No matter how confidently you pass your driving test, your first drive alone without your instructor can feel unnerving and this is perfectly normal. Even if he or she never needed to intervene, that comfort blanket was there telling you where to go and what to do. So how do you overcome your nerves and progress? Firstly, don’t go it alone straight away. Try to arrange a more experienced driver such as a family member or friend to join you on some short journeys. They won’t have dual control, but just having someone beside you can be soothing if you feel nervous. ‘P’ plates can also help as they flag up that you’re inexperienced and encourage other drivers to be more considerate. Keep your first journeys simple and stick to easy routes that you know well, this will help you focus on driving the car and observing other traffic rather than worrying about a new route. Pick quieter, off-peak times for your first solo drives such as late morning or early afternoon, then gradually increase the pressure and choose busier times of day. If you live in a busy area, this might not be a great place to start, so again ask a friend or family member to drive you in your own car to a quieter location to practice. Try to drive in decent weather conditions. This is not the time to experience a dual carriage way with buffeting winds, experience will give you the skills to drive in such conditions, so don’t dent your confidence at this early stage. Remember, being a safe and confident driver simply comes with practice.