Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Being A First Time Driver

Do you remember your first time? Your first time driving that is! I must admit it was a few years ago now for me, but I still remember the excitement of passing my test and then the minefield of buying a car, getting insurance, driving on the motorway for the first time and all the rest.




My first car was a Ford Fiesta. I saved up for it for about 18 months and it cost me £1000. I loved my little car.   Of course, there has been the odd bump along the way, I even skidded on ice and drove my car into a hedge, I was lucky that the car didn't turn over! My next car was a Peugeot 205. I only had it three months and it was stolen. That was my first heartbreak. Not a boy.

Over the years I have learnt some things about driving, like seriously don't skid on ice. Today on my blog I am sharing some tips on how to make your life easier as a first-time driver, from someone who has been there.

Passing your test



Preparation is key.  Get a driving instructor that you feel confident with, perhaps ask around family and friends for a recommendation, but if you don't feel comfortable with them, don't be afraid to change. I changed mine.

Before you start driving ensure you have an up-to-date eye test and that you wear glasses or contact lenses if need be, then practice, practice, practice. Practice driving and also the theory paper so you are ready to pass your test.  

If you don't pass the first time, it's not the end of the world, have some more practice and apply for your test again. If you leave it too long you may lose confidence.

Buying your first car




Buying and running a car is expensive. There is car tax, MOT and servicing, petrol costs and car insurance to consider. You can, however, do some things to keep costs down. 

Firstly buy a car that is economical to run which is especially important if you are driving a lot of miles. You may need to balance the comfort of a slightly bigger car with the economy of a smaller car. 

Swot up on car tax and buy a car in a low car tax band to save money.  If you are looking for cheap petrol, supermarkets are often the best, but to take the guesswork out of it, download the Petrol Prices app to compare prices locally.

Insurance




Car insurance for a first-time driver can be expensive but there are some ways to bring the cost down.

Firstly, there are three different types of car insurance - third party only, third party fire and theft, and fully comprehensive and you need to understand the differences. Then shop around online to get the best rates. Adding a second responsible driver, with more experience may cut the cost. 


Some sites like Aviva will have a driving app that will monitor your driving skills and help you save money on your insurance. It also comes with an integrated dash cam to record any incidents so this can help support you in a legal claim too. Genius!

Rules of the road




Of course, when you have passed your test sometimes bad habits kick in. 

Only a fool breaks the 2-second rule - if you are of a certain age you may remember this advert, which means keep 2 seconds between you and the driver in front. Especially important when driving on the motorway. Also in wet weather conditions, your stopping distance will be further, so leave more braking distance. 

Ignore your phone!  Do not be tempted to answer it when driving. It's illegal to use your phone whilst driving and the sound of it will distract you so keep it on silent when driving. The only time I would look at my phone is if I am using it as a Sat Nav. It can be useful in that circumstance.

You can get 'P' plates to make others aware you are a new driver and it may help them become more considerate. 

You can have special lessons to help with your confidence driving on the motorway and if you are nervous having calming music playing quietly may help - its worth a try. As you gain experience you will become more confident and start to enjoy driving. 

Drive with consideration of others on the road and you won't go far wrong. Enjoy being a first-time driver!

*PR collaboration with Aviva


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9 comments

  1. Great tips - both my daughters are old enough to drive now so we are looking at lessons. My car warns me when I am less than 2 seconds behind the car infront! Kaz

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    1. That's brilliant, I didn't know cars could do that Kaz.

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  2. I was quite lucky with my first car as it was passed on to me by a grandparent but I remember how amazing the feeling was passing my test x

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  3. It is so tricky when you are a first time driver. I still remember as if it was today when I passed my test and got my first car.

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  4. Being a first time driver is so exciting yet so daunting at the same time! So much to consider. That app from Aviva sounds great

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  5. Ahh, I am 26 and still can't drive. It's a real pain, but I'm looking into being able to get lessons in the next year or so hopefully!

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  6. I passed my test a year ago, I can’t believe it! I am yet to get a car though :( it’s so important to not look at your phone whilst you drive, so stupid :( x

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