9 Driving Tips For Your First Lesson

by EzLicence Last updated

So, your first driving lesson is looming. 

Driving provides great freedom, but it comes with a lot of responsibility that many new learner drivers aren’t accustomed to. 

The thought of being in control of a car might seem daunting at first, and you may be feeling nervous.

However, the right driving instructor will place you in the right frame of mind, giving you the confidence to stay calm behind the wheel and allowing you to think logically in situations that could be stressful without their qualified expertise. 

Ahead of your first driving lesson, it’s a great idea to get some tips for driving to ensure you’re prepared.

This blog will give you nine tips for your first driving lesson to alleviate any anxieties you may have. 

Let’s go!

Tips For The First Time Driver | What To Expect On Your First Driving Lesson

Here are some tips for your first driving lesson:

  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Get familiar with your car's layout
  • Make sure you’re well nourished and drink enough water
  • Wear appropriate shoes and clothing
  • Listen to what your instructor is saying
  • Take only what you need to the lesson
  • Stay focused
  • Relax
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Let’s take a look at these tips for your first driving lesson in Australia in detail.

Tip 1 – Get Plenty Of Sleep! | First-Time Driving Lesson Tips 

Ensuring you get 7-9 hours of sleep ahead of your first driving lesson ensures you stay energetic, alert, and ready for any challenges that arise.

Research suggests that getting enough sleep is important for “procedural memory” – the style of memory that helps you learn how to learn skills, like driving a car!

Avoid caffeine and screens before bed to ensure a good night’s sleep ahead of your first driving lesson. 

This is the lesser of the spoken-about tips for driving – but critical to ensure you remember what you learn! 

Tip 2 - Get Familiar With A Car’s Layout | Tips On Driving For Learners

Whilst some cars can have different layouts, for example, a handbrake lever on the right as opposed to on the left, generally, they’re much the same.

If you know the car you’re driving, get familiar with the:

  • Accelerator pedal
  • Brake pedal
  • Steering wheel
  • Indicators and lights
  • Rearview mirrors
  • Clutch pedal (in manuals only)
  • Gear stick
  • Dashboard instrument panel

Getting familiar with the vehicle you’re about to drive is a critical step before your first ever driving lesson. 

If you’re driving a manual car, prepare for your first driving lesson by getting familiar with the clutch and the feeling of the gear stick.

If you’re driving in an instructor's car booked through EzLicence, you’ll be able to see the make and model of the car ahead of time.

Your instructor's car will also have a brake pedal on your instructor’s side for your safety. 

Your instructor will talk you through the basics ahead of your first driving lesson.

Tip 3: Ensure You’re Hydrated And Nourished Ahead Of Your Lesson | Driving Tips For Learners

One of the best tips for your first driving lesson is to drink plenty of water and ensure you’re well-fed.

You’ll be able to perform and concentrate far better, and you don’t want to be worrying about hunger when you’re learning to drive!

We also recommend you take a water bottle with you for the lesson and store it in a safe and easy-to-reach place. 

Tip 4: Wear Appropriate Shoes And Clothing 

Ensure the shoes you wear are comfortable and allow you to move freely from the brake to the accelerator. 

Thongs are a no-go!

Make sure you also wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move your arms and legs freely and turn your body to look over your shoulder when reversing and changing lanes.

This is one of the most commonly overlooked tips for driving.

Tip 5: Listen to what your instructor is saying 

It might sound silly, but the excitement and anticipation of driving for the first time can make it hard to focus.

So be sure to pay extra attention to what your driving instructor is saying to ensure you become a more confident driver by the time the lesson is over.

Being aware of this beforehand is a reliable answer concerning how to prepare for your first driving lesson.

Tip 6: Take Only What You Need To A Driving Lesson

One of the key driving tips is to bring your learner's permit—you're required by law to carry this at all times while driving a car!

Failure to do so means you risk losing your licence and being fined.

If you need to take your phone with you during your driving lesson, then you should either turn it off or set it to flight mode. 

You will not need your mobile phone at all during your driving lesson, and using a mobile device while driving is both dangerous and against the law.

If you are required to complete a learner driver logbook, make sure you have this with you so your driving instructor can sign it off at the end of your driving lesson.

Tip 7: Stay Focused

It may seem like one of the obvious tips for driving, but it's easy to forget this the first time.

Be mindful of the lights and indicators on the dashboard, pay attention to the road ahead, and look out for potential hazards all around you.

Your instructor will occasionally be talking to you, so pay attention to them, too.

During your first driving lesson, focus on listening to your instructor and doing what they suggest or ask. 

But you won’t have to deal with everything at once – your instructor will start off one step at a time.

With time, you will get used to juggling all of these factors, and when you have learned how to prioritise your attention with a bit of support from your driving instructor, you may find it’s easier than you expected, which leads us to tip number 8.

Tip 8: Relax

Remember, your first-time driving lesson isn’t a driving test, and your driving instructor isn’t going to expect a student to do anything advanced.

Depending on the driving instructor, you are probably going to be learning the basics of the car and may not even drive in traffic yet. 

Many driving instructors will treat the first lesson as your introduction to driving and will structure a lesson that helps you to familiarise yourself with the inside of their car (especially if you don’t already know where to locate everything), before eventually getting you to drive around in a parking lot or quiet backstreet away from traffic. 

Don’t be afraid of failure - if you make any mistakes, listen to your instructor, try and apply what they tell you, and learn from the experience.

This leads up to our final tip. 

Tip 9: Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions 

Our final tip for driving is often overlooked.

Remember, the only silly question is the one not asked!

If there’s anything you’re confused about regarding driving or the road rules, be sure to ask your instructor. 

Don’t go home confused about anything – your instructor is there solely to teach you all the rules and how to drive!  

More Tips For Driving For Your First Driving Lesson

Many customers ask: “what is a first driving lesson like?”  

And while the answer differs depending on the driver, you can expect excitement, nerves and much anticipation.

Take a deep breath, sit comfortably and ensure you’re paying attention to your driving instructor. 

So if you’re wondering how to prepare for a driving lesson, these nine tips are an excellent place to start.

Good luck with your first driving lesson! 

And if you need to brush up on your road knowledge ahead of your first driving lesson, practise with our learner's test here.

About the author


EzLicence takes the hassle out of choosing a driving school by helping learner drivers find, compare and book verified driving instructors online.

The EzLicence online platform brings transparency, choice and efficiency to booking and managing driving instructors and driving lessons in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

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