Congratulations – you just got your G1 license! Sure, you can only drive with a fully-licensed adult in the passenger seat, but this is your first step to experience the freedom that comes with getting behind the wheel. So, what’s next? Here are five things to do after you get your G1:
- Read up on the G1 rules and restrictions. Your new license is not a ticket to freedom; it comes with many rules and restrictions. For example, you can only drive if you are accompanied by a fully licensed passenger, and you are not allowed to drive on 400-series highways. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Driver Handbook outlines all the restrictions.
Failure to follow these rules will result in serious consequences, ranging from earning an automatic 30-day licence suspension for a first-time offence, to losing your G1 and having to start over for a third offence.
- Talk to your parents about their rules and restrictions. While the MTO has their own set of restrictions, it’s likely that your parents will have even more rules you’ll be required to follow. Have an honest conversation with your parents so you’re fully aware of their expectations – after all, it’s their car you’ll be driving once you pass your road test.
- Take a drivers education course. There are many reasons taking a drivers education course is a good idea. First and foremost, the in-class portion will give you a solid foundation of driving knowledge, and the in-car training will prepare you for your road test. Speaking of your road test, you’ll be able to take it four months earlier if you complete an authorized drivers education course. And finally, when you shop around for car insurance, you’ll be eligible for a discount on your premium if you have a certificate of completion from your driving school.
- Practice, practice, practice. The next step to getting your full license is to take the G2 road test, which evaluates your ability to safely drive, park and maneuver your vehicle. You’ll want lots of practice leading up to your exam; you should be comfortable driving on city streets, changing lanes, turning left and right, reversing your vehicle, executing a three-point turn and parallel parking. The more time you spend behind the wheel, the better prepared you’ll be for test day.
- Open a savings account. Even if you’re not planning on buying your own car, being a driver is expensive! You should be prepared to pay for your insurance, gas and parking, and to chip in with repairs and maintenance. Your parents will be much more likely to lend you their vehicle if you contribute to the cost of owning a car.
The graduated licensing process can take anywhere from 20 months to five years, depending on how motivated you are to get your full license. Using that time to become a safe and responsible driver will reap rewards in the long run, whether it’s earning your parents’ trust to use their car, saving enough money to buy your own, or maintaining a solid driving record that will lower your insurance rate.