So i’d planned on doing a 6 month driving update having passed my test in February however it’s been a little over 6 months now…
However, I am here today with an 8/9 month driving update to kind of update. Before you continue reading, I wrote about passing my test here with some tips for you all as well as a blog post explaining and detailing to you everything you need to know about your theory test, click here! *This was all pre-covid*
Buying your car/Insurance
I’d bought a car before I’d passed my test so I had provisional licence insurance on that which I had to cancel once I passed my test. It was super easy to phone up and get it cancelled but you might incur some admin fees, cancellation costs or an amount to settle up the agreement. They’ll also ask if you want to take out insurance with them now you’re on a full licence but it is always best to look around. Comparethemarket is a good place to start! I ended up getting my insurance for around £1,600 without a black box with 2 named drivers because there was a 40% deal on the insurance company I picked. Check daily and always look out for deals because if that deal hadn’t been on, I was looking at around £3,000 without a black box! The only reason I didn’t want one is that most of the companies I looked at charge to fit the system and charge to take it off, otherwise it can be the cheaper option.
Driving on your own/P plates
My instructor knew that I’d been driving my car to and from work (with my Mom in the passenger seat) whilst I’d been having lesson so he told me to start driving on my own asap to get used to it, but he did say he usually recommends people who’ve never driven another car to build up to the first drive on your own slowly. I passed my test on the Friday and was in work at 7am on Saturday, which was my first solo drive. It couldn’t have been a better time because before dawn on a Saturday morning the roads are super quiet and there’s hardly anyone on the car-park at work so spaces were plentiful. I did stall once but I didn’t panic like I had done in the past! Driving back was a bit stressful as I hesitated at an island and didn’t go when there was probably enough space and someone tooted their horn at me but it’s okay, people are so impatient with learners. I did have my P plates on but in all honesty, I found that people were super rude like driving really close behind me and overtaking, even when you aren’t driving slow so I just took off my P plates.
Cleaning your car
The saying ‘a tidy room equals a tidy mind’ also correlates to a tidy car. At first I always made sure rubbish was put in the bin, would never leave anything in my car and probably cleaned the outside once a week. But now i’ve got half my wardrobe in the back, 4 half full maccies cups, shopping bags in the boot and my white car is slowly turning black from the dirt. I think I got lazy and the novelty of a clean car wore off but it’s so beneficial to have a tidy car. It’s so easy to take your rubbish in the house with you and set time aside every few weeks or every month to wash your car.
Save up for MOT/Repairs/Services
This is something I should’ve done and wished I had done now my MOT is round the corner. Try and keep some money aside each month for your MOT & Service as well as for any unexpected charges. Last week my tyre pressure alert came on and after filling my tyres one of them was way below the recommended tyre pressure, so taking it for a free check at Kwikfit left me £25 down after needing a repair.
If you’re a nervous driver like me you’ll find that the thought of the motorway makes you feel sick. I hadn’t planned on driving on the motorway on my own after I passed until I took the wrong exit at a roundabout and ended up on the M6. The only bit that scared me was merging on and you find that 9 times out of 10 anyone in the slow lane moves over to let you merge on. I still get a bit nervous going on the motorway but all in all it’s really not as bad as you expect.
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