Congratulations, you’ve passed your driving test! Now all those nerve wracking moments are behind you, you’re free to drive a car unaccompanied from now on, but it’s important to take everything you’ve learned with you as you go. Here are the top ten tips for when you’ve passed your driving test.
1. You must exchange your pass certificate for your full driving licence right away. The pass certificate is valid for a period of two years and if it is not exchanged, you will have to take your test again. While it may seem that you have time on your side, it’s easy to put the certificate in a drawer and forget so do it right away.
2. Obtain some probationary plates. This is purely optional but there are some advantages to displaying P-plates and letting other motorists know that you are new to driving. Most other drivers will display more patience when you are new to the road.
3. Avoid distractions. One of the biggest causes of accidents is the use of mobile phones while driving. While it may be tempting to use the phone as soon as you’re on your own in the car, remember that it’s illegal for a reason. Avoid using your mobile at all times.
4. Learn to be instinctive. Becoming an instinctive driver will come with time but you can start the learning process right away. Predicting the actions of other drivers can avoid accidents.
5. Advanced tuition. Motorway driving can make anyone nervous and as a new driver, you won’t have any experience of this. Seriously consider some lessons in this respect as well as looking at the advantages to taking the advanced driving test.
6. Keep some basic tools in your car. A basic car tool kit can include jump leads, a jack and a set of spanners and screwdrivers. While it may be prudent to join a motoring organisation for major breakdowns, a few everyday tools can get you home.
7. General maintenance. Take care of the basics by checking oil and water levels and keep an eye out for the petrol gauge. It sounds like a cliché but if you look after the car it will look after you.
8. Drive defensively. If you encounter an aggressive driver just stay out of their way. Getting involved in senseless arguments or ‘racing’ should be avoided by motorists new and old.
9. Stay alert. For new drivers, it can take time to get used to longer car journeys and driving on your own requires levels of concentration that you’ve not experienced before. Make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before any journey and that you take plenty of rest stops at regular intervals when you undertake longer drives.
10. Remember all your lessons. Keep the good habits that you’ve learned from all those driving lessons and from the test itself. They were taught for a reason and when you adopt them as soon as you get behind the wheel on your own, they will help you to stay safe. These lessons are vital and if you keep in mind all that you’ve taken on board when you were learning, you should ensure life-long safe driving.