to reduce your anxiety levels and help you perform better behind the wheel:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Stay hydrated
  • Practise deep breathing exercises

Take time out from work, your studies, or cramming for your theory test regularly - and spend some time doing something you love - rewarding yourself and giving your brain and body a break can really help

orange_line_icon_tick Stay positive

Studies have shown that people learn more effectively when they’re happy. Staying positive about your driving experiences can really help. Make changes to your thinking patterns so you’re focusing on the positives rather than the negatives.

  • Think about all the aspects of driving that you really love - from the feel of driving on an open road, to the excitement you felt when you completed your first successful manoeuvre
  • Don’t beat yourself up over your mistakes - everyone makes them. This is a learning process, and mistakes give you the opportunity to learn and improve.

My first driving lesson

Feeling a bit jittery before your first driving lesson is to be expected. Every driver on the road today has been where you are right now. They all made it through that first lesson, and beyond - and so will you!

How many driving lessons to take

Not sure how many driving lessons to take? According to the Driving Standards Agency (DSA), you’ll need around 44 hours of professional lessons to pass your driving test. This is just an average figure – it’s important to remember that everyone’s different.

How to pass your driving test

We've enlisted Noel Gaughan, Driving Instructor to the Stars gives you the best advice on how to pass your driving test - he's helped the likes of Adele, James McAvoy and One Direction’s Nial Horan to pass their driving tests!