Quinn-Direct: Five Things to Think About Before Learning to Drive

Sep 06, 2010, 07:27 ET from Quinn Insurance

LONDON, Sept. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- So you've decided that you want to learn to drive, gain some independence and strike out onto the open road on your own. In order to do so, there are a few things you will have to consider and do before you can start. To help you get moving, Quinn Direct – a special provider of car insurance for new and young drivers have put together a list of the five most important things that we feel that you should think about before learning to drive.

1. Get your provisional licence

Before you can be eligible to learn to drive, you must apply for your provisional drivers licence. You can do this by filling out the D1 application form available from your Post Office or the DVLA Form Ordering Service. You will need to enclose documentation that confirms your identity, an up to date passport style photo and a fee of 50 pounds Sterling. You can send this completed application and payment to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD, or you may be able to use the premium checking service.

It will take around three weeks for the DVLA to process your application, maybe more if your health or personal details require further checking. You cannot start driving without your provisional licence, so be patient. Wait at least three weeks before contacting the DVLA if your licence has not turned up.

2. Check your eyesight

Before you take your practical driving test, you will be required to take an eyesight test. You will have to read a stationary car number plate from a distance. This distance will be 20.5 metres with an old style number plate and 20 metres if a new style plate is used.

If you have problems with your eyesight and use either glasses or contact lenses to correct your vision, you are expected to use them when driving. If you feel you have a problem with your eyesight, then go to an optician before you start learning.

3. Get a copy of the Highway Code

The Highway Code is an invaluable tool for learning to drive. It contains information on the different types of roads, signs and crossings currently in use. It also advises on driving in adverse weather conditions and how to keep your car road legal. You will be tested on the contents of the Highway Code during your theory test. The Highway Code is available from all good bookshops.

4. Do you have someone who can help you practice?

In addition to your lessons, it is a good idea to practice what you have learnt with an experienced driver. Someone over 21 with more than five years experience of driving would be ideal. Maybe one of your parents could help out and take you driving in a quiet area to build up confidence and practice manoeuvres? You must also make sure that you are insured before taking control of the wheel.  If you are going to take lessons from family members look out for cheap car insurance for young drivers or learner drivers.

5. Choose a Driving Instructor

Once you have received your provisional licence and made the other preparations listed in this article, you will want to sign up for lessons with a driving instructor. The Driving Standards Agency cannot advise on which driving instructor to go with as it is a government agency. Instead, consult family, friends or work colleagues on a suitable instructor.

You should be looking for a driving instructor who is reliable and punctual with a good reputation. Additionally, it is a good idea to find out what type of car he/she uses as you may find a larger or more powerful car more difficult to drive. You can find a list of local driving instructors in your Yellow Pages directory.

SOURCE Quinn Insurance