Driving Lessons During Coronavirus: 8 Tips For Learner Drivers< Back to blog
Are you about to return to your driving lessons following the coronavirus lockdown? Fear not, because we have 13 tips to help make sure you stay safe and pass your practical test in no time.
1. Speak to your instructor about safety measures
It may seem weird going back to some normality after the period of lockdown because of the coronavirus, but that’s understandable. You may even be a little anxious about being in a car with someone other than a close family member.
So, you should put your mind at ease by speaking to your driving instructor before your first return lesson about what you can expect. This way you can be fully prepared on the day and can focus on learning to drive, picking up where you left off.
All driving instructors have received strict instructions from the government about what precautions they should take to keep students safe.
- Thoroughly cleaning cars before and after each lesson: particular focus for areas to clean are touch points, including door handles, steering wheel and gear knob.
- Wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment): face masks and protective gloves which can be thrown away and renewed.
- Wearing clothing that covers arms and legs.
- Keeping windows down during lessons: keeping the car naturally ventilated reduces the chance of any germs spreading through breathing.
- Washing hands before and after lessons: students will also be asked to do this and wear a face mask while driving.
2. Take a face mask to all your driving lessons
As part of the guidelines for driving instructors resuming lessons following the easing of coronavirus restrictions, students will be required to wear a face mask during each driving lesson.
If you haven’t already, make sure that you buy a face mask and remember to take it with you on each lesson you have. Otherwise an instructor will be well within their rights to refuse you access to the car and go as far as cancelling your driving lesson if you can’t get hold of a mask.
3. Wash your hands before and after each lesson
Washing your hands before you get into your driving instructor’s car and after you’ve finished a lesson is another layer of protection which reduces the chance of bacteria spreading onto surfaces in the vehicle.
It’s likely that your driving instructor will already have some sanitiser to hand for you to use, but it’s worth taking your own just in case.
4. Read up on your driving theory
It’s easy to get carried away with talking about how to keep up cleanliness standards during driving lessons, but forget the whole reason you’re it in the first place – to pass your test!
After months without a proper lesson with a qualified instructor, the chances are that you may have picked up some bad habits. Alternatively, you could have gaps in your knowledge from having not driven in a controlled environment for some time.
One way you can easily get back into the swing of things behind the wheel is by revisiting your driving theory sources. For example, The Highway Code is free to access online and offers good explanations about how you should conduct yourself in most driving situations. It’s also constantly updating to accurately reflect what it’s like to drive on roads today.
In addition to The Highway Code, you can also look back at theory test kits from the likes of the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency). The interactive CGI hazard perception test and road sign recognition questions can massively help boost your confidence before getting behind the wheel again in your driving lessons. Just remember that you’ll need to pay for the latest version (2020) if you’ve already passed your theory test before this year, otherwise the content is likely to be out of date.
5. Book your driving test in advance
Thousands of learner drivers have been affected by the pause in driving lessons. So much so that it’s likely that there’s now a backlog of people wanting to book their practical driving test at the earliest opportunity.
It’s a good idea to think about the earliest (realistic) date for when you think taking your driving test should be and getting the ball rolling on booking it in advance. Make sure you speak to your driving instructor about this first, as they’ll have a better idea about when this should be based on the progress they’ve seen from you.
You can find out more about booking a driving test after the coronavirus online.
6. Be prepared to take more lessons
You shouldn’t be too disheartened if you’re behind on your practical learning and need to take more driving lessons.
Learning to drive is more often than not a case of improving your muscle memory through regular practice. So, it’s understandable if you’re a bit rusty after not having a driving lesson for months and you should be prepared to have a few more lessons before being ready for your test.
As a guide, it takes the average learner 45 hours of driving lessons before they are test-ready. However, you should note that this includes having an additional 20 hours of individual practice in their own/a parents’ car while using learner insurance.
7. Get learner insurance to practice outside of driving lessons
If you haven’t already done so, it’s a good idea to get learner insurance on your own car or someone else’s. This short-term cover goes hand-in-hand nicely with your proper driving lessons, helping you to brush up on things you’ve learned.
This tends to work out cheaper than the rate of driving lessons, and you can choose whether or not to have a short-term policy or annual one. For example Veygo, which is part of the Admiral Group, offer learner insurance for around £29* per week.
*Price may vary depending on personal/vehicle details.
8. Watch YouTube videos for driving tips
You may have a bit of time on your hands before your first driving lesson after the coronavirus lockdown. If this is you, take this opportune moment to start watching helpful content on YouTube aimed at helping new drivers.
Channels from the likes of Advanced Driving School and World Driving feature immersive videos which can give you good grounding in more complex manoeuvres (e.g. reverse parallel parking). This type of homework could be the difference between you passing your test first time or needing to take more lessons before doing so.
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