Practicing drivers

Where can first time drivers practice legally? I know some suggest parking lots but that’s private property and one could be misconstrued as maliciously trespassing. Where is a safe and legal place?

Malicious trespass? For driving around the mall parking lot for a while?

I recommend a mall parking lot on a Sunday morning.

Yeah, why wouldn’t you be able to drive around a big parking lot? Are you saying “first time driver” as in someone who doesn’t even have their learner’s permit? ETA: if it’s a matter of them being private property, surely there’s school or other public-owned parking lots nearby.

If you want to be strictly legal and proper, seek the prior approval of the management or owner of the empty parking lot. In my case my mother had me practice driving in the parking lot of my elementary school on a quiet weekend day.

Moved from General Questions to IMHO.

samclem, moderator

Airport runways have got some nice long, straight sections where you can really get up some speed.

I practiced at a nearby dead-end road. It had a nice circle to turn around in, and everything!

The first time I practiced driving, it was in a (very) small town when my family was visiting relatives.

Only if you already have a pilot’s license.

I didn’t need a pilot’s license, just a guide truck.Of course getting my van through security was a hassle. But I didn’t have to take off my shoes.

Watch out for bridges and hop-ons. You’re gonna get some hop-ons.

I learned to drive on weekends at the local high school campus.

I learned on a soybean farm in Clear Lake City.

I’ve never heard of anyone being bothered for practicing in an empty parking lot, either private (mall, supermarket) or public (school, gov’t offices).

My daughter practiced in the parking lot of an abandoned shopping mall. She wasn’t the only one: we had another father and son show up while we were there once. No one cared because it was the first time in years anything useful was being done with that mall.

The parking lots of your local school ought to be fine. Just make sure no kids are around and practice until your heart’s content. The markings are in place to practice parking too.

Where has the OP been? We need more info.

I suppose the correct answer is: if you have a learner’s permit, then you can drive on city streets within limits of the permit.
Without a permit, you can’t drive a car anywhere except on private property. So get permission if you are worried about trouble.

But I want to know why OP thinks a mall or church would have him arrested for trespassing?

Mrs. Septimus drove my stick-shift sportscar around a parking lot one Saturday. It was a business non-commercial parking lot so mostly empty – she hit a few curbs instead of cars, and I didn’t even need an alignment job.

Her skills improved greatly. I knew teaching phase was over some years later when I said “I’d take this bumpy dirt road a little slower, honey” and she responded with … pedal-to-the metal.

In an earlier IMHO thread I mentioned that over-attention to legality is impractical but was severely chastised for the observation. I’ll repeat it now in a smaller font.

In addition to school and malls, church parking lots are practically empty most days. Find a large church near by and learn away! That is where I taught all my kids how to pull in to a parking space, back out, parallel park and drive a stick shift.