Thursday, April 18, 2013

Teen Drivers - Making the practical test less stressful

So, your teen is ready to learn to drive.  Eek.  You probably want them to have the smoothest learning and testing experience that they can can. It’s an undeniably stressful process (for you, as well as your children!) however, with a bit of planning it can be made much less so!

Getting started early
Firstly, in terms of preparing your kids for the experience of driving it’s sometimes a good idea to start a lot earlier than booking driving lessons once they get to 17! If you have access to private land that’s easy to drive on (a wide open field in summer where the surface is stable, smooth and not wet, for instance) then getting them used to just using the pedals is a good start, as that’s easily the hardest part of learning initially-as we all know with practice you can do it without thinking, but with everything else a learner has to get to grips with, getting the basic motions down before they start formal lessons can be very helpful. This way, they can focus on learning the rules, signs, safety procedures and so on, which should help greatly when it comes to their lessons and the practical test later on.

Image courtesy of Andy Newson / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Taking the theory/practical together
If you can, having the theory and practical tests fairly close together is for the best (as long as the driver is ready) so that they can focus on getting it done, if you leave it too long the theory test can expire and keeping the process of actively learning how to drive concentrated should help to develop your children’s skills to a greater extent as well. Obviously you don’t want to overwhelm them though, so try and get a feel for how comfortable they are with the speed of their learning. (This will inevitably be influenced to some extent by the instructor as well) If you’re not comfortable with the instructor after a few lessons by the way, don’t persevere with them-just go with someone else, and don’t worry about being rude. It’s important that they’re good at actually instructing people as well as the depth of their automotive knowledge.

Timing the practical
Try to warn your children if you can about trying too early, as well-although some have a natural aptitude and pick things up very quickly, others may need a bit more time to feel comfortable enough with driving. Young people are naturally keen to get driving as soon as they can and they might be tempted to rush in headfirst, which might mean they’re not as prepared as they could be. On the subject of creating the best chance possible in terms of the actual test, on the day of the test a short ‘warm-up’ drive is a good idea either with the instructor or yourself. Don’t make it too long though, you don’t want your kids to peak too early on test day!

Booking
There are a few ways of booking the actual test-by phone is generally preferable as long as you have everything you need to hand when you ring up, although doing things by post has its advantages as well .You can also book a test online, however the Directgov website can be a bit tricky and laborious to use, so you might want to look for alternatives. For example, bookyourpracticaltestonline.com offer a service that’s a bit simpler and relatively hassle-free compared to the Directgov service.

In terms of a summary of what you’ll need in the course of booking the test, Directgov have provided a PDF that covers pretty much all of the information that you might need; it might be an idea to print it off and keep it in case you need something to refer to during the process.

Hopefully, as long as your youngsters stay calm and remember what their instructor’s taught them they’ll be just fine on the big day! 

Note: This is a sponsored post but that doesn't stop it being fun to read
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