First Driving Lesson: Things to Know

The day you have been waiting for has finally arrived, your first driving lesson. Sitting in to the driver’s seat for the first time can be exciting as well as extremely nerve-wracking. If you are feeling a little anxious and flustered about the thought of your first driving lesson, do not worry. We have put together an easy-to-read guide on everything you need to know for your first lesson.

A shot of a Caucasian female putting L Plates on her car ready for her driving lesson.

Before the Driving Lesson

Usually, driving lessons are no longer than 2 hours, however this will be discussed with your driving instructor beforehand. This is plenty of time to learn the basics and put your mind at ease for your future lessons. You want to be fresh and alert on the day of your lesson. Try and get a good night’s sleep so that you are fully charged and ready to go. Eat a good breakfast and try to relax. Don’t forget your provisional driving licence and your money for the lesson. It may also be a good idea to take a bottle of water with you. It is essential that you are wearing flat, comfy shoes, for comfort and safety.

Getting Picked Up for your Driving Lesson

Make sure you are ready with plenty of time to spare. The last thing you will want is to be rushing at the last minute getting yourself all flustered. Your driving instructor will pick you up at the time agreed. They may choose to knock the door or wait outside in the car, be on the lookout for them.

Don’t worry, you won’t be getting straight into the driving seat, your instructor will direct you to the passenger seat. It is very likely that you will only be driving for a short period of time on your first lesson. The first lesson is always about learning and understanding the very basics of driving. Your driving instructor will drive you somewhere quieter and less busy before you take the driver’s seat.

Getting Comfortable with the Car

To begin with, you will be getting yourself comfortable with the driving instructors’ car. This includes figuring out how to move things around to suit you better. The driving instructor will then introduce to you ‘the cockpit drill.’ These are simple and essential steps to ensure the safety of you and anyone else in the car.

The Cockpit Drill

These initial checks may not seem like the most interesting part of your driving lesson; however, they are essential.

The steps include:

  • Checking the doors are closed securely
  • Ensuring your seat is in a comfortable position
  • Checking that the steering position is established and that your mirrors are well adjusted so that you have a clear view
  • Lastly that your seatbelt is fastened securely

Don’t worry, they are easy to complete and your driving instructor will demonstrate firstly before expecting you to do anything. They will also give you tips to make it easier for you, these steps will become second nature to you in no time.

Understanding the Controls

Your driving instructor will run through all of the controls needed to drive a car. They will most likely begin with explaining the foot pedals. An easy way for you to remember the order of the foot pedals is by thinking of the acronym CBA: Clutch, Break, Accelerator, easy peasy. Your instructor will walk you through how to use these foot pedals and how to find ‘the biting point’ you may spend a fair amount of time trying to get the biting point. Please remember this is all new to you and it is going to take a while to get it right each time.

First Drive

Now it’s your turn to take the wheel. This may seem scary; however, you will still only be doing the basics. You will practise moving off, checking your mirrors, using your indicators, changing gear and stopping the car. It’s unlikely that you will be practising anything else at this stage.

Driving Home

Phew! Now you can relax. All of the hard work for the day it out of the way. Time for you to sit in the passenger seat, breath and chill out. Your driving instructor will drive you home. When you are back home, your driving instructor will discuss how the lesson went and inform you on what to expect on your next lesson.

First Driving Lesson Top Tips

  • As stressed as you may be, it is important to try and stay as calm as possible.
  • Everything will be nice and simple on your first lesson, remember it is just the basics you are learning.
  • If anything goes wrong, they have all of the controls their side so try not to worry.

Nobody is perfect, it’s extremely unlikely that you will absorb all of the information and get everything right on your first lesson. That is perfectly normal, you are only human. Your driving instructor will expect this and will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Do not be afraid to ask.

Try not to rush into things, although it may be annoying having to watch and listen to information instead of being hands on, there is a good reason for this. All of the boring things are actually crucial in learning how to drive.

Stay calm, relax and enjoy your first lesson. Believe in yourself and be confident. Before you know it, your first lesson will be a distance memory and you will be ready to hit the roads on your own with your brand-new driver’s licence.

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