Getting behind the wheel of a car for the first time can be a scary experience. Not only are you suddenly in control of a powerful vehicle, but you also need to look out for hazards, be aware of other road users and remember the Highway Code – it’s no wonder that learning to drive is a tiring experience, and young drivers are at a higher risk of accidents.
It’s perfectly possible to be a technically competent driver, but confidence takes time to build on the road after you’ve passed your driving test. Unfortunately, lack of confidence can mean that you don’t get the most out of the freedom of having your licence. It can also increase the possibility of having an accident through indecision or unsafe driving practices in particularly nerve wracking situations.
In this post, we look at three ways to help you build your confidence and enjoy being behind the wheel.
Get support from experienced drivers
Before you pass your test, any driving that you do in your own car will need to be supervised by an experienced driver. Getting out on the road as much as you can outside of your lessons will help increase your confidence as you get used to completing manoeuvres and navigating traffic. But the same is true post passing your test – there’s no reason to force yourself to drive alone simply because you have your licence.
Whoever you choose to accompany you, make sure they’re calm, confident and will be able to help you if you’re uncertain. They should respect the atmosphere you prefer to have in the car, whether that’s silence or quiet talking, and should make you feel comfortable, rather than judging if something doesn’t quite go to plan.
Consider taking more lessons in your own car
Driving instructors tend to have a newer model of car than most learner drivers can afford. Having parking sensors, automatic mirrors and a smooth clutch is helpful when you’re learning, but it can make it harder to get into an older car that requires a little more coaxing to get moving. Whether it’s before or after you pass your test, having a few lessons in your own car can make you more confident when you set off on your own.
Additionally, driving instructors tend to have manual, petrol cars. If you’re going to be driving an electric vehicle (EV), it can feel different to a petrol vehicle, especially as they tend to be automatic. You’ll also need to be aware that many people rely on listening out for cars when crossing the road, but EVs are silent, so you’ll have to keep an even closer eye on pedestrians. Taking lessons in your own EV can help you get used to these adjustments under the supervision of a professional.
It can also be helpful to take some motorway lessons after you have your licence. Having to navigate busy traffic and three lanes can come as a shock to new drivers, so tackling it with a qualified instructor can boost your confidence.
Don’t get stuck in a routine
If you’re a nervous driver, the chances are that you’ve learnt the specific routes you need for work or school, and are reluctant to vary your routine. Whilst sticking to a specific route can be helpful at first, over time, you may feel panicked if you need to drive to a new place, or if your chosen road is closed. Instead, try to vary the way you drive to your regular locations, so that you get used to a range of junctions, lights, roundabouts and neighbourhoods. That way, you’ll feel more confident across multiple routes.
The road to confidence
There are a variety of ways you can build your confidence as a driver – none will help overnight, but over time you should be able to build up your experience and feel happier on the road.
Hire an electric vehicle from EVision
Are you adapting to driving an electric vehicle as your first car, or even making the switch as an experienced driver? Hiring one of the many electric vehicles we have for hire could expand your experience and confidence on the road.
For the majority of our vehicles we do require drivers to be over 21 and have held a driving licence for at least 3 years minimum. For the more luxury vehicles, the age requirement is 30 and the driver must have held a driving licence for more than 5 years. More information can be found in our FAQs.