I got my UK driving licence back in 2004, so I’ve been driving for a while. My Niece is about to start driving lessons, and was asking me what she should know. So with that in mind, I have decided to put together a list of five things all new drivers should know. This list is just the starting point of course, but it’s worth reading, nonetheless.
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Five Things All New Drivers Should Know
When you pass your driving test in the UK, you’ve learnt all of the theory side of things, and proven you can drive a car safely. Next, you have to master maintaining a car safely, and ensuring it’s, “Road legal” too. There’s also ways to reduce the cost of your car insurance, so I’ll discuss this as well.
1). Price Up The Insurance For Potential Cars Before Test Driving
I was 20 years old when I passed my test. Up until that point, I had been convinced I was getting a used, yellow Fiat Seicento. You remember the advert too, right?
I had set my heart on that car in 1998, so when I FINALLY passed my test in 2004… I set about finding a used one, locally. When I found one from 1999, which was under £1000, I was determined it would be mine… Until I did an insurance quote online, and it came back at over £5000 per year.
It turned out this car was not only super easy to break into, but it also had an awful safety rating. So it would be written off after the smallest of accidents. KFB Law have more info on what to do in the event of an accident.
In the end, I got an 18 month old Vauxhall Corsa for £5400, which cost £1200 to insure for my first year.
2). Pass Plus
Pass Plus is like an advanced driving lesson. It’s 6 hours long and can only be completed once you’ve passed your practical driving test. The idea is it will introduce you to motorway driving, night time driving and more.
The course can significantly reduce the cost of your car insurance in your first year, so it’s a good investment. I’d definitely say this qualifies as worthy of being included in my five things all new drivers should know list.
3). What To Keep In The Car
Before I got my first car, the only thing I thought about keeping in there was my CD collection. I’m showing my age here again, aren’t I? My glove box was always crammed with CD’s. When I actually got my first car, my Dad gave me several things which he said I must ALWAYS keep in the car. These were: A pen, a small notepad, a small first aid kit, some baby wipes and a large bottle of water.
The pen and notepad were so I could always note down car details in the event of an accident. Times have changed now, and my dash cam does that job. The pen has helped me out when I’ve needed to write many last minute birthday cards out though… So it’s worth keeping one in the car!
The water was so I could top up the radiator or screen wash in an emergency. Additionally, the wipes were to clean up any accidents and the first aid kit speaks for itself, really. I still carry all of these.
4). Familiarise Yourself With The Engine
It’s really important you know where to top up the water, anti freeze and screen wash in your car. Additionally, checking the oil and knowing which type of fuel your car requires are both essential in my book. Take time to work out where the bonnet release lever is as soon as you get the car too… The last thing you want is to be trying to work it out when your car is overheating by the side of the road.
5). Change A Tyre
A lot of newer cars don’t come with a spare tyre now. This, in my opinion is not great. I’ll always pay for one to be included, wherever I can. Make sure you know how to jack up your car, remove a wheel and replace it with the spare as soon as you get a car. This is one of those jobs which is easy to do yourself, to avoid the expensive rescue truck costs.
Finally, if this post has been useful, check out this post on avoiding the commute.