How many driving lessons will I need
As a driving instructor I have had a lot of students over many years and one of the most common questions I get is “How many lessons will I Need”. Obviously the answer to this question will depend on your level of experience and driving ability.
Most students with 80 plus hours in their NSW learner driver’s log book will need 5 to 10 hours to have a reasonable chance of passing the driving test in NSW. Unfortunately some students develop very poor driving techniques when first learning to drive. Which means they have to first break their bad habits before learning the correct way to drive.
Good driving schools like Learn to Drive provide written driving assessments and practice driving test which will identify any areas that require improvement. Then a structured lesson plan can be developed to meet your specific needs.
Whilst you are not required to have professional driving lessons before you take the driving test in New South Wales. You will however need as many driving lessons as it takes for you to become a safe driver who can pass the driving test. Therefore it is only natural to wonder how many driving lessons will you need to be able to pass the test. The reality is we all learn at our own pace and we all have different strengths and weaknesses. This means different students will need to learn different things. Whilst there is not a magic number of lessons that will be required by every student the reality is each student will need enough lessons to become a good driver.
Regardless of your experience or skill level there are a few things you can do to reduce the number of driving lessons you will need.
Learn to drive Properly
Some people are able to get lots of practice with their parents. This means they are able to develop a lot of necessary skills before taking a driving lesson. So if you already know how to steer that is one less thing your driving instructor will need to teach you. This will reduce the number of lessons you will need to take.
Unfortunately too many students learn to steer the wrong way. They learn to steer from someone who does not know how to steer properly. Or they drive with someone who does not teach them to steer at all. Then they compound this problem by doing a lot of driving with poor steering. Then when they do the driving test they fail for not steering properly. Or when they take a driving lesson they find that they have to change the way that they steer. Unfortunate;y the longer you practice something the harder it is for you to change. Which means you end up having to pay for more lessons.
In order to avoid this problem I suggest you have a couple of driving lessons after you have done about 20 hours of driving. This will allow you to discover any problems and correct them early.
Practice good driving techniques
When you take a driving lesson with a good driving instructor you will notice that they teach you many things in one lesson. When you learn something new for the first time you need to practice it before you get good at it. This takes time you do not become good at driving by watching or having someone tell you. You need to practice it under various road conditions and that takes time. Don’t rush it. Focus on becoming a good driver and developing safe driving techniques.
You need to leave yourself enough time between each driving lesson to practice the things you have been taught. Learning to drive safely takes time and the skills you learn now will form the foundation of your driving technique. It is these foundation skills you develop as a learner driver that will determine your ability to drive safely.
How often should I do driving lessons
The frequency of your lessons is limited by the amount of practice you get between each lesson. This will also determine how many lessons you need. A good driving instructor can teach you everything you need to know without you doing any other driving. But you will need more lessons because you are also practicing what you have learnt with them. Over the years I have taught many people to drive and I have noticed two common problems
Too many lessons and not enough time
If you have driving lessons too close together you tend not to absorb as much information. Your brain needs time to think about the things you have learned. You also need time to practice the things you have learned under different road conditions. By driving under different road conditions you get better at it and you become better at making decisions. If you do not have time to practice what you have learned you will end up having more lessons or not becoming good at it.
This is common for students who do not take driving lessons until just before the test. Or worse they do the test and fail before deciding to take driving lessons. When they finally have a driving lesson they realize that there is a lot they do not know or can not do properly. So they book in a lot of lessons in a short period of time because they need their licence in a hurry. Don’t leave it to the last minute and rush. Whilst you can learn to pass a test in a short period of time you will not develop the skills of safe driving and become a good driver.
It is easy to avoid this situation. Take a couple of lessons early and learn good driving techniques. Then practice and develop those skills until they become natural to you. Then book in for more lessons a couple of months before the test. Give yourself time to learn and practice everything before you do the driving test.
Inconsistent driving lessons
Some students have long breaks between lessons and do not practice what they have learnt. During the extended break they forget what they have learnt in the previous lesson. This means the instructor has to re teach the student the same things they covered in the previous lesson.
Each driving lesson should build on what you learn in the previous lesson. Give yourself time to practice what you learn in a lesson. Then your instructor can expand on that knowledge and driving skills you have developed.
It takes time to develop safe driving techniques and be able to apply them in real life situations. You should learn these techniques in a quiet area and then allow yourself time to practice and develop your skills before moving into heavy traffic. In heavy traffic you will have to evaluate more information and make decisions faster to apply the skills you have learnt. If you don’t master the skills in quiet traffic you will not be able to apply them in heavy traffic.