You’ve passed! Now let’s get you on the road…

Congratulations - you’ve powered through the practice, triumphed over the theory and now you’ve finally passed your driving test. You can officially get out onto the road on your own. So where do you want to go first?

Build up your confidence with a trip to the shops for a pint of milk? Perhaps a shopping trip with your friends is in order now that you have all that boot space to fill? Or maybe a good old-fashioned road-trip? Whatever you decide, we’ve put together some tips to get you there as safely as possible.

So first thing’s first, let’s get the checklist sorted before you head out:

Car – Already got the car or have access to someone else’s? You can skip this step.

Not so lucky? Not to worry – we’ve handpicked the best cars for first-time buyers; whether you’re looking for the fastest or the most affordable option, Arnold Clark have the best choice for all budgets.

Insurance – Once you’ve got your car the next step is arranging your insurance. This is a legal requirement so don’t forget! Insurance can be costly for first-time drivers, especially if you’re aged between 17 and 21 but you can always check out these top tips to keep your costs as low as possible.

Road tax – This is another crucial legal requirement so check that your car is up to date with its road tax. Note: the law has changed now and you don’t have to display the road tax disc on your vehicle. You can check if your vehicle’s road tax is up to date by visiting

So now that’s all ticked off, you can start planning your first adventure out on the open road.

Build up your confidence

Getting out for the first time after passing your test can be a daunting experience, so why not take a few short trips to get comfortable in the driving seat? Take a friend with you for moral support or head out on your own. If you’re driving a different car from the one you practiced in, take some time to figure out where all the controls are and familiarise yourself with how it feels. Most of the main gadgets are standard through all vehicles but depending on the manufacturer there could be some slight variation from the car in which you learned to drive.

How many shopping bags can you fit in the boot?

Let’s face it, the best thing about passing your test is being able to pick up your friends and hit the road. With all that extra boot space you can go for a major shopping spree. Most shopping centres offer plenty of free parking, which means one less thing to worry about. However, if you’re parking in the city centre and need to pay, make sure you take change with you and pay for as much time as possible – the last thing you need is a parking ticket. On-street parking can be tricky to get right first time, so make sure you refresh your parallel-parking skills and choose a space with plenty of leeway until you’re fully confident in your manoeuvring skills.

Road trip!

Hoping to travel a little further than your nearest shopping centre? Why not plan a road trip? Festival season may be fading but with so many great locations throughout the UK, there are still plenty of great things to see and do. What about a fun night away in Manchester? Or a camping trip in the North of Scotland? Or a relaxing trip to the Lakes? A world of possibility awaits. Just remember before heading out to do some simple safety checks on the car – top up your fluids, check your tyre treads, fill up with fuel, pack some extra blankets and a torch in case you get into trouble. Also make sure you have breakdown cover. Not comfortable doing these checks yourself? You can always take your car in to your local Arnold Clark for a free winter check!

If you’re doing a long journey, why not make the time pass quicker with some old-school car games like ‘Spot the car’, ‘I-Spy’ or ‘Name that tune’ – or just make up your own!

Make sure you and your mates come up with an awesome soundtrack for your road trip, need some inspiration. If you need some inspiration, these should get you started…

    • Shut up and drive – Rihanna
    • Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett
    • Here I Go Again – Whitesnake
    • Little Red Corvette – Prince
    • I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) – The Proclaimers

Whatever you do on your first trip, make sure you’re safe and have fun!

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