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Driving lessons for nervous drivers

Learning to drive is a big step for anyone. It can offer freedom and be a desirable skill for potential employers, but it can be a daunting task.

Getting behind the wheel for the first time can be nerve-wracking, so many driving instructors will take the first few lessons somewhere quiet, like an industrial estate.

This post will help by providing anxious drivers with the advice they need to turn them into confident drivers who will be able to take the driving lessons needed to prepare them for their driving test.

For more guidance, read our guide on how to calm nerves before a driving test.

11 Driving lesson tips for nervous drivers

Taking driving lessons can cause anxiety for many people, and the first lesson can often be the biggest hurdle to overcome. If you are a learner driver, please take a moment to read over the following advice to help overcome anxiety during your lessons.

  1. Set yourself small goals

Remember that everyone has to start somewhere, and it can take some people longer to get the hang of driving. Don’t expect to be an expert straight away, and don’t try to do too much at once. Taking your time to learn will help you develop at your own pace.

  1. Learn from your mistakes

Everyone that learns to drive will make a mistake at some point. It is part of the learning process. The important thing is to learn from it and move on.

  1. Communication is key

A good driving instructor will be able to gauge your driving ability, so they don’t push you too hard and gradually build on your skills. You can help them by asking questions about things you aren’t sure about and let them know if you have any concerns.

  1. Get good sleep the night before your driving lesson

You need a high level of concentration in your driving lessons. Getting a good night’s sleep will help you focus and take in any information provided during your lessons which is important to avoid any mistakes.

  1. Start your driving lessons in low-traffic areas

Your first driving lesson should be in a quiet, low-traffic area to help build your confidence. Learning the vehicle’s controls and how to change gear without holding up drivers will support a nervous driver with their anxiety.

  1. Remember to breathe and relax

Learning how to control your breathing and identifying when you are starting to get nervous or anxious can help you manage your feelings. Deep breaths and vocalising any issues you have will help you remain calm and allow your instructor to help. 

  1. Get in the right mindset

Negative thoughts can lead to increased anxiety. If you find yourself getting worked up before a driving lesson, take a moment to think about your progress. It takes time to build confidence when learning to drive but going into a lesson when you feel confident will make a big difference.

  1. Learn at your own pace

Don’t feel you have to rush through your lessons. The important thing is that you learn how to drive safely. Let your instructor know if you need to go over certain things again. Tell your instructor if you are still learning in a quiet area and are concerned that you are not ready to practice in areas with heavy traffic.

  1. Practice makes perfect

As well as having driving lessons with a fully qualified driving instructor, try to get out with someone who can supervise you for extra practice. The more practice you get under your belt before your driving test, the better.

  1. Youtube is a great resource for learner drivers

Driving lessons, practising with someone who is allowed to supervise you, and studying your highway code will help you build your confidence and give you a better understanding of road markings and traffic signals.

Another great source to help you learn is YouTube. You will be able to watch videos that provide excellent advice and show you tips from the driver’s point of view.

  1. Get professional help to reduce nerves when driving

Test nerves and driving anxiety is common. There are many nervous drivers out there who need to get experience behind the wheel to build their confidence.

In some cases, it can be helpful to speak to a specialist trained to deal with anxiety, which can especially help learner drivers who suffer from panic attacks, or phobias. Making sure that you feel comfortable when learning to drive is essential.

Choosing the right driving instructor for nervous drivers

Learner Driver

Finding the right driving instructor can also be a great way to help anxious drivers. An instructor who provides support while teaching you will help reduce driving anxiety, and you should start to feel better about getting behind the wheel after your first lesson.

Once you become a more advanced driver, you will start taking motorway driving lessons. 

That being said, we’re confident that our guide on motorway driving lessons can help driver confidence can better settle those nerves behind the wheel next time you’re out on the road.


Is it normal to be nervous about a driving lesson?

Driving is a huge responsibility, and it can also be dangerous, so it is perfectly natural to feel nervous, especially on your first lesson. Taking things step-by-step and communicating with your instructor will help put you at ease and make sure you become a safe and competent driver.

Is an automatic car less stressful to drive than a manual car?

Automatic cars can remove the stress of trying to change gear or the fear of stalling at a busy junction. It is worth noting that passing your driving test in an automatic car means you will not be able to drive a manual.

Why do I get anxiety about driving?

The idea of getting into an accident, dealing with other drivers with road rage, and even getting lost while driving can make people anxious.

People need to concentrate on themselves and learn how to be safe drivers. This can help them avoid causing an accident, as well as help to avoid being involved in accidents caused by other drivers. Reduce your driving anxiety today by heading on over to our guide on how to overcome nerves on the road.

Can you request a female driving instructor?

Although most learner drivers will have no preference as to whether their instructor is male or female, others might feel more comfortable being taught by a woman.

Requesting a female driving instructor with Bill Plant Driving School is quick and easy. All you need to do is give us a call on 0330 555 2254 or fill in the enquiry form on our dedicated female driving instructor page to arrange your first driving lesson, and make sure to mention that you require a female instructor.

Final thoughts

Taking a driving lesson course to get your licence is a big step. It is perfectly natural for people to feel nervous, and it will take time for people to feel confident enough to take their tests. Some drivers will even take some time after they pass to feel confident on the road, and refresher lessons can be a great way to help.

Taking your time and ensuring you are as safe a driver as possible is the most important thing, and you will gradually grow in confidence over time.

You may also want to touch upon your driving skills; find a refresher driving course local to you with our refresher driving lessons.