As many of you drop your examination pens, why not pick up something new - like learning how to drive. Driving is one of the most valuable life experiences you can go through. You don’t have to take my word for it – take the legendary Paul McCartney’s! Cue the music, ‘baby you drive my car…’
Why Learn To Drive?
Firstly, becoming a fully qualified driver (through successfully completing a theory and practical ) enhances your employability. For those who have the desire to learn how to drive, it widens the pool of jobs you have access to where driving is a needed skill.
Secondly, it makes it more viable for students to engage with opportunities and social activities taking place on and off campus, especially in circumstances where distance may have been a barrier.
Thirdly, students actual contact hours in an academic timetable are not the standard 9 to 5, instead our university timetables allow for gaps throughout the week. In addition, as our timetabling system also provides for most Wednesday afternoons to be kept free, it gives students the ability to opt to learn how to drive around their studies; particularly if students can’t fit learning around their summer plans.
Where to Start
Once you meet the legal requirements for learning how to drive ( e.g. the minimum age of learning (17), the required level of eyesight and more here) as well as acquiring a valid provisional driving licence - get ready to dust off your driving gloves.
Essentials for Choosing a Driving Instructor
When learning how to drive, it’s essential to learn with a driving instructor (even if you may also be taught by e.g. friends or relatives). There’s no exact science to picking a driving instructor, but all instructors must be Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) by the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). Some students pick their instructors based off family and friends recommendations which is certainly helpful. If you don’t have access to personal recommendations from people you know, you’ll be able to search from a list of ADIs here. When selecting an instructor it’s important that you feel comfortable with them and they’re right for you. It’s always a good idea to do research on the driving school or instructor via asking around, checking their website and even directly asking them questions like ‘how long have you been teaching?’, ‘What’s your pass rate?’, ‘What type of lessons do you offer e.g. manual or automatic?’ and more. Remember, if their style of teaching isn’t right for you, you can always consider switching driving instructors.
Cost is a factor for many students when considering to learn how to drive. Though most instructors and driving schools will have their own specifc deals and packages to reduce the price. In order to make driving more affordable, the National Union of Students (which the Guild is a member of) have secured driving deals nationally for students to make driving more affordable.
So if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to drive, there’s no time like the present.