Learning to drive in 2023 – tips for EV drivers

learning to drive ev

Learning to drive is a necessity in today’s world. It’s especially important if you need to get to hard-to-reach places regularly or don’t want to rely on public transport.

You might think that it’s another expense that you can do without, but you soon reap the benefits and you can enjoy being in full control of your budget.

Learning to drive also brings a whole host of new opportunities. With a driver’s license, you can finally look for jobs outside of the city, do that hike you’ve always wanted to do or go on trips spontaneously without having to worry about buying a last-minute train ticket.

If you’re learning to drive in an electric car this year, here are some things to keep in mind to make the process as easy as possible.

Learn the basics of EV driving and safety

Driving tests in electric cars follow the same rules as those for cars with an automatic transmission, so there are no special rules.

However, it’s a good idea to practice how to properly charge and maintain your vehicle. Be sure to read up on the operating instructions provided by your EV’s manufacturer and understand the safety instructions and precautions.

Play with the brakes, throttle, gear selector, and handbrake settings to familiarise yourself with your electric car before taking your test.

Complete your theory and hazard perception test

To take your practical test, you have to have passed your theory and hazard perception test first. This test ensures that you know all the important road signs, can make responsible decisions on the road, and have a good instinct for road safety.

It’s a good idea to get this out of the way as soon as possible so you can focus fully on your driving. There are many apps to help you with it, but the most important thing to remember is that your test score is only valid for two years, so you need to pass your practical within two years to avoid doing and paying for the test all over again.

Find the right instructor

Finding the right instructor and booking lessons is key if you want to pass your test quickly and efficiently. When it comes to choosing your instructor, it’s important that your personalities match or this will distract from the learning process.

If you’re unsure about which instructor to choose, seek recommendations from family and friends. Once you have chosen your instructor, you then need to decide how long you want your lessons to be. Maybe you can only concentrate intensively for an hour at a time which you need to take into consideration. Then, try and book your lessons in bulk to save money.

If you want to practice your skills in between lessons, consider also getting insured on your parents’ or a friend’s car. Practice basic manoeuvres in wide spaces and ensure that someone is in the car with you at all times.

Prepping for test day

You’re likely going to be very nervous before your driving test. Remember to stay calm, maintain road safety and execute your manoeuvres correctly. You will also need to prove that you can read number plates from 20m away, as well as answer ‘show me tell me’ questions.

This advice will also stand you in good stead:

  • Get to known your brakes and accelerator before the test.
  • Make sure you arrive at the test centre on time.
  • When you’re on the test follow the instructions of the examiner to a tee.
  • Concentrate while you are driving and stay alert.
  • Make sure you are aware of other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Listen to the examiner’s comments and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Be polite and friendly throughout.
  • Refrain from nervous talking.

Did you pass?

Although it’s impossible to guarantee you will pass your test, preparation and practice are key. Knowing your controls, being aware of the highway code and other road users are all important. If you can demonstrate all of these then you have the best chance of success!

James Lewis is our resident electrical head. He drives an MG ZS EV (2018, which he loves) and plans to get the new one soon. James is much more excited by the lower end of the EV market and is looking forward to the Ora Cat.