What you need to know about driving lessons before your new arrival

Preparing for your first driving lesson can be stressful enough, without having to deal with the added pressure of preparing for a new baby too.

By teaming up with Pass ‘N’ Go, we’re here to help you get into the swing of your driving lessons before the big day arrives. Even if you’re still learning to drive when you’re looking after your new-born, reading this guide first will leave you feeling excited about the prospect of parenting and driving!

Have you got your provisional driving licence?

Before you can do anything, you’ll need to get your provisional driving licence; once you have one, you can begin to start the process of learning how to drive.

Don’t try and take the risk by learning how to drive without a provisional licence; if you attempt to do this, you are at risk of a fine of up to 1,000 and three penalty points on your driving licence. Do you really want to take the risk before you’ve even started driving?

Don’t worry, you can apply for this licence any time you like, and it usually doesn’t take long to arrive. We know that you’ll have a lot of baby planning going on, so the last thing you want to think about is when your provisional licence is arriving.

In order to apply for a provisional driving licence, head to the GOV.UK website and make sure that all of the following applies to you:

  1. That you’re a resident in Great Britain; if you’re living in Northern Ireland, then go here.
  2. You should have a valid UK passport, but other forms of identification can be verified by clicking here.
  3. You have a valid National Insurance Number.
  4. You can provide details of the last three addresses where you have been a resident.
  5. You are fully enabled to drive and have not been prevented for any medical reasons.
  6. You have 34 for the application fee.

By picking up a D1 application form from your local Post Office, you can also apply by post.

Take an eye test

Before you’re even allowed to get behind the wheel of a car, a driving instructor will test your eyesight. The Driving Standards Agency will set out these guidelines regarding the minimum requirements in order to drive.

To save time and money rebooking your first driving lesson, take your eye test with plenty of time to spare before your first lesson. Don’t worry, it won’t cost you anything; if you stand 20.5 metres away from a vehicle and try to read the number plate, then this will sufficiently test the quality of your eyesight.

If you struggle to read the number plate, then you’ll probably need to head to an optician and purchase an appropriate pair of glasses or contact lenses in order to complete this eye test during your lesson. Alternatively, you could consider getting laser eye surgery from SharpeVision, for example. That would improve vision significantly, helping people to focus a lot more easily on their driving test.

Make sure you’re familiar with the cockpit drill

The cockpit drill is the part of the driving lesson where the instructor will take you through everything that keeps you safe behind the wheel of a car. You’ll always need to check these features in the form of a six-point check at the start of each lesson, so try and familiarise yourself with these procedures before you begin.

Advising you on the following aspects, find out this information with the aid of a family member’s or friend’s car:

  • Are all doors, including the boot, secured securely?
  • Is the seat in a comfortable position and can you reach the pedals?
  • Can you reach the steering wheel no matter how much you twist it?
  • Is everyone in the car wearing a seatbelt?
  • Are the mirrors in the correct position? You should have a clear view of the rear-view window from the rear-view mirror. Your side mirrors should also allow you to see from the rim of your rear wheel upwards towards the mirror.

Have you read the Highway Code?

We don’t expect you to revise all of this and know every page cover to cover, but you should have a fair understanding of it, as this will help your driving.

If you come across something unknown, or you’re unsure of a road sign when you’re driving, then the Highway Code will help. This takes the pressure off you and will help you relax when you’re on your first few lesson.

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