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I was talking to a driving instructor the other day. He was telling me that the best thing a learner driver can do to get better is to go out driving in between lessons, to practise the new skills they've learnt. That seems like good advice, as long as they can get insurance for the family car, which could be a bit expensive for learners. But it made me wonder what other advice would be useful to learner drivers. For example:

• If your dad teaches you to drive, you are basically his captive during driving lessons. He will tell you about why The Beatles are better than Noah and the Whale, how much he used to earn in his first job and how he would never have spoken to his dad like you speak to him. Agree with everything. You're getting free driving lessons and that's saving you a fortune!
• No matter how gorgeous you are, refrain from checking your make-up, hairstyle or teeth in the rear-view mirror. It's there so you can check what's behind you! You are, however, allowed to check your examiner has a reflection; some of them seem a bit too evil to be human.
• Those circular signs with a red ring and numbers on them are 'speed limits'! That's approximately the speed at which the traffic will travel and you mustn't go faster than that. However, that doesn't mean to say you should crawl along with a three-mile-long tail of traffic behind you and 12-year-olds walking past you and laughing. Try to keep up with the traffic as long as they're not speeding.
• When you do the 'turn in the road' manoeuvre, it doesn't have to be a three-point turn - that's just a guideline. It does, however, have to be an odd number, because a four-point turn will end up with you facing back the way you started, so unless you're taking the car line-dancing it isn't any use at all.

The best piece of advice a learner can be given is to listen to their instructor. So if he or she wants you to practise your driving in the family car, perhaps you should give it a go. Just shop around for a good deal on the insurance first.

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