To Do List For After You’ve Passed
Unfortunately, you can’t get straight on the roads as soon as you’ve passed, there are a few things you need to get done so you can legally drive independently. To make sure that you can enjoy your newly awarded freedom as soon as possible, we’ve devised the essential to do list for those who have recently passed.
The Essential Driver To Do List
From the boring documents such as insurance and tax to the more exciting things like purchasing your first car, there are many different tasks you need to remember to get done before attempting to take your first journey.
Finding Your First Car
Everyone has in mind their dream car they cannot wait to purchase when they pass, but always bear in mind that it may not be the most realistic option and keep your mind open to other ideas.
One of the most significant factors that contribute towards a new drivers ideal make and model of car is appearance, and of course, you do want a car that you love from the outside, but more importantly, you must be able to drive it comfortably. This is the reason as to why taking a test drive before purchasing is so important. You may fall in love with a car, but take it for a drive and hate it.
Shop around at several different car garages and dealerships before putting down a deposit and bring someone along with you who has some experience in purchasing cars. Most new drivers bring a parent along, who can help with the technical knowledge and make you aware of the critical factors you need to consider when making a decision. At the end of the day, the salesperson needs you to purchase a car from them to keep their job, so may tell a few white lies or bend the truth a little to sway your opinion. It’s better to have someone with you who can spot these issues, so you don’t end up with a car which will cause future problems.
Once you’ve got your first car, unfortunately, you cannot just drive off into the sunset immediately, you must make both car insurance and road tax arrangements.
Depending on where you purchase your vehicle from, you may be able to sort out and pay for your road tax through the dealership; however, car insurance must be arranged in your own time. Having to find and take out your own insurance policy is, in fact, a lot better than letting someone else do the hard work because it means you have time to research and track down the best deal.
Driving with no insurance will result in your licence being revoked if caught, meaning you’ll lose your freedom before you even have a chance to enjoy it. In most cases, if you opt for purchasing your vehicle from a dealership rather than an independent seller, you will not be able to drive away on the day with your new car. A deposit will be put down, and then the vehicle will be collected a few days after, giving you time to shop around for the best insurance policy. For more information on how to reduce premiums, take a look at this handy uSwitch article!
Unlike car insurance, you will not have to research different deals for your road tax; it will be a set price depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Several different factors impact the cost of tax, some of the main being the age of your car and the level of C02 emissions. You’ll have to make road tax arrangements through the GOV.UK website.
Shop For The Basics
Although it doesn’t sound it at first, shopping around for the essentials that you’ll need to keep in your car can be quite exciting. Try to be as prepared as possible for any emergency that may arise. It is recommended to purchase a boot storage box and fill it with items such as a flashlight, tyre pressure gauge, first aid kit and ice scraper.
In more recent, smaller cars that are popular for young drivers, there is often no spare type included when you purchase. Always double check whether this is included, and if not, consider buying a space saver tyre and a set of tools required to change a tyre.
You’ll also have to decide whether you want to display a P Plate on your car or not. P Plates notify other road users that you have recently passed and essentially eases the pressure a little when it comes to making slight mistakes. If you are particularly nervous about facing the roads without the reassurance of your instructor, then a P Plate should most definitely be considered. Drivers are more likely to be more patient with you and let you take your time.
As we are all aware, it is essential to stick to the law when it comes to using your mobile phone while driving, which means investing in a mobile phone holder. Being caught using a phone while driving is one of the most common driving offences for young drivers. We once had a pupil who was taking driving lessons in Leicester and got his licence revoked after just two months because he was caught texting while driving. You can still use navigation, answer phone calls and listen to music as long as it is all connected to a hands-free device, which this past pupil, unfortunately, did not have.
Take A Test Drive
Now you’ve got everything needed to get on the roads both legally and safely; you can start to enjoy driving alone. It is always recommended to spend some time in the evening or at another quiet time of the day test driving your car and getting used to its controls.
It is more than likely that your first car will not be the same make and model as the vehicle you learnt in with your instructor, which means both driving and manoeuvres may need to be slightly altered. Spend some time either in a quiet industrial estate or driving around the streets near your house practising things such as stopping and starting, hill starts and the more complicated manoeuvres.
Taking a test drive helps to build confidence and gets you feeling comfortable before you will be faced with fast-paced roads or rush hour traffic.
Enjoy Your Licence
Although getting on the roads independently will be incredibly different from taking lessons, it is still vital to ensure that you remember all the skills and safety tips your instructor told you. Remain safe, within the law, and you will be able to enjoy your licence for as long as you chose to do so!