If you’re at least 16 years old, then you’re ready to learn how to drive. While learning to drive sounds easy enough, the truth is, driving is hard work. It helps if you’re prepared for this journey and has weighed your various options.
The first thing you need to do is pass the Driver Knowledge Test (DKT). Reading the Road Users’ Handbook which is available on the RTA website will be of great help. When you’ve passed the DKT, you become an L-plater and can now get into the driver’s seat! Your learner license is valid for five years, and you’ll be given a Driver Log Book at the motor registry. The logbook is your guide, and it’s for you and your supervising driver to record your driving experience.
At this point, the question to ask yourself is, who should I pick as my supervising driver? This person is someone who has a current full license and has not been disqualified from driving in the past two years. Mum and Dad may certainly qualify but are they the best people to teach you how to drive or should you hire a professional driving instructor? Before you make a decision, here are some pointers to keep in mind.
Parent vs. Professional — who is the best driving teacher for me?
Building a solid foundation is the key to safe driving. This means that even though your parents may be good drivers who follow all the road rules, they may not know how to teach the correct driving techniques. A professional driving instructor, on the other hand, has undergone extensive training and assessment to receive his or her accreditation. They are also re-assessed at regular intervals. Thus, it may be worthwhile to employ their services, at least for the first few lessons.
You only get one chance to learn how to drive. What you learn and practice will eventually become habits. You need to bear in mind that whoever you’ve chosen to teach you how to drive may pass on certain driving habits to you, habits that will affect the way you drive for life.
Get better, quicker. Driving instructors have been taught what to teach and how to teach it. They know all the little tricks that will help you get better, quicker. This is why the RTA have implemented a new scheme for lessons with driving instructors, and we will cover that in more detail below.
Two heads are better than one. Supervising a learner driver can be challenging. A supervising driver needs to teach the learner the proper driving techniques and act as a coach by giving the learner ample opportunities to practice what they’ve been taught. Parents are not professional instructors, but they have lots of well-meaning and good advice to give their children. Thus, taking lessons from an instructor and practicing with your mom or dad may be a good way to learn how to drive. While the instructor teaches you the techniques, mom and dad can reinforce what you’ve learned by providing added assistance and encouragement.
You will probably know by now that you have to log a minimum of 120 hours of driving over at least 12 months before you can move onto the next step — getting your Ps. But did you know that from 19 December 2009, learner drivers who complete a one-hour structured driving lesson with a fully licensed driving instructor can record three hours driving experience in their log book? This is perhaps one of the biggest benefits to you. Personally, you learn to drive faster with the instructor, and you can get your license faster.
A maximum of 10 hours of lessons will be accepted and recorded as 30 hours in the logbook. These structured lessons aim to develop and enhance your practical application of low-risk driving principles. It is worth considering going to a driving school for structured lessons with a professional instructor so that you can use this new provision to your advantage.
At first, 120 hours of supervised driving may seem like a daunting task. But once you’ve started, with or without the structured driving lesson scheme, learning to drive should not only be fun, it should also be a breeze!
Learn how to drive step by step with Driving Plus Driving School. For more information on Driving Plus and their instructors visit Driving Instructor.