The moment when you realise that you have passed your driving test and no longer have to take driving lessons is a great feeling. The sense of achievement is massive, and you just cannot wait to get out and about on the road. However, the overwhelming excitement can sometimes lead to some of the most important things being forgotten, so here we discuss the top tricks to remember once you have passed your test.
Top Tips For After You’ve Passed Your Driving Test
We took the time out to speak to our very own driving instructor in Sheffield Andrew Kirbyshaw who said the following “It’s a great feeling seeing my pupils pass first time. However, I often get the feeling some of the skills I have taught them for life may diminish, and only a scare on the roads or an accident will help them realise the skills I have taught them for test need to be applied 100% afterwards until they decide to retire from driving. It only takes a split second for something to change in the road and if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time and you have switched off and missed an important mirror check then, unfortunately, they may pay the price. We are all guilty of switching off while driving or making mistakes; the key is when it happens – don’t dismiss it. Remember it, learn from it and hopefully, it won’t happen again.”
Although it might be tempting to go for the first car that you fall in love with, it is still recommended to shop around before making your decision and purchasing the car. You want to take someone car shopping with you who knows what they’re doing and what to look out for. The car salesman, of course, wants you to purchase the car on the spot, which means that they may miss out on small issues, such as previous damage, scratches or dents to encourage you to take up their offer. If you are looking into a used car, it is essential that it comes with a full vehicle history check.
One of the most common issues with first cars is that people are set on one particular car due to its appearance, but hate it once it comes to the test drive. You need to feel in utmost comfort and safety when driving your car; it is significantly more important than looks. Taking a test drive before purchasing a car is also a great indication as to whether the vehicle has any internal issues. Keep a lookout for unusual noises, unsmooth steering, weak brakes and hard gear changes.
You must make sure that you are insured on your vehicle before you pick it up and drive it home. If you are purchasing from a car dealership, it is likely that you will have to put a deposit down on your car and then collect it at a later date. The period between these two gives you the perfect opportunity to shop around for the best insurance quote. It is recommended to schedule for your insurance to start from the evening before you go to pick up your car.
Your car insurance is a legal document, which means that it is critical that you remember to organise a quote before even considering to drive. This may be frustrating as you could find yourself having to wait around to be able to drive, but it is a better choice than risking it and being disqualified before you even had the chance to enjoy the luxury of driving.
Displaying a P plate on your vehicle is not mandatory, but it does give you a little bit of leeway to make small mistakes until you are entirely confident in driving. As annoying as it is, drivers are impatient, they will start to lose their patience if they are left waiting or being delayed. Purchasing a P plate will let other drivers know that you have recently passed so are more likely to be a little slower or stall now and again as you are not experienced in driving alone.
Experience Driving Alone
It is not always possible to have a passenger to reassure you while driving; there will eventually come a time where you will be forced to drive alone. One of the best ways to make full use out of practising is to try manoeuvring and to deal with situations alone; it will increasingly boost your confidence. You want to get used to your car with no other distractions and unfortunately, taking your friends out immediately after passing will make you prone to distractions. Remember to get yourself used to drive independently before you attempt to drive with passengers.
Invest In Car Essentials
There are a few essentials that are recommended to remember to purchase to keep in your car at all times. You can never predict when an issue may occur, so you want to be as prepared as possible. Not all cars, in particular, smaller cars that are common first cars, come fitted with a spare tyre. Spacesaver tyres are an excellent choice if you do have a smaller car with a minimised room in your boot and most also come with a kit to fit the tyre yourself in the case of an emergency. Other smaller essentials include a first aid kit, flashlight and ice scraper.
Not only do you need to ensure that your car is insured before driving, but you also need to pay for road tax. Road tax is another legal requirement and the amount you may, similarly to insurance, will depend on your car, for example, the age of the car and the amount of C02 emissions the engine gives off. Road tax is considerably easier to arrange as you do not need to shop around for deals, it will be a set price depending on your vehicle make and model.
Recently our driving Ashley Simpson, who provides driving lessons in Scarborough, told us about a recent situation he had. A recently passed pupil was caught just one day after passing their driving test without road tax. He consequently received a £80 fine; if he does not pay this immediately, he will be sent to court or have his vehicle clamped.
Final Points To Remember
To remain a safe and legal driver, you must make yourself aware of all driving laws, for example using a phone while driving and the alcohol unit intake. You would have worked very hard and invested a lot of money into taking driving lessons, so you want to avoid running any risks that may lead to losing your licence. The second final point is always to remember that everyone has been in your situation once. Every driver had to face their first trip alone, learning to drive in an unfamiliar car and worries about making mistakes!