The Driving Skills Syllabus is a series of 30 lessons that are designed to help a driving coach (such as a parent) help you learn the basics of driving a car. They are things that a trained, approved driving instructor will take you through, but you can get a head start by learning about them here beforehand.
This syllabus is available on NZTA’s website in brief form. We have expanded on some of the topics with extra information, images and videos to help you understand what’s required in more detail.
Why use the syllabus?
The syllabus allows you to learn the correct way of driving and recognise if your driving coach is inadvertently teaching you bad habits. Examiners recognise bad habits easily and may fail you because of them, and this is why it’s important to also have at least a few lessons with a qualified driving instructor.
Working through the syllabus
The syllabus is designed to be worked through one-by-one. Later lessons build on skills and knowledge learned in earlier lessons.
If your driving is progressing well then you can practice individual items in the syllabus with your coach using the checklists in each lesson, then have an instructor check and help you with tweaking your skills so they’re perfect.
It’s a good idea to start your driving practice on quiet streets and build your confidence up. However, when you first start driving, taking some lessons with an instructor with a car with dual controls gives you more safety as they will be able to take control of the car if you are struggling.
Aim to get at least 120 hours of supervised driving before you take your test. The more experience you get, the less likely you are to have an accident.