Driving tests

Why you should enrol yourself in driving lessons

Driving in real life is a totally different experience than in a video game. You’ve probably played a sim or racing game and mastered high-speed driving around a track or city. Driving in real life is not like that. It’s like trying to do five different things all at the same time, and the stress of getting it right is sufficient to overwhelm you when you’re a novice.

While asking any of your friends or family members for help is always an option, the best way to learn how to drive is to enrol yourself in driving lessons with a driving instructor. If you’re feeling a little skeptical about it, here are the top 7 reasons to change your mind.

1.  Learn the most recent traffic laws

Traffic rules are always changing. While the basics tend to remain the same, NZTA does not have the budget to make the whole population aware of specific minor changes. You’ll only get to know about the new ones if they are covered in the media, a driving instructor tells you, or by reviewing the latest updates to legislation and the Road Code. A basic list can be found here. When was the last time it crossed your mind to check the latest guidelines?

2.  Get customized mentoring

The best thing about enrolling in driving lessons is that you can tailor your mentoring experience to your own requirements. Group lessons can be had where you and a friend take it in turns with an instructor guiding you – this way, you learn from watching your friend drive before you also try it. If you prefer one-on-one mentoring, that’s the most popular option.

Getting a customised mentoring experience isn’t limited to age or experience either; you can get driving lessons if you’re older, but you’ve never had the chance to learn driving before, you can also get these lessons if you’re still a teenager looking forward to getting your driver’s licence at an early age, or you can get lessons if you’ve moved from a different country (perhaps one that drives on the other side of the road). For teens, getting enrolled in driving lessons is the surest way to learn the best way of driving and not acquire the bad habits of well-meaning parents or guardians. Also, acting quickly means you’ll avoid the impact of any proposed changes in the age required for driving.

3.  Learn defensive driving

It’s not always you that is the biggest risk on the road. A drunk or drugged driver could be a risk to you. Knowing defensive driving techniques means you’ll anticipate what’s happening much earlier. Getting into a car accident can be a long and draining process, especially if there is the potential for legal action. In New Zealand, we have ACC to cover accident claims which means we avoid the litigious nature of some other countries’ management of accident culpability. For example, if you live in a city as busy as the Big Apple, you should learn more about the legal process that follows a vehicle accident. From hiring a lawyer to understand your rights and pursuing your legal claim, all of that can be avoided by learning how to prevent any accidents from befalling you.

4.  Avoid learning any bad driving habits

Many of us acquire bad driving habits over the years; we’ve grown so accustomed to them that they feel natural for us. If there’s one thing that remains true, then it’s the fact that driving instructors keep their driving skills free from any bad driving habits. That’s exactly why you should go to those instructors instead of being mentored by any friends or family members.

5.  Prepare for the practical and written tests

Depending on which country you live in, before hitting the road on your own, you’ll most likely have to pass the theory test first to get your licence. An instructor can help you with the theory, and you can practice on this website. Instructors also know the common reasons new drivers fail and can train you to avoid these.

6.  Boost your confidence

What makes you feel confident about taking an exam? Practice builds your confidence. You’ll be on your own once you hit the road, and that’s surely a scary thought. However, getting as much practice as you need beforehand is going to boost your confidence, and you’ll have all the time in the world to practice and sharpen your skills during your driving lessons. Your instructor will tell you when you’re ready for the road, and that is sufficient to give you a confidence boost behind the wheel.

7.  Save money

There’s a lot of money that will be wasted if you don’t get proper driving tuition. While driving lessons might look expensive to you, compare the cost of having an accident or even the long-term cost of you driving inefficiently. What do you get in return from this investment? You might pay a little bit more at first, but it’s going to save you a lot of cash down the road.

Driving your own vehicle is both an exhilarating and a scary thought. In order to make the most out of your driving experience, you’d better be very well prepared for the situations you’ll face while driving, and there’s nothing to prepare you better than enrolling in driving lessons. You’ll get out of the lessons with a confidence boost that helps you ace your driving test and saves you a lot of money down the road.

driver training courses

Darren is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and the NZ Motoring Writers' Guild

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