If you’ve never had a driving lesson before, it can be a little challenging to know what to expect. You might have heard friends, family, or parents talk about their experiences, but unless you’ve sat in the driver’s seat with an instructor beside you, it’s difficult to build up an accurate picture of what it’s like.
What’s more, driving lessons can often become the stuff of legends. People like to compete with each other to see who had the best instructor, who was allowed to take the most risks, and who passed their driving lesson the first time around.
It’s all friendly banter, but it has very little to do with the actual experience of a professional driving lesson.
So, what can you expect?
If you live in a busy area, the first thing that your driving instructor will do is take you to a quieter area. They must get you used to the idea of driving on the road properly – not just a car park somewhere – but they don’t want to throw you in at the deep end.
Don’t worry: you’re not going to be asked to navigate solo through the busy avenues of your local city or some enormous motorway junction. Residential streets will suffice.
Before handing you the controls, your instructor will ask you to complete a basic eyesight test. The purpose of this is to ensure that you’re able to see well enough to begin your first lesson.
The eyesight test is straightforward. Your instructor will park 20 metres (five car lengths) from another vehicle and ask you to read the registration plate. If you can do it, you’re ready to drive. If you can’t, it’s off to the opticians for you!
Usually, your instructor will want to find out whether you have any prior driving experience. You might not have driven a car on the public roads before, but you may have experience on a moped or operating another vehicle like a tractor.
If so, then you’ll want to tell your instructor. Likewise, if you have any questions of your own about driving, then the start of the first lesson is as good a time as any.
Your instructor will ensure that you understand how to operate all of the controls in your car. Things like indicators and windscreen wiper levers can vary from model to model.
During your first lesson, you’ll get to grips with clutch control. Clutch control is one of the more challenging aspects of driving a car, but something you need to master from the outset if you hope to travel any distance in your vehicle.
You’ll learn about concepts such as “biting point” and may have an opportunity to change into second and third gears.
At the end of the session, your instructor will provide you with a brief report on how you performed and what you need to work on. You’ll then have a chance to book a second and third lesson.
Now that we have covered everything that you can expect on your first driving lessons, the next thing to do is get them booked!
If you are based in South West London and looking to learn to drive, Totally Driving is the ideal choice. We offer professional driving lessons for nervous drivers with our patient and friendly instructor.