What happens on your first driving lesson?
Taking your first driving lesson can be worrying because you don’t know what to expect. What will your instructor be like? Will you understand driving or keep stalling?
I’m one of the UK’s top driving instructor standards check trainers so let me share with you what should happen on your first driving lesson.
Before you even take your first lesson there are a couple of things to do.
How to check your driving licence online
Before your frist driving lesson your instructor should check your driving licence online.
I say should because at least half of instructors don’t bother!
If you fail to do these checks then you could be driving illegally. You’d be amazed how many times I meet pupils that haven’t had these checks done and have been driving illegally without knowing.
See the page linked in the first sentence of this paragraph for more information on how to get your licence checked or watch the video below.
What happens on your first driving lesson?
Now that you have those checks done it’s time to start.
You can watch me doing a pupils first driving lesson in the videos below and there are many more on the 1stDrive YouTube channel.
Your first driving lesson should involve your instructor driving you somewhere quiet. Not choosing a quiet enough area is something I hear about a lot from pupils.
You should always be driven somewhere such as a quiet housing estate or industrial area with wide, open roads. Somewhere without much traffic.
It’s much better to take 10 minutes to drive a pupil somewhere quiet rather than do it the lazy way and start them off on a busy road because you can’t be bothered to drive up the road or are too worried about coming across as a time waster who spends more time driving than teaching.
On the way to your first driving lesson
A good driving instructor uses the time spent driving to a quiet area to find out more about the pupil.
A truly great instructor who is also a hypnotist and understands your mind will do an even better job! I can plan out a pupils preferred learning style and pick up on loads of clues from body language without them even knowing.
You can use this time to find out more about your instructor too. It’s understandable that you may be nervous but the more you talk to the instructor the more they can help.
Once you’ve arrived then what happens next?
Once you get to your destination
You swap seats and start learning about car controls.
You should spend at least 15 minutes talking through the controls such as the handbrake, pedals and what most of the buttons and switches do.
Skipping over this part is one of the big reasons people have trouble later on.
There is a classic mistake new driving instructors make that I love playing with when I train driving instructors. They tell me to brake to which I answer “I would if I knew where the brake was and how to use it!”.
It’s too late to be telling a pupil that once the car is already moving.
Once you’ve learnt the controls then the next thing is to learn how to move off.
I recommend you read that page and watch the videos on there to get a head start.
What else do I do on my first driving lesson?
If you’re doing a two hour driving lesson then you would normally cover:
- Car controls
- Moving off
- Changing up to 2nd and 3rd gear
- Start learning how to brake
I have heard horror stories of instructors getting pupils to drive home on the first lesson and putting them into situations they just aren’t ready to deal with. I’ve heard about people doing the entire syllabus in one hour!
This is more often a problem when parents teach and forget how hard it is to drive when you’re new to it. They just think it’s easy and are surprised when you go up the kerb or crash into a parked car.
Driving may look easy when others do it but it isn’t.
After your first driving lesson
You should go away from your first driving lesson feeling great.
You should feel as though you have learnt a lot and it maybe doesn’t all make sense but you had fun.
Don’t worry – it takes at least 40 hours for most people to be anywhere near the standard to take a driving test. It’ll take many years more of practise after passing to become a great driver.
Learning to drive is fun and exciting but it does take a while. It’s a marathon not a sprint.
If you are in a rush then consider an intensive driving course where you can cut the time taken to learn down to weeks instead of months.
Now you know what happens on your first driving lesson
This is just to start so be sure to check out my pages on how to drive a car for lots more detail on all elements of learning to drive.
You can even watch me teaching a pupil from start to finish in my 42 hour series of driving lessons called Lucy’s lessons on my YouTube channel.