Learning to drive is one of the defining moments in our lives. It’s the moment that we suddenly have access to the world. No longer are we restricted by train schedules, bus services and convincing friends and family they do want to give us a lift. You can go wherever you want, with the ocean being the only borders you now know. (And even then, ferries are a thing.)
Yet for some people, it never quite happens. You may love cars, love the noise, the TV programmes, the aesthetics – but you can’t drive. Cost is usually a huge factor in this, and a swathe of the population have to go without knowing the freedom that driving can bring.
If you have decided now is the time to fix that, then your impatience is likely palpable. You’re already dreaming of long, winding roads and glorious track days. It’s time to get motoring. So if you’re in a rush, below, we explore a few ideas to get yourself on the road as quickly as possible.
- Every journey is a chance to learn.
If you’re on a bus or being driven by someone else, no slacking off and reading your phone. Open your eyes and look at how the road works, think about the route you would take and how you would handle issues. Half of learning to drive is about managing the roads as much as it is the car, so give yourself a thorough grounding in it at every chance you get. You can even do it as a pedestrian. If you cross over at a crossing, ask yourself if it’s a pelican or a toucan. The whole road system is now your active learning system.
- Group together your lessons.
One of the quickest ways to forget something is to space it apart. We learn by repeating motions; think about the basics like tying your shoelaces. You’re not shown how to do it and then immediately get it; the more you repeat, the easier it becomes. One way to shortcut learning to drive is to leave as little time as possible between lessons. Keep it all fresh in your mind either by cluster-booking classes or going through an intensive driving school. With less time needed to refresh what’s already been learnt, you can keep progressing.
- Begin studying the theory and engine management immediately.
Yes, immediately. Finish up this article (obviously) and then go and look at engine diagrams. Read the Highway Code and do practice tests online. This information is dense and unpleasant, and the more you revise the easier it will be. Not only will it help get you through your Theory Test as quickly as possible, but you can also applying it to the first two point as well.
On a final note, it’s worth saying that you may have to be patient. Some people take longer to learn to drive and you may be one of them. If, however, you are willing to put in the effort and keep your mind on the prize, you’ll be on the road before you know it.