Congratulations! You have just passed and now no doubt, the first item on your top 10 things to do is to hunt round and find that perfect used Audi for sale. Or of course a Mini, Renault Clio or….
However, before you rush in, there may be a few important points that you may wish to consider.
Number one is the fact that in the two years after you first pass your driving test, you are on probation and the quickest way to notch up those dreaded points is speeding. Any Magistrate will automatically give you three points for speeding and has the power to increase those points for any other factors he or she may consider to be relevant, such as a bald tyre. Any car you buy must therefore be in good order throughout, or you must be prepared to rectify any problems before you take to the road in it.
If you accrue six points, your licence may be revoked. If you are stopped for speeding offences twice in the first two years after passing your test, this will also cost you your driving licence. Once you have had your driving licence revoked you will have to undergo the entire test procedure again, including the theory part, before you are once more eligible for a licence. Clearly these facts are worth considering when deciding which model to buy. Even if you can afford the frightening insurance premiums, could a sporty model prove too much of a temptation?
Although it is not obligatory, it is recommended that for the first two years after passing, you display the green ‘P’ plates that are available from all good car accessory retailers. These tell other road users that you have only just passed your test in the hope that they will be a little more patient when overtaking or if they are stuck behind you for any distance.
One key milestone for any new driver consider is that first trip out alone. Of course you may wish to postpone this until you have gained some experience, taking along a relative or friend who is an experienced driver for support and guidance on your first outings.
However, the day will inevitably arrive when you find yourself alone driving for the first time. The key here is to be prepared. Make sure that you have plenty of fuel before you set off. If at all possible make your first solo journey along a route that is familiar to you. As always, drive within the speed limits and at a speed that is comfortable for you.
This is where your ‘P’ plates may come in handy. There is nothing more off-putting than an irate driver behind you. In addition, it is worth letting a friend or family member know where you are going before you set off and when you expect to arrive. That way you will feel that someone else is looking out for you.
Above all, remember to keep safe and alert whenever you are driving. The habits you form now will stand you in good stead throughout your driving career and may save you far more than an insurance claim.