Have you just passed your driving test? If so, it’s likely you’re feeling elated right now. After all, not only have you mastered the Highway Code and successfully demonstrated that you understand roundabouts, but you’ve waited a while to reach this point.
As you get acquainted to life on the roads without the watchful eye of an instructor, it’s worth having an idea of how you’ll settle yourself into being a fully fledged motorist. To help you, here’s a guide to some of the things you need to know before you get behind the wheel.
Get to know the car
Unless you buy an identical model, the car you learned to drive in will be different to the one you drive now that you’ve passed. So, you’ll need to get to grips with it. Take the time to get a feel for your motor. Make sure you know the setup and where the essentials are located, such as the switch for the fog lights.
It’s worth putting the information you learned for your test into practice too. Get to know what’s under the hood so you can do the basics like top up the oil and double check the tyre pressures.
Book regular servicing
While knowing your car is important, there are some jobs that need to be handed over to the experts. You’ll need to do your research and find a local garage so that you can book in for your annual MOT, along with services in-between.
There are jobs that mechanics will need to do, such as brake work and any updates to the clutch, for example.
However, you can prep for the MOT by ensuring things like your windscreen wipers and lights are in working order. It’s also important that you have good quality tyres that are the legal tread of 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre. Investing in a trustworthy brand like Nexen tyres could help.
Have the right paperwork
Your car comes with paperwork, too. You’ll need to keep your driving licence on you while you’re on the roads. You’ll also need to keep the vehicle handbook and V5C logbook safe and have your insurance documents in place.
Insurance is a legal requirement. Therefore, you must have a policy so that you can drive. Take the time to find insurance that suits your setup and make sure you understand what’s covered before you go for your first drive.
As a new driver, it’s likely that you will be very aware of your surroundings. Look out for hazards and don’t rely on other drivers as they might make mistakes.
Also, keep the information you learned in mind while you’re driving. For instance, keep up the habit of holding the steering wheel in the 10 to 2 position and feeding the wheel through your hands. These are good habits to hold onto, even now that you don’t have an instructor to watch you.
Congratulations on passing your test. Now that you have your licence, you can put everything you learned into practice. Take it easy and build your confidence slowly.