First driving lesson

Your first driving lesson: what to expect

Whilst you might be picturing yourself flying down the roads on your first time in the driver’s seat, your first driving lesson will be a lot tamer than that. Most first lessons cover the same ground – so you can prepare yourself on what to expect. The lesson will probably cover the controls. Changing gears, getting the biting point, signalling – it might all sound foreign now, but just you wait until you’ve had a few lessons and it’ll all be second nature.

You won’t be driving straight away, so don’t worry; your instructor will probably take you to a quiet road before you get started. And even when you get into the driver’s seat, your instructor will talk you through the cockpit drill first.

What’s the cockpit drill?

These are basic checks you should do every time you drive. If you’re keen on abbreviations, you can remember DSSSM for short.

Doors: check all the doors are closed and locked.

Seat: adjust your seat so all the controls are within easy reach and you have a good view of the road.

Seatbelt: make sure you wear your seatbelt and ensure that all your passengers have done up their seatbelts too.

Steering: your arms should be slightly bent when holding the steering wheel, so make sure you adjust your seat accordingly.

Mirrors: adjust your front and side mirrors so you’re able to see as much of the road behind you as possible.

What next?

Once everything is set up, you’ll be shown the controls, including the clutch, accelerator, gear stick and indicator. Your instructor will talk you through how to perform each action. Once you’re comfortable with the controls, it’ll be – you guessed it! – time to turn on the engine and start driving!

But don’t worry, it won’t be zero to 60 in three seconds, though it might feel like it is at first – even when you’re doing 5mph on an empty stretch of road!

What will my first lesson cover?

Your first couple of lessons will focus on car control on a quiet road, which helps you get to grips with the car without the added distraction of other drivers. What your first lesson covers will depend on how quickly you take to driving. It could cover:

  • Checks to do before moving, including checking your blind spot and mirrors
  • Turning the engine on and finding the car’s biting point
  • Getting used to putting your car in gear
  • Signalling with your indicator
  • Stopping the car
  • Parking by the curb

Don’t worry; whilst this might seem like a lot to take in at first, all these different parts of driving will become second nature and you’ll almost do them all automatically after a few lesson!

You probably won’t have to drive all the way home. Once your lesson is coming to an end, your driving instructor will swap places with you again to drive you back (or to a previously agreed destination). They’ll probably talk you through everything you learned and what to expect in the next lesson.

Most lessons will follow the same structure, so don’t fret too much over the whole process!

Of course, this is only the first step in the process. Getting more time on the road with family and friends is also important once you’re comfortable with the controls. Remember: your driving instructor is your teacher, so only do as much as you’ve learned in your lessons with them. But this can be a great way of getting extra practise in for free.

Just make sure you have the right insurance. Give Adrian Flux a call on 0800 369 8590 and ask about their learner driver insurance. You could start building your no claims bonus now so your insurance premiums will be lower when you pass!

Find a RED Driving Instructor near you

Find a RED Driving Instructor near you

RED’s experienced instructors operate nationwide. So whether you’re learning in Newcastle or Norwich or Plymouth or Preston, they’ll find the perfect instructor to help you on your journey to passing.