Private practicing can be a great way for learner drivers to gain essential experience. It allows you to practice in your own time with another qualified driver and build upon the knowledge you are getting from your driving instructor (ADI).
Like with any other skill the more practice you get the better you will be but its important to remember that private practice is not a substitute for professionally instructed driving lessons. If you feel comfortable, you can practice things you have learnt in your driving lessons but if you’re in doubt ask your ADI (driving instructor) what you can practice to improve your driving.
When to start to practice driving?
In some cases it can be best for new drivers to be introduced to driving by a professional driving instructor. In order to get the most from your private sessions you should wait until you (and who ever your driving with) are comfortable behind the wheel. Often new drivers make mistakes which could be potentially dangerous if they are not dealt with correctly. Trained driving instructors can spot these situations and have the advantage of dual controls to help you out.
Everyone learns at a different rate so there is no “rule” on when you can start your private driving but make sure that you and whoever will be driving with you is comfortable and that you comply with any laws.
Planning your route
Planning is essential, when you’re learning to drive it can feel like there are so many things you need to think about so choosing a good route should be done before you leave the house. You should plan a suitable route so that you are prepared and you know exactly where you need to go.
If you know your local area you could get involved in the route planning stage. Remember that learner drivers are NOT allowed on motorways and that your route should reflect the learners ability. Don’t drive in peak traffic times or choose difficult routes.
Initially stay close to home, short drives are good to build up a relationship between you, the learner and the car.
Concentration is key
Driving can be safe and fun but to make sure you stay safe on the roads you should always be in the right frame of mind. Don’t drive if your tired or angry and avoid driving with distractions such as young children or loud music.
Bad Driving Habits
If you are taking a learner driver out for practice ensure that you are aware of the most recent regulations and that your driving is up to scratch. Remember that you may have experience but it’s important to teach learner drivers how to drive properly. Learner drivers can pick up many bad habits from watching other drivers so it’s vital that you set a good example and give the learner feedback if you see bad habits developing. For information read out guide on Common bad driving habits