Before you get behind the steering wheel for the first time, you will have a mixture of nerves and excitement. It is totally normal to feel nervous and we would be more shocked if you felt no nerves before and on your first lesson. The reassuring thing is that the nerves should be short lived and you'll feel at ease soon enough.
So you're about to meet someone you've likely not met before, your driving instructor. You may not realise or know that your driving instructor is a highly trained individual. To become a driving instructor we have to:
Get an enhanced DBS check
Apply to the DVSA registrar to undertake training
Pass an enhanced Theory Test
Pass an Advanced DVSA Driving Test
Pass the DVSA instructional test
Apply to become a DVSA Approved Driving Instructor
Be tested every 4 years by a Senior DVSA Examiner
Re-Apply to be a DVSA Approved Driving Instructor every 4 years
The process to become a DVSA Approved Driving Instructor can take around 2 years to complete and involves hundreds of hours of training.
So, the person your about to meet for the first time, is a highly trained professional!
So its time for your first lesson. Your instructor will arrive at the time you've booked and will great you. Its more than likely that your instructor will drive to a suitable place for your first lesson. During the drive, they will ask questions and get to know you.
Once your at the training location, you'll swap sides with your instructor and the lesson will begin.
At this stage, you will be feeling nervous. Your nerves will be driven by the unknown. It is natural to feel nervous about something you know nothing about and for this reason, we will not get you driving the car until you know more about the car. We have found that a detailed first lesson (controls lesson), allows the student to feel more at ease because they know more about the car. If we were very vague and just told you what to do without explaining it, you may feel excited to be moving a car, but the nerves will never truly go until it has been explained in a manner that allows you to fully understand it. We have also found that a detailed controls lesson normally speeds up the learning process.
So what happens?
Driving Licence check
The Cockpit Drill (Doors, Seat, Steering Wheel, Seatbelt, Mirrors) - This is one of the most important things you'll do when you first get in a car!
Mirrors and move off observations - A detailed explanation
Foot controls - A detailed and mechanical explanation of how they work and what they do.
Hand Controls - A full and detailed explanation of how all controls work including lights, wipers and safety features.
The moving off routine (Prepare, Observe, Move).
A short drive on the road you are on
The above should take around 1hr 45mins to 2 hours to complete as there is a lot of detail. Your 2nd lesson will be all about moving and using the detailed knowledge you learnt on your first lesson.
The aim of the first lesson is to make you feel at ease with a good understanding of the car and its mechanics.