Top Tips For Driving Alone For The First Time


For young drivers, setting off behind the wheel of a car on their own for the first time can feel daunting. You’ve passed your test, are the proud owner of a driving license, and are eager to start driving solo. But, of course, like anything you do for the first time, you may feel nervous about driving alone.

In this article, we share our top tips to get you started when driving on your own, as well as what you shouldn’t do to keep you and others safe on the road.

Driving with an instructor vs driving alone

After the many driving lessons with your instructor, it will probably feel very strange not to have them next to you in the car after you have passed your driving test.

Making a car journey on your own for the first time will feel very different. You will be in charge of your car and all the decisions when driving.

Before you set off, take some deep breaths and make sure that you feel calm. Give yourself extra time to make your journey and make sure that you have checked your route beforehand, to reduce stress or anxiety. Finally, believe in yourself and your driving skills. After all, you passed your test and you do know how to drive. Your confidence will grow with each journey you make.

Our top tips to get you started (The Do’s)

Here are our tips when your first start driving alone:

Check the state of the car – tyres, side mirrors etc  

Walk around your car and check your front and back tyres. Do any look flat? If so, make sure to stop at a petrol station to check them and inflate if necessary.

Sit in your car and adjust your seat, making sure that you can comfortably reach the steering wheel and pedals. Can you see in both your side mirrors and rear view mirror without straining? If not, alter them to make sure that you can.

Get comfortable, be calm

Wear comfortable, flat shoes and wait until you feel calm and confident before setting off on your journey. It’s a good idea to leave the radio off initially, so as to avoid any distractions.

P Plates 

Although not a legal requirement, using your P plates will make other drivers aware that you are a new driver. They will hopefully be more considerate, which in turn may reduce your chances of an accident.

Off-peak hours

Pick off-peak times to practise your first few solo journeys. Traffic will be lighter and you can drive without feeling under pressure. Driving in rush hour can be stressful.

Make many short drives

Make short journeys to start with, in areas that you are familiar with. Not only will this build your confidence, but you also won’t get lost and end up in an unfamiliar area.

The Don’ts

Don’t bring your friends along 

Don’t use the highways yet

Don’t use your phone

My advice to first-time drivers

Even after you have passed your test you can never have too much practice. At Totally Driving we are committed to supporting students, even after they have passed their test. We offer lessons for nervous driving lessons in Melbourne as well as a Pass Plus course which focuses on motorway driving, city driving and country lane driving. Contact us to find out more.

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