Your first time behind the wheel

Ever wondered what it will be like getting behind the wheel for the first time?

Your first time behind the wheel

Ever wondered what it will be like getting behind the wheel for the first time? Hannah from Marmalade, the leading provider of insurance and cars for young drivers, specialising in innovative policies for learner and new drivers, shares all the things you need to consider. 

You’ve applied for your provisional licence, it’s now in your hands – confirmation that you are now able to get behind the wheel and learn how to drive! You’ve asked around, searched online, spoken to various instructors and chosen one that you feel comfortable with. Your first lesson is booked in and now it’s all very real – you’re about to drive a car for the first time!

Isn’t it exciting? Oh, and nerve-wracking, maybe a bit scary, empowering, liberating… so many emotions all in one go!

The thing to remember is that your driving instructor is trained and qualified to guide you on this journey, so you’re in safe hands and will have all the support you need – right by your side.

What do I need to remember?

First thing first – get a good night’s sleep the night before your lesson! You’ll feel much more prepared and able to learn if you are as rested and relaxed as possible. Don’t drink the night before (or at all if you’re not yet 18!), and have a decent breakfast the morning of your lesson so that your tummy isn’t complaining while you’re trying to concentrate.

When the big moment comes, wear comfortable clothes and shoes and if you need to wear glasses, then don’t forget to take them along too.

You absolutely must take you driving licence with you – it’s a legal requirement for your instructor to see your provisional licence before they are allowed to take you out on your lesson.

What will happen?

Your instructor will pick you up wherever you’ve agreed to meet, but you won’t be hopping straight into the driver’s seat! Your instructor will take you somewhere quiet and off of any busy roads, before you get behind the wheel.

You will talk through the cockpit drill:

  • Doors securely closed?
  • Seat in a comfortable position?
  • Steering position established?
  • Seatbelts on?
  • Mirrors adjusted?

You’ll go through what the various controls and pedals do, some main driving procedures such as how to start the engine, pull away, changing gears, your mirrors… Don’t worry if this all sounds like a lot of info! You can go over it all again if you want to, and your instructor will remind you of the key things as you go along.

…Then it’s your turn!

Here’s how young driver and Marmalade Ambassador Eleanor felt before her first ever driving lesson:

“Before my first lesson I was pretty nervous, as I think everyone is. It didn’t help either that I started to learn in December, and the morning of my first lesson we had our first snow of the year. But I was also really excited, I’d watched my older brother learn to drive and I couldn’t wait to have a go at it myself, I think it was the freedom I was most looking forward to.”

Once you’ve had your first lesson, you’ll be dropped back off at home or wherever you need to be, where you’ll have a chat with your instructor about how it went and when you’ll have your next lesson. It’s likely that you will feel quite tired, mixed with some overwhelm and jittery excitement once you step out of the car – so try and make sure you rest, drink some water, and have a proper meal at your next chance. It’s probably not a wise idea to add to those jitters by drinking caffeine and having sugary food or drink!

Your first driving lesson is a huge deal, and how you’ll feel before, during and after it is a very individual thing – be kind to yourself!

We’d love to hear from you if you’re about to take your first lesson, or have just had it! Pop on over to Facebook and let us know how you’re feeling!


LDW 24 under 24

The LDW 24 under 24 is now closed.

The Learner Driver Week competition is now closed and all our wonderful 24 winners have been announced.

We will be returning next year for another action packed week of content and goodies but in the meantime don’t be a stranger – our news section and social channels are bursting with lots of useful news and tips to support you on your driving journey.