Combating Driving Fears After the Test

Drivers who have just passed their test can often experience anxiety about hitting the road on their own without a driving instructor. There are ways to combat driving fears after passing the test including specialised driving courses and even hypnotherapy.

The Common Fear of Driving Alone

Driving alone once the driving test has been passed is a common fear. Many newly qualified drivers are uneasy about taking to the road without the reassurance of their driving instructors. In fact, many new drivers will actually stop driving altogether once the driving test has been passed simply because they are too scared to drive alone. Driving alone is a fear that usually disappears over time once on the road experience has been obtained. But for those who can’t seem to shake the anxiety there are some methods that can be used to allay driving fears.

Are Driving Fears Irrational?

Newly qualified drivers who suffer from driving anxiety should ask themselves why they are scared to drive. In most cases it simply comes down to a matter of confidence and this will increase with the amount of hours on the road. Newly qualified drivers should remember that they are not alone with these fears; it is natural for most newly qualified drivers to be nervous. Some people will take statistics to heart regarding the increased chance of car accidents during the first year of passing a driving test. Remember that a driving examiner will not have passed a learner if they did not think they were ready to drive alone and safely on the road.

Drive When Ready or Drive Immediately?

Some people will advise that driving immediately is the best way to combat driving fears while others will say that driving only when ready is the safer option. For some people, plunging in headfirst does work and facing the fear is known as one of the best ways to conquer it. For those who are extremely nervous, it can be a good option to take along a patient friend who can offer support. This can be a good idea until the driver feels ready to go it alone. The more on the road experience a driver has the easier it will be to eventually drive solo.

Plan Out Your First Solo Driving Trip

Newly qualified drivers can help to ease fears by planning out their first solo driving trip:

  • Choose familiar driving routes (perhaps those that have been driven previously during driving lessons)
  • Stick to quiet times during the day
  • Try to avoid busy city centre areas during peak driving periods.

Once the fear of driving solo has diminished, the driving routes can then be increased on a daily basis.

Take the Pass Plus Driving Course

The Pass Plus driving course is a very popular way to gain on the road experience after passing a driving test. Pass Plus consists of six lessons that are designed to help drivers face certain driving situations. Lessons included in the course are night driving, all weather driving, motorway driving and town driving. Experience of these specific driving situations should help to decrease driving fears and lead to safer driving. Some insurance companies will actually offer lower insurance premiums to those who have satisfactorily completed the Pass Plus driving course.

Combating Driving Fears with Hypnotherapy

Many people who simply can’t overcome their driving fears resort to hypnotherapy. A professional hypnotherapist can use a number of different techniques that can overcome fear. Hypnotherapy can be used to examine exactly where the fears come from, which may be deeply buried and not always be apparent to the patient. Hypnotherapists can use desensitising therapies to allay driving fears just as they would when treating other phobias. Therapists can also advise on simple deep breathing exercises that can be used to help calm nerves before and during solo driving trips.


Making that first solo driving trip can be a nerve wracking experience but the first step is usually the hardest. Driving will eventually become second nature as confidence grows with each journey. If driving fears are centered on a specific aspect such as motorway driving then take an extra lesson or two to increase motorway driving confidence. The longer these driving fears are allowed to build, the harder it may be to overcome them. If you are anxious about driving alone, take advice from a driving instructor who will have plenty of tips on how to combat driving fears after the test. 


Disclaimer: The information in the article is for general purpose information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. This article has been produced by a third party and Jardine Motors does not take any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the website or the information provided. Article last updated March 2016.