You’ve just passed your driving test and ditched the green license. There’s lots of bucket list things to tick off, once we’re through this tough situation with COVID, the first one being a big mac in McDonald’s drive thru (it always tastes better). But there’s also some serious things to take care of once you become a qualified driver. We’re talking tax costs, vehicle maintenance and car insurance.
Sounds daunting, but honestly it’s not too bad. Plus the independence you’ll feel once you’ve got it all sorted is 100% worth it. Here’s some things you should know to make the first few months of driving easier for you.
Do I need to wait for my full license to arrive?
When you pass your practical test, your driving instructor will take your provisional driving license. It could take up to 3 weeks for your shiny new pink license to arrive. But the good news is that you don’t have to wait for it to arrive before you can drive.
You just need to make sure you’re insured, that your car is taxed and has an MOT. You can tax your car online through the DVLA website and pay for it annually or monthly.
How to gain confidence driving?
Passed your driving test but don’t feel confident? It’s only natural to feel nervous when you start driving on your own. You’ve probably already heard that you don’t really learn to drive until you’ve passed your test. The more driving experience you’ll gain, the more confident you’ll feel.
It’s a good idea to take someone with you on your first few journeys. But once you’re ready, get outside of your comfort zone. Hit the road on your own and drive in new areas. The more you practice, the more you’ll learn and the more confident you’ll feel. It may also be worth adding some P-plates to your car. This lets other drivers know you’ve recently passed and could take the pressure off a bit.
A course may also be a good option to help build your driving confidence. One of the most popular options for new drivers is the pass plus scheme. It’s an official scheme running for 6 hours with a qualified instructor. You’ll cover different topics and driving environments in each session. They’ll take you through the things you may not feel as confident in, such as rural roads or motorways. This is a nice way to gain exposure to different types of driving before attempting it solo.
How to buy your first car?
For many new drivers, particularly those of you living in rural areas or in places with rubbish public transport links, buying a car will be the first on your list once you’ve passed your test. So…what car should you go for?
There are so many things to consider; insurance group, road tax, fuel efficiency and engine size. We cover all of this in detail in our guide to keeping the cost of buying a car down.
Your next question is probably “where should I buy my car?” One option is to buy from a car dealership. This is probably your most expensive option, but it offers a bit more security. Just make sure you do your research and don’t be rushed into a sale.
It’s almost certainly cheaper to buy privately, but you’re not likely to have benefits such as payment protection or warranty. It’s really important to do proper checks of the car before you buy. You may bag yourself a great bargain though.
Not sure whether to buy a car?
You’ve just passed your driving test and are wondering whether or not to buy a car. If you don’t need a car to get about on a day to day basis, it may not be worth buying one. Cars are expensive to buy and run so you’ve got to be sure it’s worth it.
If you can’t justify the cost of a car but the thought of not driving again is a massive downer…we’ve got good news for you. With our temporary car insurance you can borrow a friend or family member’s car and drive whenever you fancy.
It’s perfect if you use public transport for work or school but want the freedom of driving and exploring a new place at the weekend. Or even if you just want to keep on top of your driving skills from time to time. And if you’re home from uni for the holidays, you could buy a full month so you don’t have to rely on your parents for lifts.
You can borrow a car from as little as 1hr to 60 days. You get your own fully comprehensive insurance policy, so it won’t affect the owner’s no claims bonus if you need to make a claim. All you need is a friend or family member who can lend you their car. Check out or temp cover FAQs for more information.
New driver insurance
If you’re going to be sharing a car long-term and driving regularly, your best option is probably to get added to the owner’s car as a named driver. This means you can drive their car whenever you like. But in this case, the owner’s policy and no claims bonus will be affected if you have an accident.
If you’re only going to drive from time to time or want the option to drive different people’s cars, temporary car insurance is a quick, safe and affordable option.