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3 essential things to think about before learning to drive

Everyone's a bit nervous about learning to drive, but it can be one of the most valuable skills you learn in life. For some people, driving comes naturally. But for others it's a stressful and time-consuming experience. So what can you do to make the process as easy, safe and, perhaps more importantly, cost-effective as possible?

1. Cost

Learning to drive

It's important not to cut corners when learning to drive. If you're using your own car to practice in you must make sure you've got the right insurance. If you get specialist learner driver cover, you could be entitled to a discount on a full policy once you've passed your test. Other ways to keep costs down include making sure you're getting the most out of every driving lesson you have and boosting your driving experience by practising with a friend or family member. Just make sure they've been driving for at least 3 years and are over 21. If you haven't taken out your own insurance, remember to get them to add you as a named driver on their policy.

2. Get the right instructor

Before getting in the driver's seat, it's a good idea to do a bit of research before choosing a driving instructor. The average person will need around 45 hours of driving lessons, so it's important you get on well with whoever is teaching you. Which? Local have a handy guide on the type of things to look out for. Alternatively, you can find a list of driving instructors approved by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). Word of mouth is also a great way to choose, so make sure to chat to any friends or family that have recently passed their test.

3. Learn the theory

There is a charge for taking the theory test, so you'll want to give yourself the best chance of passing first time. The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) recommends you do at least 20 hours revision to be fully prepared. Get yourself a copy of the Highway Code, but also check online — there are plenty of free online resources to help you with the hazard perception test and theory test. You can even take a mock theory test to get you used to the types of questions you'll be asked. Remember that everybody learns at different rates, so don't be upset if you don't pass your test first time. Get as much feedback as you can from the examiner, so you and your instructor can work on any mistakes you have made. The more practice you get, the better driver you will become.

Did you know?

  • On average young car drivers drive fewer miles than drivers aged 25 and over but drive more at night time.
  • Young people aged between 17 and 24 account for around 7 percent of all full car driving licence holders in Great Britain.

Source: Facts on Young Car Drivers — gov.uk

Once you've passed your test

Congratulations, once you've got insurance the open road awaits you! New drivers can find it difficult to find cheap car insurance, because statistically you're a higher risk for insurers. You might want to consider a telematics policy, where your premiums are based on how safely you drive. You could also take an advanced driving course, such as the Pass Plus.

New driver insurance

At Hastings Direct, we try to keep insurance costs as low as possible for new drivers, particularly if you're in the 17-25 year old age bracket. You can choose from our range of policies, including our telematics product SmartMiles.

Get a quote today and see how much you could save.

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