Learning to drive has possibly got to be up there with one of life’s milestones. I was an oldie when I started to learn to drive aged 19 (In the UK you can learn to drive at 17). I had to save up for my lessons compared to a few of my friends who were lucky enough for lessons (and car in some cases!) to be bank rolled by mum and dad. I brought my first car (a Ford KA if any of you are wondering!) at 21.
My experience learning to drive wasn’t exactly the best experience I have had. It took me two years and three test attempts before I passed on my fourth try. By then I was feeling really demoralised, I was running out of money to pay for the lessons and tests, I had bought my own car to practice in and was practicing all the time. I knew I had to keep going because I didn’t want my partner to be driving me round all the time and I am so glad I did.
In terms of picking an instructor I asked friends for recommendations. I had two instructors: the first instructor I had for around a year and a half and the second for about half a year. I liked my first instructor because he did teach me the basics but after a year I just felt that I wasn’t improving, my performance was literally flat lining. The instructor would make me drive around for an hour with no focus and I just had enough. Therefore I decided to move on and try another instructor.
My next instructor I found on the internet. I chose him because the driving school he was a part of happened to offer a hour’s lesson whereby you drive round and the instructor could assess how close I was to taking the test. He said to me after the hour’s lesson that I could drive however my manoeuvres needed practice. Additionally I had to learn to drive in a new area in a different car so it took time to learn new routes.
In regards to the tests themselves as above I took four driving tests. I do know in the press some people are saying you should only have one chance to pass your driving test but I think that’s ridiculous. People mature at different rates and sometimes things happen in the test that is out of your control and nerves can be real factor for some people. Out of sheer desperation, I even brought off eBay a driving test hypnotherapy CD which you are meant to play at night and it’s meant to make you all calm before and during your test.
My first driving test I failed because I didn’t check my right side when I was reversing around the corner (even though I got round the corner perfectly). I genuinely couldn’t remember why I failed the second and third time however I do remember my fourth test so well. It was raining, snowing, I had to pull over for an ambulance to pass and overtake a stationary school bus. The relief and happiness when I passed the test was amazing. I was over the moon. It felt as good as when I passed my degree.
I drive fairly regularly now to and from work and it has allowed me and my partner to live in a place not close to the city centre. I am so glad that I continued learning to drive. If I had given up I wouldn’t have passed and would have to start all over again which would have cost more money.
Are you taking your driving test soon? Has anyone had any bad or odd experiences learning to drive?