What will happen on my first driving lesson?
The thought of your driving lessons can be an intense and stressful one. But it doesn’t have to be this way. A lot of anxiety is caused by simply not knowing what to expect. If this is you, read our handy guide to your first lesson and you’ll be able to go in prepared.
Step 1: The pickup
The first step is to get in the car. Hopefully you know where your instructor plans to meet, otherwise, all the other steps get a whole lot harder.
Don’t expect to get in the driver’s seat yet. Your instructor will probably drive you away from wherever you’re being collected from, whether that’s your house, school or workplace, to somewhere quieter, so they can run through the following steps with you.
Step 2: Cockpit drill
The first thing you need to know when you’re driving a car, and something that will be drilled into your head, over and over again, is the cockpit drill. It’s something that you’re going to come to rely on, and something that driving examiners will be specifically looking for. So pay attention.
In short, it’s DSSSM
- Doors: Are the doors closed, both for you and your passengers?
- Seat: Are you in a comfortable driving position. Can you reach all the pedals without stretching?
- Steering: Can you access the steering wheel and everything around it, and do your knees touch it at any point?
- Seatbelts: Is your seatbelt on and comfortable, and are all passengers wearing theirs?
- Mirrors: Adjust your mirrors for maximum visibility. You should be able to see in your mirrors without having to move your head, only turn it.
Step 3: How to drive
Expect to be given a brief instruction on how to drive. It might seem like a complicated process, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s surprisingly simple.
Your instructor should run you through pedal operation, indicators, mirrors, hand brake, gear stick, window wipers, and more.
Early on, this might seem overwhelming, but with practice, it will soon become second nature.
Step 4: Getting moving!
Once your instructor is happy that you’ve got the hang of where everything is and what you should be doing, they’ll give you the go-ahead to get moving.
In all likelihood, your instructor will have dual controls, and they should have taken you somewhere without much traffic for your first lesson, so relax and take it slow. You’re here to learn after all, so if something goes wrong just breathe and carry on.
Don’t expect to drive for too long on your first lesson, especially if it’s only an hour. But do feel free to ask your instructor how you did!
Step 5: Winding down, and heading home
Once you’ve had your drive, expect your instructor to take over again to get you back home.
You should have a chat about how the lesson went, what you did right, and what you did wrong. If you’ve got any questions, you should also use this opportunity to ask them.
Make sure to thank your instructor, and confirm your next lesson.
That’s it. You’re done. You made it through your first lesson. Congratulations!
Tips and tricks
- Be sure to bring your provisional license. You’ll need it
- Get a good night’s sleep and make sure you eat something
- Wear normal, flat soled shoes. Nothing with a heel or huge sole
- Talk to friends and family for help and advice, or just a chat