What to expect on your first driving lesson

Published by Paul Loader ADI on 24/04/2022

Your very first driving lesson is a big occasion! It’s the first step to becoming a safe and independent driver and everything that means for you; whether it’s the freedom to spend more time with friends and family, the key to unlocking your dream career, or realising those dreams of getting your first car. For many young people, it is also part of the passage of becoming an independent adult.

Even though you may be excited, you may also be feeling some nerves and uncertainty – about what exactly will the first lesson be like, and if there is anything you can do to help prepare for the big day?

Driving test pass

What do I need to do before my lesson?

There are a few things that are necessary before you start your driving lessons – and if you’re learning with Paul’s Automatic Driving School, I will explain everything you need to know and have asked you to download the free driving school app that will help you to keep track of all of your automatic driving lessons.

Generally, you must be 17 to start lessons and you must have a provisional driving licence – you can apply for your licence before you turn 17 though, so you can be ready to go as soon as your birthday arrives.

When you book your first lesson with me, I will confirm with you;

  • when your lesson will take place, and where you will be picked up from
  • details of how you can pay for your first lesson
  • where you will be dropped off at the end of your lesson

Is there anything else I can do to prepare?

Make sure you have downloaded and logged into the free driving school app, as this will be used to track absolutely everything about your automatic driving lessons.  You should have been sent the details of how to do this when you arranged your first lesson.

You can start lessons before you’ve passed your theory test, so any preparation for both driving lessons and the theory test will be helpful, starting, for example, with familiarising yourself with the Highway Code.

Remember, learning the laws of the road and memorising road signs isn’t just to tick the box of passing the theory test, it’s practical information that you will need to apply when you’re actually on the road and is essential to becoming a safe driver.  But, you will also learn about road signs during your lessons, so don’t worry if you have not looked at signs and highway code in advance.


What do I need to bring to my lesson?

I ask all my new learners to bring their provisional driving licence photo card with them, without this your lesson will not be allowed to go ahead.  It also helps to know your national insurance number as a licence check may be required.

You also need to bring your payment if it has not already been made on the driving school app, as well as anything you’ll need to be able to feel comfortable for the lesson. This includes sensible shoes for driving. You’ll also need to bring your glasses or wear your contact lenses if you need them to be able to read a number plate at a distance of 20.5 metres.

Also just bear in mind you are going to be in the car for one or two hours, which will of course fly by as you’ll be having so much fun. Make sure you’re fed, watered and feeling rested, and definitely not hungover or under the influence of any alcohol or drugs.


What happens in the lesson?

One of the common questions I get is, will I be able to drive the car in my first lesson, and the answer is yes! The idea is not for you to be parked up at the side of the road for the whole first lesson, looking at paper resources. You’re with me to learn to drive, and the best way to do that is to get you behind the wheel and moving as soon as possible.

Don’t panic though, you won’t expect you to just jump in and set off down the main road straight away. You’ll be guided through the process at a pace that is comfortable for you, and your first driving experience will be away from traffic in a suitable location for getting to grips with the controls.

Your first lesson will include looking at things like the cockpit drill, which covers everything you need to do each time you get in the car before starting the engine, and practice moving off and stopping. Exciting for your first time driving!

One good thing about taking automatic driving lessons is that the car is much easier to drive.  Automatic cars do not stall, they do not generally roll backwards, and there is no gear changing or clutch control to learn.


What if I don’t enjoy the lesson?

Starting anything new can be daunting, maybe even a bit overwhelming. While many people absolutely love their first lesson and can’t wait to keep going, some people inevitably feel a bit wobbly about the experience.

It’s key to take driving one step at a time. No one expects you to know everything on day one – just because you’ve spent years as a passenger or even have a great understanding of how a car works, this doesn’t mean you’re expected to just pick it up in no time.

What eventually becomes second nature starts as a series of awkward manoeuvres in which you will have to keep reminding yourself where each foot and hand should be at any given time, and where your eyes need to be while you’re working all that out. And of course, different people will struggle with different parts of driving; there is no ‘normal’ pupil or way to learn.

If you aren’t looking forward to your next lesson and need a bit of reassurance, don’t be shy about talking to me about how you feel. It is my job to give you advice on carrying everything you need to know to make you a confident and all-round safe driver, which means feeling comfortable and confident whenever you climb in the car.

Not signed up yet?

Ready and raring to go with your first driving lesson? You can get the booking started now or get in touch to find out more. Any questions or worries at all, just let us know!

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