What to expect in the first driving lesson?

By Viv

You would want your first driving lesson to be a memorable one wouldn’t you? And of course to most of us, it is. Perhaps it might be a nervous first, meeting your driving instructor, getting behind the wheel, listening to instructions as you drive, these might seem a tad bit overwhelming on your first day.

Overcoming any anxiousness might be a good way to begin your first day at driving school. And here are few tips to help you feel more relaxed before you begin.

  • Wear comfortable shoes – Comfy shoes is always a good idea in any stressful situation. Wearing tight and uncomfortable ones could stress you out even more. Loafers, sports shoes, clarks, these might be a better choice to select from. But keep in mind, slippers, loose fitting sandals, flip flops are not recommended. In fact they are considered hazardous footwear when driving.
  • Don’t forget your glasses, if you are a wearer. Having good line of sight is priority when driving. If you do wear glasses, remember to keep them handy and wear them when driving. Also remember to get your eyes tested for your glasses prior to driving. Keeping your vision is important, particularly for those who wear eye glasses.
  • Take along a bottle of water. This will not only keep you hydrated, but will also help you relax when certain stress situations arise.
  • If you do have a provisional licence, do keep it handy. This will be important if you are required to show proof of your driving ability. Most probably your instructor may request for this at your first lesson as proof. Keep in mind that you may not be able to drive if you do not have the licence with you. 
  • Do not smoke or drink any form of liquor prior to your lesson. It will be an immediate disqualifier.

Now you’re ready, what next? Getting behind the wheel may take a little longer. Your driving instructor will take you to a lesser crowded or larger expanse of an area where you are free and relaxed to begin your first lesson and learn the basics. Here are some basics that will be taught.

Introduction to the car controls - Adjusting your car seat, mirrors, wipers, checking the console for any unusual warning displays and even checking the car tyres, in case of reduced air pressure that is visible on any tyre/s.

Learning how to use the clutch (if your car is a manual gear one).

Stopping and starting or moving safely.

Signalling and hazard lighting.

Once you are through the above, the instructor may drive around slowly demonstrating how you should take you first lesson, speed wise. Finally here comes the fun part where you take control!

Don’t be too eager to speed away like a rebel ship in Star Wars, you might be disappointed, but all you will be doing is a blistering 50kmph on your first day. Your instructor will guide you on starting, moving to the lane, taking bends and stopping. In the midst of this, if your car is a manual transmission one, you will learn the primaries of clutch balancing. This is a vital part of driving and the instructor may take a good part of your time to teach you the proper clutch balancing techniques. If you are driving an auto gear model, you will learn how to put the transmission in drive, neutral and reverse modes. Although easier than a manual gear shift car, Auto gear shift also needs a little getting used to. Don’t worry or stressed if you stall the car a one too many times, it is only natural on your first day and will allow you to get used to you car even better. Instructors are aware of this with new drivers and will be patient allowing you to go through the trials of stalling and starting.

There we are, we’ve reached the end of your very first day at driving school. You’ve done well so far and don’t you feel good? The next lesson will be even easier and make you take the wheel confidently. Congratulations on your first day!


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