I think I cannot call myself first-time driver any longer as I have passed my test a few years back, but no on one can forget the driving test in their life. Mainly because of two things, one the practical driving test – nothing strikes fear in the heart like someone strictly judging your first driving mission. Two the amount Freedom that driving licence brings to anybody’s life. For me, the reason mainly was that I don’t have to rely on my partner to pick me from work and take me to places and hear him moaning about it.
Fortunately, I have had a great experience during the learning stage.I had an excellent driving instructor, I was quite nervous at the beginning of my learning journey, but my instructor had lots of hints and tips, which made life more comfortable for me and turned me into a confident and safe driver.
On the day of the practical test, I was very nervous almost same as my university exams. My instructor picked me up in her car, and we drove to the test centre. We had to wait there as earlier tests were running a bit late and that was the worst part of the test, I could feel my heart pumping out of my chest.
Then came my turn, I sat in the driving seat, the examiner went and sat in the passenger seat, and she asked my instructor if she wanted to join. What a relief it was to have my instructor seated in the back, giving me that sense of confidence. With her presence, it calmed me down, and it just felt like just another day of my driving lessons.
The practical test went through usual with no surprises or dramas until last minute examiner realised she forgot to do the parking test and it was none other than parallel parking. My heart sank, and I started feeling that this is going to be the turning point but to my surprise or my hard work I managed to do it in one attempt. The instructor said the test has finished and she said those magic words “you have passed the test!”
I managed to pass my practical driving test in the first attempt which is not very common in this country, I feel U.K. has one of the toughest driving tests in the world, and I passed it in the first attempt. I was over the moon and ready to join millions of driver on the road.
After all the excitement of passing the test in the first attempt the next experience made me realise things are not that simple as they look. Buying a car was exciting, yet bit stressful as the car insurance for the first-time driver is so high that I had to remove most of my dream cars from the wish list and settled with one that suited my insurance budget. (not that I was planning to buy Porche or Ferarri)
But after driving for a few years, I realised why it’s so important to have well-trained drivers on the road as one wrong/naïve move can cause someone or you their life. That’s why the first-time driver insurance is so high on specific cars, engine size, etc. But as technology has evolved, it’s now easy to track how people drive in real time and award them or penalise them based on their driving skills. This way you are only punishing the bad drivers and not everyone’s insurance goes up like early days.
After driving for a few months, came the dreadful the first accident, this happens in everyone’s driving career, and I wasn’t the exception either. During routine grocery trip to the supermarket, someone drove into the back of my car while I was reversing. It was a small scratch and no major damage or injuries to any party, but it did feel like the world came to an end at that moment.
I managed to keep calm and exchanged the insurance details and moved on even though another driver was trying to intimidate me by saying it was my fault. I told him there are cameras around the parking lot and let our insurance companies handle this. But to my surprise, those surveillance cameras didn’t work 24hrs a day, and the cameras weren’t working that day either.
Even though it was a minor accident and I wasn’t at fault, the insurance company penalised me for lack of evidence as they do to everyone who can’t provide proof. Though my no claim discount wasn’t affected my insurance premium went up next year because of that accident. This accident and increased premium affected my driving and confidence because every time I drove, I started worrying about the insurance costs if things went wrong.
Unfortunately, those days I didn’t have the choice of Aviva Drive app. It’s a first-time driver’s or in fact any driver’s dream. This app lets you monitor your driving skills, and score drivers which will encourage people to drive safely. You can Challenge your friends’ feature, Safer than your friends? Share your score and see how they do. As we know you, we should never use our mobile phone while driving – and with Aviva Drive, you don’t have to. The app uses your phone’s GPS to detect when your vehicle starts moving and automatically records your journey.
One of the most significant features of the app, in my opinion, is the Dash Cam Feature.It records your journey and saves the footage in the event of a crash or if you wish to save it manually. If I had this at the time of the accident, I would be able to provide evidence to the insurance company and not pay a higher premium.
I would recommend every first-time driver to use Aviva Drive App and Dash Cam Feature or any similar technology like that as this takes the entire stress of worrying about insurance costs and all. This latest technology will not penalise you for someone else’s mistake and award you with a discount if you drive like a pro- so it’s worth using it.