Learning to drive is a life-changing experience that can not only change your personal life and experiences but open up a range of career opportunities. For some people learning to drive can make them feel extremely anxious and it can be especially difficult for those who suffer with anxiety it can be even more daunting. If you are experiencing these problems and want to learn to drive then choosing the right driving school and instructor is key to helping you feel more comfortable while you learn, you may even discover that you enjoy driving!
Choosing your instructor
Research your local driving schools and speak to them to explain how you feel, they should be able to reassure you and help to match you to the right instructor for you. Most should offer an opportunity for an initial taster lesson or to meet your instructor to see how you get on with them. You will be spending a lot of time with your instructor so it’s important that you feel comfortable with them and that they can help with your worries. Friends or family who have recently learned to drive may be able to recommend on instructor they feel would be suitable for you. Don’t be afraid to try lessons with another instructor if you find it’s not working.
Automatic or Manual
If you feel that the gears in a manual car are confusing, or you worry about stalling the car especially in a busy area then choosing to learn to drive in an automatic car is worth considering. Most people, with practice, find that managing the gears in a manual car becomes second nature after a while, for others an automatic car where you don’t have to worry about stalling or changing gears can really alleviate their worries. If you pass your test in a manual car you can also drive an automatic, but if you pass your test in an automatic car you can only drive an automatic. There are a wider range of automatic cars available now, so this is not as limiting as it might first seem.
Getting more confident
It has been proven that being as prepared as possible will help to reduce your anxiety, your instructor will help you prepare for your lessons and we work with the Confident Driver Scheme to provide access to their resources to help you reduce your anxiety. Being prepared for your lesson and creating the right mindset can help, discuss with your instructor your methods for coping and how these can be incorporated into your lessons. Whatever your methods whether it’s breathing exercises, going for a walk, mediation or listening to music let your instructor know how they can help.
If you can practice between lessons this will build you confidence and is a great way to get in some extra hours and giving you experience of driving at different times of the day. Make sure that whoever is teaching you outside of your lessons is qualified to supervise a learner driver and that you have a good rapport with them.
You are not on your own
Remember you are not on your own! Anxiety is extremely common, especially amongst learner drivers, with patience and working with your instructor you can pass your test and enjoy driving! We will support and encourage you every step of the way.