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Home / Blog / What will you learn on your very first driving lessons?

04 / 03 / 24

What will you learn on your very first driving lessons?

Hello learner and welcome to National Intensive’s blog. You may be wondering how a driving lesson is structured and especially for your first lesson the uncertainty can prove very stressful, which mostly disappears to a large extent, when your lesson starts. To let you know what you will expect, we have consulted one of our top graded and most experienced driving instructors.

Legal Checks.

Before you are allowed to begin to drive the car, your driving instructor will need to be sure of two things, firstly that you have a valid, legal provisional licence. You may be required to provide the ‘check code’ to the driving instructor so that they can ensure that you are not currently disqualified from driving. Secondly, you will need to be able to read a car number plate from 20 meters in good light, which is roughly 67 feet.

When this is all checked you will be driven to a quiet, appropriate location where the instructor feels you will be able to complete several tasks. If you have a longer first lesson, you may be able to complete more than what we will discuss today.

The Cockpit Drill.

The cockpit drill is a fundamental part of your driving lesson, ensuring the vehicle’s controls are correctly set before you start driving. It includes adjustments for your seat and mirrors for optimal visibility and comfort, ensuring the steering wheel is at the right height and distance, checking that all doors are securely closed, and familiarizing yourself with the vehicle’s controls. This routine is crucial for safety and comfort, helping you to focus on the road and drive more effectively.

Discussing Mirrors & Blind Spots.

Before moving off in a vehicle, it’s essential to use mirrors and check blind spots to ensure it’s safe. Your National Intensive driving instructor will help you understand that checking mirrors allows you to understand the surroundings and the positions of other road users. However, mirrors don’t cover all areas, leaving blind spots that must be physically checked by looking over your shoulder. This combination ensures you’re aware of everything around your vehicle, preventing accidents and ensuring a safe manoeuvre. It’s a critical habit that promotes safety for you and other road users.

The Gears & Clutch (Manual car).

In the simplest possible terms. Imagine you are on a bike, it has pedals – one makes you go (the gas pedal in a car), and one helps you change speeds without stopping (the clutch in a car). When you push the clutch, it’s like lifting your feet off the bike’s pedals so you can change gears. After picking the right gear, you start pedalling again by slowly lifting your foot off the clutch. This way, the car can move smoothly at different speeds, just like how you pedal faster or slower on your bike to go at different speeds! You will learn to understand the clutch, including the “biting point” – which simply put is the height on the pedal where the wheels begin pulling forward. If this all sounds confusing, try watching a few YouTube explanation videos or watch somebody drive a manual car when you are a passenger.

Moving Off And Stopping.

For your first driving lesson, you’ll learn the MSPSL routine on a longer lesson, an essential part of driving safely. It stands for Mirror, Signal, Position, Speed, and Look. This routine helps you make informed decisions on the road, ensuring you check mirrors for awareness, signal intentions, position the vehicle correctly, manage your speed, and look around for hazards. It’s a key skill set that you’ll practice until it becomes second nature, especially important for passing your driving test where proper observations are crucial.


If you are taking a longer lesson and time permits, you will be instructed fully to move off safely from the side of the road, using the routines we just discussed. If at any point you forget or cannot complete the task, we can go back and resolve any issues, until you have the confidence to carry out the task of moving off and stopping safely at the side of the road.


Best of luck with your semi-intensive or Intensive driving course with National Intensive!


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