Growing up, I never had any ambition to learn to drive. My parents used to drive me where I needed to go, and having lessons wasn’t something that I really wanted to do. Little did I know however, that on my 17th birthday in 1993, my Dad announced that I was having my first driving lesson – that morning! I still remember being cross with him now. It was two days before Christmas, the weather wasn’t too good, and deep down I was plain scared of learning to drive.
My journey of learning to drive lasted almost six months to the day. I passed my test first time on 28th June 1994 and got my first photo driving licence nine years after that. In hindsight my Dad did the best thing for me by taking the decisions to book my first lesson as I don’t think I would have taken those steps myself.
Through my experiences, I was lucky that I didn’t have to take a theory test, which I know has been a stumbling point for my daughter as she is learning to drive.
I remember my driving test day clearly despite it being so long ago. My test was 9.40am which was perfect timing as rush hour had passed, and so had all the school traffic. The weather was clear, not too sunny but the roads were dry, and I knew I was quite lucky despite being very nervous.
The main points that stick out in my mind during my test was when the instructor informed me I would be completing an emergency stop and when he placed his clipboard on the dash, I was to stop. I thought I could continue in second gear, but soon realised when I was advised to move up a gear otherwise I wouldn’t be able to perform the emergency stop, did I lose the nerves a little.
I know I was lucky when approaching a junction and the instructor told me to turn left. I indicated right by mistake, realised what I had done, looked in my rear view mirror and indicated left to approach the junction. I later learned that I had escaped a major mark against me because there was no traffic behind me. I’m not sure I would be so lucky now if I had to take my test again.
Going back to the test centre and hearing I had passed was amazing. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t drive home in my instructor’s car as I wasn’t insured, and couldn’t wait to get home to collect my car that my Dad had bought for me half way through my learning journey. All I had to do was swap the insurance over and I was good to go.
My Mum had decided to take my car to work that day, so when I arrived home my car wasn’t in the drive. I remember being so excited and urging my Mum to hurry up and come home (which she thankfully did soon after) so I could drive my car without an instructor or my Dad next to me. The feeling of freedom was immense, and I knew it meant that I could be so much more independent now.
Do you remember learning to drive?
Disclosure – pr collaboration