The global pandemic has reduced our ability to leave the home and, well, drive anywhere. And if you've not been behind the wheel for a while, then chances are you'll be a bit rusty. Or maybe you passed your test a while back and haven't driven since? If so, you might not feel confident enough to hit the road after all that time.

Either way, a driving refresher course can help get your driving skills back up to speed. Wondering if they're for you? We'll cover everything you need to know about driving refresher courses in this handy guide.

What are refresher driving lessons?

Refresher driving lessons are optional lessons that existing drivers can take to improve their driving skills and re-gain some much-need confidence on the road. They can also be taken by those who have already had driving lessons in the past and need a quick primer before they take their practical test.

The courses themselves are designed to be short and intensive, though the length of the course will vary depending on who you opt to have lessons with.

family drive

Why should you take refresher driving lessons?

There are all sorts of different reasons why drivers opt to take refresher driving lessons, including:

Boost driving confidence

If you've been off the road for a while, then taking a refresher course is a great way to brush up on your driving skills, give your confidence a boost, and ensure you're driving in the safest possible manner once more.

If you haven't driven in some time, that lack of confidence can be dangerous. Don't feel safe getting behind the wheel after taking a hiatus? It sounds like a refresher might be right for you.

Change bad habits

Just because your previous driving instructor taught you to drive a certain way, it doesn't mean it's gospel. As a result, you might've fallen into some bad habits.

While some bad driving habits are only trivial, others are more serious, so you run the risk of facing fines and legal issues if you're not careful. A refresher course will be able to pinpoint the issues in your driving to show where you might be going wrong on the road.

Familiarise themselves with new traffic laws

Over time, traffic laws for a certain area may change. If you aren't aware of the alterations, then you might be violating these laws without even realising.

Taking a refresher driving course will give you a chance to learn these new laws. This can be especially beneficial if you've moved to a new country and you aren't familiar with their rules of the road.

Other reasons you may want to take a refresher course include:

·      You want to familiarise with driving in certain situations, such as on motorways or at night.

·      You've been prosecuted for speeding or dangerous driving and have been recommended you take a refresher course to relearn road safety.

·      You want to learn how to tow a trailer of caravan safely.

What is included in refresher driving lessons?

Refresher driving lessons are similar to normal lessons. However, they do differ in a few aspects.

Firstly, you'll be pleased to know they don't feature a practical test at the end. What’s more, your instructor is less the teacher you had the first time around and more there to offer help, advice and pointers when it's needed.

It's not like you don't have the ability to drive at all; you're primarily there to gain back the experience and confidence you may have lost during any downtime you may have had.

young couple on a drive

You can tailor the lessons to your goals and inform the instructor of what it is you want to work on, including:

·      Motorway driving

·      Parking

·      Understanding confusing junctions

·      Night-time driving

·      Driving an automatic car

·      Becoming more speed aware

The above isn't an exhaustive list either; the good thing about refresher driving lessons is that there's not much in the way of limits when it comes to what you want to learn or re-learn.

Where can I find driving refresher lessons?

If you fancy taking driving refresher lessons, then there a few different options available to you, including:

·      Go with your original instructor – there's a good chance that the instructor you previously passed with also offers refresher lessons. Get in touch with them to see what they offer.

·      Gov.uk – perhaps the easier way to find an instructor, head to the Gov.uk portal. Here, you can search and compare DVSA-approved instructors in your local area so you can find the instructor who's right for you.

·      Ask your employer – if your job requires you to travel by car, then ask your employer if they can arrange a refresher driving course for you. If it's essential, they may cover all or some of the cost.

As for the cost of refresher driving lessons, the prices will vary, but you should expect to pay a similar hourly rate to standard driving lessons. You might have the option to book lessons in bulk too, which can keep the cost low; be sure to talk to the instructor you plan to go with to see what they'll quote you.

It may be worth shopping around if cost is an issue, but remember, you can't put a price on safety, especially when you're out on the road.

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