Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Driving Lesson Memories*


Do you remember your first driving lesson and your driving test(s)?

I do. *Cue story time music*

September 6th 2011 was my first lesson! I remember being so nervous when Ray, my instructor from RED Driving school, pulled up outside my house. I remember my sister telling me I was going to do fine and not to worry. Once I got in the car (passenger seat to start!) Ray drove us to a nearby area that isn't really busy and has a few basics near by. A hill for hill starts, a few turnings to get used to handling the wheel, and a crossroad for me to get used to traffic a little bit. He explained the car basics to me, what each pedal and gear would do and to use my mirrors 'all the time'. I think this is the bit I forgot the most on my lessons!

I managed to get the speed okay almost right away, but I struggled with the pedals and gears for weeks! I managed to pull away, stop and turn left and right all within the first 2 hours. I was so nervous the whole time - but I was happy I was finally doing it! I had stalled about 20 times on the first lesson, but I had been expecting way more!

After that, I done a lesson every week on a Friday for an hour with Ray. Each lesson was an hour long and £20 a go, so I was determined to do well and learn fast. After about 4 lessons in that quiet area, he let me loose on the main roads near my house and I was so scared. Red lights were a bitch to get used too, and I felt I was always going so slowly.


By December when the snow hit, I was driving alright. I was only stalling a few times a lesson and had the added panic of driving on ice and snow - which put an end to my lessons until mid-January as it was a bit unsafe for me to still be learning. But I was happy with the progress I made.

I was learning my road theory at the time too, and I was lucky enough to pass my theory test on the first try - with the exact amount of points I had needed to pass. Very lucky! That was April 25th 2012, and that meant I could now apply for my test.

The first test I had was at the start of June as I was trying to rush one in before my holiday that year. The route I had was in an area of my town which I'd never been to before and was down a country lane - which I'd not even thought about before. Ray sat in the backseat, and the female examiner was sat in the passenger seat. She failed me as I had gone to fast in a 30mph zone down the country lane... Even though I was doing 20mph as I was scared shitless about how narrow it was. But she still failed me. I cried as soon as I got home as I was so annoyed with her and myself!

The second test was in August, and I knew I'd failed within 10 minutes of the test starting. I was having a bad day as it was and I was in no mood for the test that day. I hit a curb and accidentally cut up a car on the confusing one way system and I saw the male examiner fail me while I was still driving. As I could see I had failed, I just drove how I wanted after that and back to the test center, completely ignoring the directions he'd given me as I just didn't want to be in the car anymore.

I finally passed on September 4th 2012 on my third test! Interestingly, I went on the same route as my first test. The male examiner I had this time was so kind and put my nerves on standby and even when he had to help me on the country lane as a lorry was stuck, he still passed me and I only had one minor. A miracle really...


I got my car, dubbed Betty, on February 18th 2013! My Dad was very very very nice and bought the car for me as he was sick of carting me to and from work at midnight! I've still got to pay him back for it!

I spent about £1200 on all my lessons, theory tests and practical tests in total. Of that, my parents paid about £200 of it when I was short on money that week, but other than that - I forked out about £1000 for the whole thing. It took me just shy of a year to learn and pass my test!

I still have some driving issues now and then, but in the past 3 years I've only stalled a few times and I've managed two trips to Cornwall and back. Something I thought I'd never be able to do.

Have you passed your test, or currently taking lessons? I'd love to know your stories and how you're doing, so let me know! And if you want to look at taking lessons yourself or anything about the tests at all, check out BookLearnPass, which has a lot of tips and tricks for you - plus there is a mock theory test which is super useful!

Hope you have a great day and keep safe :)

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4 comments:

  1. Loved that little story! High five fellow third timer... we are the best drivers ;) !!

    My first test I think I was just nervous and came to a turning that I'd never done before and was going a bit too quickly (I still think I was fine... haha!)... Second test I had the same tester which I think didn't help - there was a litter picker on the pavement in a 30mph zone, and I apparently didn't slow down enough... you know, in case he wanted to pick up that bit of litter that wasn't there in the road...). Third time, however, I had a lovely tester, and I enjoyed that test!! xx

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    1. Yay, 3rd time buddies!! I find the examiner impacts the test a lot too - the woman was so stern looking and then second guy I had was chatty all the way round which was so good! I felt like it was just another lesson which helped :) xx

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  2. I'm currently learning. I take my test in two weeks actually, and I'm terrified!! Loved hearing about your experience on the road. Learning to drive is so stressful, isn't it?! And it costs so damn much :( x www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

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    1. Oh good luck hun! It is scary, but just drive like you would any other day and try and keep calm! Let me know how it goes :) It's so darn expensive and then you can't afford a car when you pass most of the time which is another thing I had my annoyance over until my dad was super nice! I'll be paying him back until I'm 80!!
      Good luck sweet! xx

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