People claim driving is “like riding a bike, you never forget”, but if you haven’t driven for a couple of years or more after passing your test, it can be hard to remember aspects of driving that will seem simple to everyday drivers.
You know better than anyone that you can’t avoid driving forever; it’s all about regaining your confidence on the road. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you get back on the road.
Ease yourself into driving
Don’t dive in at the deep end, take your time when getting back into driving; the slower you take it, the faster your confidence will build. Venture out onto the road one step at a time. One great way to do this is to set yourself a goal to drive every day for 15 minutes, to build your confidence up.
Practise driving in a quiet residential area or a local car park, to take the pressure off your first time back in a car and make sure you avoid rush hour, as this may be too stressful to handle for your first time back behind the wheel.
Drive with a purpose
It’s all well and good practising your driving every day, but if you don’t have a purpose or a destination to get to, you won’t recognise the benefits that driving brings. If you haven’t got a set destination to reach, you will wind up viewing driving like a chore, or like your previous driving lessons.
So, be proactive with your approach to driving. Drive to the supermarket, the gym or even to a secluded destination for a long scenic walk; this will make you realise the benefits of driving, which will then encourage you to stick at it.
Invest in some refresher lessons
As much as you need to be confident on your own in a car, if you feel anxious about getting behind the wheel after time away from it, don’t be afraid to book a couple of refresher lessons.
Yes, it involves spending money, but signing yourself up for refresher lessons will definitely improve your confidence on the road, making it worth every penny. What’s great about refresher lessons is you’ve already passed your test, so you don’t have to drive according to a test route. Instead, you have the power to drive to areas that you would visit on a day-to-day basis.
Refresher lessons enable you to have a lot more control and freedom; you have the opportunity to choose what areas of driving you can focus on, whether it’s lane changing, approaching junctions or practising a parallel park.
Insure yourself on someone else’s car
If you’re not ready to drive alone just yet, get insured as a named driver on a member of your family’s/friend’s car. This will not only boost your confidence but also ease you into what can be a daunting experience.
Try out the pass plus course
Main roads seem scary enough after taking a break from driving, let alone braving the motorway. The pass plus course is a great way to build up your confidence when changing lanes and facing heavy traffic at high speeds on the motorway.
Taking the pass plus course can also trim down your car insurance costs; if you have completed the course, you have proven to your instructor that you are a safe driver on busy motorway roads.
Take the plunge
When you’re feeling confident enough to drive alone, seize the opportunity and take a drive to a quiet area. Getting used to being on your own in the driver’s seat can be one of the key reasons why you don’t feel comfortable with driving straight away, which is only natural if you’ve not driven for months/years after passing your test. Assign yourself 10 minutes a day to go out driving on your own, so that you gradually build up the confidence to drive on longer journeys, without relying on someone else to help you.
Practise makes perfect
The more you practise, the less intimidating driving becomes; you need to be comfortable with your surroundings and feel ready to approach busier roads. However, getting back on the road doesn’t mean you have to drive for hours on end, it’s more about taking shorter journeys more frequently.
This should not be constructed as advice and is guidance only.