What Are the Hardest Bits About Learning to Drive?

At DGN, we love driving. But we’ll be the first to acknowledge that not everyone feels the same. And when you first start having taking driving lessons, a lot of it can feel really difficult. Imagining yourself on your own, on the road, negotiating manoeuvres can feel like a laughable work of fiction. But the important thing to remember is that almost everyone goes through it. Everyone has something they struggle with when they start learning to drive. But with time and practice, it all becomes easier. And knowing that you’re not the only person finding things difficult can be a really big help. So, what are the hardest bits about learning to driving?

The Parts of Driving Most Learners Struggle With


Whether it’s parallel parking, bay parking, or parking on the right, manoeuvres can be the stuff of nightmares for learner drivers. And the problem is that you can’t just ignore them or wing it. You’ve got to get them right. Because they’re not just an integral component of the practical driving test. But of everyday driving. So, what can you do?

Unfortunately, there are no short cuts. Just practice. The only way to get to grips with driving manoeuvres is to understand them and perform them. So, talk to your driving instructor about the steps involved in performing each manoeuvre. And take every opportunity to practice them,


Small roundabouts aren’t usually that much of a worry for drivers. But when you’re confronted by the monsters that we have in Birmingham, Smethwick, Wolverhampton, and the like, it can make even the most experienced drivers quake. In fact, in 2015, the roundabout at  Bordesley Circus, Birmingham, was named the fifth most dangerous in the country. So, if you’re learning to drive in the West Midlands, you’d be forgiven for being worried about roundabouts.

Practice is again the best way to confront roundabout fears. Start by getting to know the theory – what you’re meant to do, who has the right of way, when you need to go. Then move on to the practice. And if you’re seriously worried, talk to your driving instructor. They can help by planning routes that will let you get to grips with the theory on quieter roundabouts before taking you to busier roads.


Confidence can be a problem for all learner drivers. If you’re over-confident, you can make rash decisions. But under-confidence, which manifests itself in hesitation and too-slow speeds, can be equally dangerous. Both issues need to be tackled.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your driving instructor about your confidence. If you are over-confident, the chances are that your instructor will pull you up on it. But if you’re anxious and hiding it well, you mustn’t be afraid to ask for help. Your instructor will never judge you. And they will usually be able to support you.


When you’re feeling tense, it can be really hard to tear your eyes away from the road ahead. So, for many learner drivers, remembering to complete a full set of observations can be tricky. But checking your mirrors is as important as knowing what’s going on in the road ahead.

This is something else that will come with practice. Over time, checking your mirrors and performing adequate observations becomes habit. But to begin with, you need to keep reminding yourself of the mirror, signal, manoeuvre mantra. And the importance of being aware of everything that is happening around you.

Hill starts

Although no longer part of the standard driving test, hill starts are still an important skill to master. And they’re scary because it can feel like you are not in control.

The thing to remember is that when you’re performing a hill start, you simply have to follow a formula.

  • Stay calm
  • Check your mirror, signal, and position
  • Ensure your parking brake is engaged
  • Press the clutch and move into first gear
  • Press the accelerator and bring the clutch to biting point
  • Check your mirror, signal, and position again
  • When it’s safe to go, release the parking brake
  • Ease off the clutch while gently pressing the accelerator
  • You should now start to feel the car moving forward
  • Check your mirror, signal, position again, and proceed.

Everyone has a different experience of learning to drive. But while some are more positive than others, you can guarantee that all learners will find something difficult. Even if it’s not on this list! But with the right instructor and enough practice, even the hardest parts of driving soon become simple.

If you’re looking for a driving instructor in the West Midlands, get in touch with DGN.

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Thomas Baugh

Thomas Baugh

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