First Driving Lesson.

At a first driving lesson, there's often a bit of excitement, but with a feeling of slight apprehension or nervousness. That's just fear of the unknown. And that's normal for new learner drivers. A car's a big machine that has the potential to cause a lot of impact damage. But, by taking driving lessons, you're getting proper training in how to drive the machine safely, skillfully and competently, and all Approved Driving Instructors are trained to ensure that you are safe whilst you learn.

At Antonine Driving School our aim is to make you feel safe and comfortable, and to provide a relaxed, but professional, training environnment for you to learn in.

The First Driving Lesson

When you have your first driving lesson you will need to bring your valid, signed, provisional driving licence with you. Our instructor will check it over, and then check your eyesight by asking you to read a number plate from the required distance. He/she will check that your footwear is suitable for driving, and will explain the benefits of suitable footwear (generally comfortable, flat shoes) when you are driving, both during your lessons and after you've passed your test. He/she will then issue you with a current copy of the Highway Code. You'll then be driven by your instructor to a quiet area with a low traffic volume.

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If a learner driver has never driven before, the first driving lesson will involve:

  • learning about the main controls in the car and how to use them properly.
  • how to enter and exit the car safely.
  • the importance of using mirrors.
  • starting the car.
  • moving off and stopping safely.

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    You'll learn how to enter the car safely and get into the correct position for you to drive (this is known as "the cockpit drill"). You'll become familiar with each of the car's main controls and how to operate them. You'll also learn about the driving mirrors (your best friend in the car): you'll learn how they can help you, and the importance of using them correctly. Before you set off, you'll be taught about the safety precautions before starting a car and how to move off safely from the side of the road, and then how to stop the car safely.

    Most new learners are very nervous at the point when they first move away from the kerb and are driving for the very first time. That's quite normal. It will seem like you're going really fast, and that you're going to run out of road before you can stop. But it's okay. You'll actually only travel about 50 metres or so, at a speed of about 10-15 mph. It'll just seem really fast because being in the driving seat is a new visual perspective.

    During the rest of your first driving lesson, you'll move off from the side of the road safely, and stop safely several times until you are feeling a little more comfortable with the controls of the car. We'll talk to you about what makes one place a safe place to stop, and another unsafe. Then you'll probably do a few left hand turns, where you might meet other traffic.

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    In your first driving lesson you will learn the fundamental rules of the car, things that every licenced driver does so automatically that it's natural to them. They're really important for your safety. But, as well as that, not doing them can get you minor errors in your driving test, or even cause you to fail before you even set off on the test.

    At the end of the first lesson your instructor will swap seating positions with you and drive you back home.

    Initially, with pupils who have never driven before, the driving instructor may require to drive the learner to a location suitable for lessons and then drive them home again at the end of the lesson. This will only be for a short period, until the pupil gains enough confidence and skill to be able to drive away from their own street at the beginning of the driving lesson, and drive back home at the end of the lesson. With Antonine, the time scale for this varies, and depends on both pupil ability and the location of the learner's residence. Some areas have far more difficult junctions to enter and exit than others, and therefore take longer for learners to be able to manage safely.

    But it'll be no time before you will be doing it for yourself.

    The first few lessons are very intense, because there's so much to remember: safety; handbrake; mirrors; indicators; pedals and other traffic. But before you know it, you'll be driving away form your house and back home, each lesson involving just a bit more and progressing, bit by bit, to dealing with roundabouts, junctions, crossroads and all manner of roads. You can only have a first driving lesson once. Each lesson after that, you've got more knowledge than you had in the lesson before.

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    It may not seem like it, but all of this is a lot to take in initially and the first few lessons will seem to fly by. But you'll be surprised how quickly you'll pick it all up. Your instructor will always give a detailed explanation of what's going to be learned in each lesson and will talk you through every stage of practice in the beginning. Once you begin to learn each element your instructor will begin to give you less and less talk-through until, eventually, you'll be doing it for yourself.

    Our next page, the Lesson Format page, explains how our lessons are generally structured, and how our teaching is delivered. This should give you a clearer idea of how your driving skills will develop over the course of your lessons.

    We hope this page has the information that you were looking for, and inspires you to learn to drive, safely, with a driving school.

    If you have an enquiry, or if you are interested in booking driving lessons with Antonine Driving School, please contact us . We'll be glad to help.

    Antonine Driving School , for a DSA Approved Driving Instructor.

    Please click on the DSA logo below to see the DSA's advice on 'choosing a driving instructor'.

    choosing a driving instructor

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