Before I start my experience with driving, just remember everyone is different with how many lessons they need, whether they need to swap instructors, whether you pass first time or even the fifth time it’s always about how you feel driving.
I think I was quite lucky with learning to drive as through the years my parents have taken me to circuits where you can drive under 17. Not to say that actually helped as after that I always panicked and could never do gears but it’s somewhere to start.
My instructor always did say it’s helpful if you have another car to practice in. Unfortunately both my parents have automatic cars and I couldn’t see my brother or any other relative letting me loose in their cars. I did end up getting my own car about 2 weeks before I took my test. I think this helped as I was out in my car every day before my test, this was driving myself home from work with my parents in the car but still it was practise.
In total I had 33 lessons including the hour before my test. That hour before is 100% needed, I made so many mistakes in that hour that you would never have thought I’d have been about to take my driving test!
I was very secretive about the fact I was taking lessons. I’m not sure why but to begin with I was very paranoid about learning to drive. I did put it off for about 4 years so maybe that’s why. I also didn’t want everyone questioning about my lessons and how many I had and when will I be ready. Not telling many people definitely helped me as I wasn’t constantly talking about it working me up.
So something that was drilled into me was knowing your instructors history.
Luckily for me my instructor had taught my mum and brother as well as cousins and friends but I would definitely recommend asking around about instructors. Find out their pass rates, how much do they charge per lesson? Do they offer bulk packages? This is very important as it can save you some money, I kept buying my lessons in bulks of ten as this was cheaper for me and meant I knew I had paid for majority of my lessons.
Some instructors include your theory test so you need to ask about that. These are normally your big driving companies which include this. Mine didn’t so you have to remember this additional cost. I’m sure the theory test is £23, many people book their theory and then revise but my instructor gave me a practice test every week. Once I was getting 90% on every single test (sometimes I did 2/3 a week) he told me to book it but continue revising. This 100% helped and I ended up passing my theory with 47/50 on the multiple choice and 63/75 on the hazard perception. I would definitely recommend practising your hazard perception as how you react normally and how you react on a computer are completely different!
Make sure before you take your theory you’re prepared and your calm. Also don’t forget your license! I can still remember taking my test and thinking I had failed but I carried on and tried as hard as I could. A lot of the questions which came up I had never seen before which is quite frustrating! You won’t find out which questions you got wrong so if you pass try and forget about it! When the woman passed me my piece of paper I couldn’t even look at it straight away as I honestly thought I had failed.
Getting your theory test out of the way means you can start to focus on your practical and actually learning how to drive. I know some people leave their theory for ages but I couldn’t wait. I think I took my theory after roughly 16 lessons. I spent a lot of time revising though. I photocopied all of the test papers as well as doing some online!
When it comes to taking your practical test make sure you are actually prepared. Make sure you speak to your instructor before you book your test, they will give you an honest opinion of whether you’re ready or not.
I set a deadline of a year to be passed which I said to my instructor and he kept giving me updates on whether he would thought this would be achievable or not. In actual fact it took me 8 months to pass but in this i had a holiday and so did my instructor. Don’t rush to get your licence otherwise it may not work. Take your time and listen to peoples help and guidance.
My quick tips on learning to drive:
- do your research before you pick an instructor
- keep calm when taking tests
- don’t rush into taking your theory or practical
- revise your theory until you feel prepared
- if you can, practice driving as much as you can in a second car
- speak to your instructor every lesson regarding how you’re driving
- ask your instructor for feedback and what you need to work on
If you are in/around the worksop area, the instructor I had was Gary Spencer. I am very glad i had him as an instructor as he knew my family but he also kept me at ease throughout every lesson and before my test.
There is obviously so much when it comes to driving, but this was a brief dive into my experience!
if you want to know more, leave me a comment!
Until next time