What will I do on my first driving lesson?
The first lesson is always a little daunting but don’t worry, we won’t be trying to join a dual carriageway just yet 🙂
On your first lesson, that will last 2 hours, I’ll drive you somewhere nice and quiet (we don’t want the curtain twitchers in your neighbourhood to watch you drive, do we?) and park up. We need to spend the first 30 to 45 minutes going over what we call the cockpit drill, all the controls & instruments. The cockpit drill is what you need to do every time you get into a vehicle where you weren’t the last driver. It’s simply setting up things like the seat, the mirrors etc. The controls and instruments include all the pedals, the gear lever, the handbrake and all that side of things, just so you know what they all do. We’ll also cover the correct way of turning the steering wheel so you don’t get in a muddle with your hands.
After that we’ll talk about moving off and stopping, and then changing gears. We’ll find out what this thing everyone else is scared of called Stalling actually is and what it feels like, even before you get the car moving. That way, if (well, when) you stall the car you’ll recognise it and know how to deal with it properly.
The remainder of the first lesson, usually about an hour, you can actually drive a little. I usually take my first time pupils on a quiet country road for a few miles or perhaps a housing estate. You’ll learn how to change up and down the gears and start to recognise how the car sounds and feels when it’s telling you it needs to be in a different gear. You’ll also learn how the steering feels and how much you need to turn it to go around the bends.
Most new drivers are surprised that the oncoming traffic feels really close to them because until now they’ve been used to sitting in the passenger seat. Consequently, you might find me gently steering you to the right so you don’t put my side of the car onto the path 🙂
Don’t forget that although I can stop the car with my own brake and help you with the clutch pedal, it will be you who is driving the car, not me. After all, that’s what you want to learn how to do. With practice you’ll soon be more relaxed and find its nowhere near as difficult or scary as you thought it would be.
Depending on where you live and how well you get on, we might even think about you driving home but that’s by no means essential on your first lesson. We’ll stop somewhere, review how it went and what you’ve learnt before I drive you home. What we do on the next lesson largely depends on how you got on with the first, but usually we will cover what I affectionately call junctions 101.
If you want to know what that entails, you’d better get in touch and arrange that first lesson. I look forward to meeting you.