Ok theory test, check! Eye test, check! Provisional license, check! Now to get on the road! It’s time to get started on your driving lessons and prepare for your full license test. In Ireland, you must complete 12 lessons with an EDI-approved driving instructor before your full test.
We’ve gathered 10 of the top tips from driving instructors to help prepare for learning to drive. Consider these tips and work closely with your instructor to work towards passing your driving test the first time around.
- Keep hold of that driver theory test book
You might be ready to throw your theory test book in the green bin as soon as you walk out of that test center but wait, you still have one more test to go! During your full-license test you will most likely be asked about some rules of the road; “what does that road sign mean?” “what does that light mean?” etc. It’s also important to remember that the driver theory knowledge and information is not just for the test, it’s needed for everyday driving.
- Watch and learn
I’m sure you’ve sat in a car many times before gazing out the window or annoying your fellow passengers with your radio karaoke. Now it’s time to start paying attention to your driver! Check out their technique, ask questions, and take a look at the car’s key parts. Knowing your way around before starting your lessons can make things easier to understand when your instructor explains how to drive a car.
- Check yourself
Well….check your mirrors. This is especially important if you share your car with someone else, you need to adjust your mirrors to suit your line of vision every time you get into your car. You should be able to see your full rear window in the rear-view mirror and your side-view mirrors need to be positioned correctly for blind spots. Ideally, your own car should be out of view in your side-view mirrors, this will give you a better view of any cars approaching from behind.
- Get in the know
Knowing how to change a tyre is crucial for when you’re driving on your own, there won’t always be someone around to help, and roadside assistance is all well and good until you’re waiting on a dark, cold, hard shoulder for them to arrive. Always keep a regulation-standard spare tyre in your car and know how to use it. Ask someone who knows how to show you how it’s done or watch a tutorial online.
- Get the lay of the land
At the beginning of your driving journey pick a route that you are comfortable with and stick to it for a couple of weeks. Use this route to practice some of the trickier parts of driving such as 3-point turns, reversing, and hill starts. You’re already concentrating enough on honing your new skill, you don’t need the added pressure of trying to figure out where on earth you are!
- Live life in the slow lane
The faster your speed, the less control you have. When learning to drive, it’s important to take things slow and give yourself plenty of time to stop, start, turn, and change lanes, etc. Don’t allow other drivers or friends to pressure you into driving faster when you are not ready. As you become more comfortable driving, you will naturally begin to drive at the speed limits, safely.
- Strap in
We all have lingering PTSD from the road safety ads over the years, Body to Body will never sound the same again, you can probably still hear the Garda’s voice talking into his walkie “it was the one without the seatbelt did the damage.” Don’t take any risks – always wear your seatbelt. Get into the habit of checking that you and any passengers in your car have the seatbelts securely fastened before taking off. Don’t be embarrassed to remind someone to put their seatbelt on, it’s too important.
- Don’t drive alone
The law for provisional drivers in Ireland states that you must always have a fully licensed driver travel in the passenger seat with you and they need to have held their driving license for a minimum of 2 years. They don’t play around with the penalties for this either, your car will be confiscated by the Gardaí, this alone comes with a nasty fine and a release fee, not to mention racking up your penalty points. Having an experienced driver with you at all times decreases your risk of having an accident and ensures that someone is there to help and guide you.
- Always be prepared
You know what they say, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. You never know what could be right around the corner, whether it’s an accident or some sort of auto malfunction. To avoid being stranded at night or in the cold, we recommend stocking your car boot with these essentials should you have a breakdown or a puncture:
- Inflated spare tire, jack, and lug wrench
- Hazard triangle
- First aid kit
- Warm blanket
- Hi-Vis Vest
- Antifreeze / Coolant
- Car fire extinguisher
- Duct tape
- Book your test
Once you have your provisional for 6 months and completed 12 EDI lessons you can apply for your driving test. More often than not, there can be at least a 6-week waiting time for the test. It’s best to book your test as soon as you feel ready so that the rules of the road and your lessons are fresh in your memory. It also gives you less time to pick up bad driving habits that could cost you your test.
Wherever you’re at on your driving journey make sure you are protected with a comprehensive car insurance policy. At Cover in a Click, we have a dedicated team specializing in car insurance for learner drivers. Get in touch for a quote!