The DVSA has announced today that pupils who use private practice when learning to drive are statistically 1.4 times more likely to pass their driving test than pupils who do not do any private practice.
Here at BIG TOM, we have been recommending to our customers for several years to use private practice. We fully accept that not all pupils will have the opportunity, but for those who do, the evidence is clear that it significantly boosts your chances of passing the driving test.
As of today, learner drivers are now permitted to practice their driving skills without the stipulation of it being within an essential journey. This means that the public now has a lot more freedom to practice driving with people who live in their household or are in their bubble.
One word of caution is to make sure that the private practice reinforces the learning that occurs within your professional BIG TOM driving training. Sometimes if a pupil practices first of all with friends/family and then tries to get formal driving training, there can be deep-seated driving habits that are not recommended. One of the core components of our driving training is to encourage our pupils to strive for a high standard of driving rather than limiting it to being able to drive, but perhaps not particularly well.
It can be a tricky balancing act for a pupil to master because family members may have the best intentions but be unaware of modern-day safe driving techniques. And as we are all very used to habit-forming behaviours, it can sometimes be a real challenge to break out of poor driving habits. On our intensive driving courses, we manage private practice well by recommending specific practice aligned to the training needs at the time and recording the sessions.
Keeping things safe while doing private practice is another important consideration. Suppose a private driving lesson is not adequately prepared and thought out in terms of objectives. In that case, a pupil can easily find themselves in the wrong location or wrong time where the circumstances around them are far beyond their capability at the time. It might lead to unsafe practice, but it can have devastating effects on confidence, not to mention the relationship with the supervising driving. This is why sometimes private lessons can be detrimental to the overall goal of improving skills. It does need managing properly. One of the BIG TOM in-car training pack resources gives a great deal of assistance to maximise the benefits of private driving practice.
It isn’t just a simple case of any private practice will do; we always encourage our customers to think it through carefully to maintain safety and boost driving skills and confidence levels.