Congratulations – you’ve recently passed your test, and now you’re legally allowed on the road without accompaniment. For many, the very thought of driving solo can be a daunting prospect. You’ll no longer have the encouragement and support of your instructor in the passenger seat, giving you that confidence boost when you need it. However, you’ll now have the freedom to get around independently, which may open more doors for you and seek new opportunities.
In this guide, we’re going to offer some useful tips to keep in mind for new drivers to make their driving experience much safer and more enjoyable in the following days and months after passing their test:
1. Buy a used car
First things first – it would be advised to purchase a second-hand car as opposed to brand new upon passing your test. Of course, one of the major benefits is that it will be much cheaper to purchase and won’t lose too much value. Also, if you did happen to have a crash, you don’t have to worry too much about extremely expensive repair costs. You’re also likely to save cash on other factors, including handling and advertising fees. Finally, providing the car has been well-maintained by its previous owner, purchasing used cars Birmingham has real advantages over a brand-new model for a new driver.
2. Don’t be too hard on yourself
It’s easy to stress over the minor mistakes made when you first pass your test but understand that these blips are normal when you first go out on the road alone as you have had no independent experience. Aim to drive on roads you are more comfortable with initially before challenging yourself to go more further afield. You may have already practiced some of your most common routes with your instructor (e.g., to work or your partner’s house), but if not, ask someone to sit in the passenger seat until you are confident to do these routes alone.
3. Don’t share the car with friends
You may have been excited by the fact that you now have the freedom to get places whenever and with whoever you choose; however, inviting friends for a ride in your car in the early days may not be the best idea. Although you may just be innocently chatting, it could become a potential distraction. Therefore, you need to keep your focus on the road at all times to be aware of potential hazards.
4. Change your driving method for different conditions
More experienced drivers will understand that their style of driving may need to be adapted to match the weather conditions. This includes having a clear understanding of braking distances, particularly in harsh weathers such as snow and rain. Decreased visibility is also a hazard during foggy winter mornings or on summer evenings when the sun is low and blinding. To get used to different conditions on the road, it would be wise to get behind the wheel as much as possible to boost your confidence and experience.