How I eventually passed my driving test

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I’ve held a full clean driving license for approximately 36 hours and I am still surprised I managed it.

Friday was my fourth attempt at a driving test and I felt like I was never going to pass.

Despite having driven round both Kent and London when it comes to the actual test I struggle.

It’s not because I think I can’t do it, because I know I can, but that I am easily nervous, which makes me panic.

If it goes wrong when I am driving I am able to stay composed, but in a test when it’s do or die I struggle with the pressure.

I first started learning to drive six and a half years ago when I first turned 17 but I found it difficult then.

Driving
I’ve always dreamed of having a car like this, at least now I’d be able to drive it.

As someone who gets nervous easily, has little special awareness and cannot multitask, driving was always going to be difficult.

I took around 35 hours of lessons before deciding that I wasn’t going anywhere. At this point I could drive, but I wasn’t at test level.

So I had a break for five years. When the time came to give driving another go, my theory test had expired by three years, so that was my first job.

Luckily I passed first time; my bank account is ever so grateful.

So now I just had to learn to drive, again.

I didn’t start lessons again until October, by which point I was now living in Cardiff, Wales.

It didn’t take me long to get familiar with the car, after all, I had 35 hours of previous experience.

I still struggled with gears but I was improving and by January I had booked myself in for a test.

In fact, my test was January 3, which meant I had to come back to Cardiff for New Year, bummer!

So this was my first test that I failed and honestly, I could have saved a lot of money if I just stalled a moment earlier than I did.

If you don’t already know, driving tests in the UK last around 40 minutes with half an hour of independent driving.

I was on minute 38 of my test. The test centre was in sight. I had one last job, to get over the roundabout.

Unfortunately for me, I chose to stall IN THE MIDDLE of the roundabout. So that was game over. Test number one failed.

The next one was a similar story but that time I chose to stall on a junction.

Renault Clio
This is not my dad’s car but my Dad owns a similar Renault Clio, which he has kindly leant to me.

Key advice for anyone who’s looking to take a test: stalling is fine, just don’t stall in a place which is dangerous e.g. on a roundabout or junction.

The third test was just a bit of a disastrous performance from me. It was right before my exams, I was tired and stressed and just didn’t drive well at all.

By this point I was defeated. I had little time in between exams to practice and my attention was on other things.

I decided once again to abandon driving for a while.

This lasted for about three months, but everything changed last week when I was offered a job with a newspaper.

My contract contains a clause which meant I had to learn to drive within three months of my employment. The catch? The job was situated in quite a remote area, so I’d have to learn beforehand.

As I was back in Kent by this point I toyed with the idea of getting an instructor and going through all the lessons again. I thought about doing an intensive course. Heck, I’d considered every option to me.

I was limited on time and I HAD to pass. So I decided that I’d take my test the following week in an automatic, my dad’s to be exact.

Unfortunately my parents were on holiday until Tuesday so I wasn’t able to practice until three days before my test.

As soon as they were home we went out daily. I drove my dad to watch football and my mum to work in Croydon.

We made sure I went out at least once a day to get to know the area where I was taking my test, after all it had been six years since I had last driven there.

So when yesterday came, we all said to each other that I had such little time, despite knowing I could do it, it’s fine if it takes me one more go.

I knew I had such little time and the pressure was on, but this time I also knew I could do it and I did.

Today I took my first solo outing in the car. It was only a five minute drive to the shops but I finally got there.

Sometimes you have to do it your own way and that’s fine.

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2 comments

  1. Awesome that you were finally able to pass! I am just starting to drive and I am not confident at all. I feel like I’m just thrown out there and expected to know how to do everything and be comfortable knowing that I’m in control, but I get really scared haha!! I know I’ll get over it soon, but I’m the kind of personality that hates making mistakes and being judged so I want to do everything perfectly and not draw any attention, which is super hard when just learning to drive.

    Lovely post!☺️

    Like

    • To be honest I still feel that way. I think that’s why it took me so long because I was nervous on the roads and annoyed when I’d make one little mistake but eventually it becomes easier and you get calmer. It might take longer but you will get there ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

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