1. First things first.
The best thing about passing your driving test, is passing your driving test. Well bloody done, you took the time to learn a new and scary skill which required you to operate a motor vehicle that you knew little about at first. But you learnt how to operate that vehicle. You were tested on it and you nailed it!!
2. Buy heavy things.
No more, how will I get this home? That's going to be awkward on the bus and so on. I am not talking a tonne of bricks, more like a slab of diet coke, a big ole box of washing powder or a 10kg bag of kitty litter. Your trusty new stride will take the weight of your purchases!
3. Play your music LOUD.
Whatever music you like, as loud as you like. As long as this does not distract your driving... As a new driver you will also be able to recite the highway codes advice on noise based distractions.
4. Singing superhero
As a new driver you are also now bestowed with a new super-power; once the ignition is turned to the on position, your talent for singing is transformed. Singing to Adele, you will sound like Adele "Hello!!". Need lead singer, a backing group, a tenor and a baritone for your fav power ballad.....not a problem for you will have all of these at your disposal. So sing to your hearts content. Note to self, your car like many, has lots of windows, people outside your car can you see you singing!!
5. Drive Thru
Be it Costa or MacDonalds, at some point you may feel compelled to go to a drive through. The thrill of ordering food through windows will creep up on you when you are least expecting it. Do not fight this compulsion! Drive through are a new driver revelation, previously out of our reach as pedestrians. Note to self drive through have some nice tight turns to try out your finer motor skills.
6. Driving solo is quiet.
Without an instructor in the car, driving is suddenly very quiet, I took the edge off of this by programming the sat nav for all journeys and after a little time graduated to having the radio on.
7. Petrol stations.
Eeeek, unless your instructor took you to fill up the car on a lesson, this is a all a bit new. Petrol caps can be a fiddle, you may check and recheck the colour of the pump, the choice of fuel approx. 10 times per petrol station visit. Remembering a 1 digit pump number from your car to the checkout, seems like an easy thing to do, until you are at the there and your IQ drops out your arsehole and you just stare at the checkout person like they are an alien from the new series of X-Files...... Doh!
Likely during your lessons the instructor chose a kind parking options. Sometimes there was another car there, sometimes there were open spaces either side.... lush! Now you are out on your own, you find yourself heat seeking as many open spaces as possible so that you can conduct your beautiful parking privately, in a remote area of the car park, allowing as many attempts as your heart desires.
9. Multi-storey car parks
Take your desire to park with plenty of space and combine that with your fine motor skills achieved from your, now, many visits to the drive thru. Take these to the multi-storey, break sweat on the 100th hill starts in the queue up the ramp, open your window, hold a ticket between your teeth and then drive straight up to the roof, there are always spaces on the roof!
10. Hiring a car.
I was super reluctant to do this, but a business trip came up and I had to hire a car. Once you figure out that all cars have the essentials, but that they all like to showcase these in slightly interesting and different ways (hand-foot brake...what!!) You will be well on your way to being a versatile accomplished driver. Do this sooner rather than later, it is surprising how quickly you can become a creature of habit and will only ever love your first car!!