Learning to drive: Then and Now

Learning to drive: Then and NowLearning to drive is an expensive business. In fact I first started to learn to drive when I was 17 but didn’t pass until I was 29! The driver instructor was going out with my mom’s friend and so I got a discounted rate. Unfortunately he cheated on said friend, and that was the end of that. I have never been a confident person, coupled with the fact that my brother died in a road traffic accident, so nerves always got the better of me in tests. It was only when I was 29 that I finally passed my driving test. I remember the day I passed well, as my theory part of my licence was going to expire in 2 days if I did not pass. You see they only gave you 2 years to pass the practical. When I was 17 the practical was yet to be introduced, but talked about. I was 8 months pregnant and it felt unlikely that I would EVER pass if I didn’t pass that day. Besides it was my 6th driving test. But I did pass – with only 3 minors.

Learning to drive: Then and NowHaving just had a baby I didn’t drive that much, and it was not long before I was expecting again. Then with 4 children I needed to drive a people carrier, so I drove even less. I know that I only drove (and still only drive) if I have to. So when our son passed his driving test first time in July I knew that he needed to just get on and drive. Luckily he had University Open Days far away to visit. We put his dad as a second driver on his car insurance so that he could share the driving.

With car insurance I think it is really important to shop around. When my husband passed his test he got cheaper car insurance by putting me as a second driver, even though I just had a provisional licence. This was because the company just asked how long I had my licence for (he checked a provisional was fine) and I am older than him. The fact we were married with children also helped lower his premium.

My husband was quickly really confident in our son’s driving and even had a sleep on the way back from the Open days. Our son now takes his friend to school and back (13 miles away, including motorways/peak time). I have been so impressed how nothing seems to faze him – bad weather/dark nights etc. He even drove through a busy city to collect his brother from school when he had missed his bus. The first few times I was really nervous, but now I worry more about me driving on the roads than my son and I have been driving for 7 years!


13 thoughts on “Learning to drive: Then and Now”

  1. I learnt to drive about 10 years ago and haven’t driven since. I think it’s a really good thing to know how to do though and I must take it up again. Great that your son is so confident, good for him.

  2. Good on you for tackling your fears and driving. I can sympathise a bit – my mother’s best friend’s son, who I grew up with and was like family to me, died in a car accident when he was 21. I couldn’t drive for a couple of years afterwards, and when I did, I was terrified. It took time, but I’m now very confident behind the wheel. Best of luck, and congratulations, to your son.

  3. This is something I should have really done by now, but around 15 years ago on my pre-test lesson I was hit by a lorry driver-side on and it scared me, so I never carried on with any of it, silly now looking back x

  4. I learnt when I was 17 and I do actually quite like driving myself. The more you do it, the easier it is, obviously! You’ve done well to pass your test and carry on driving yourself. Glad to hear it’s going well for your son x

  5. I have never got round to learning to drive. I am too nervous and the few lessons I had ended in disaster. I am going to use my son as a taxi when he passes his test.

  6. I guess in the city you don’t really need to drive but out in the countryside it is a must.
    Well done to your son for passing the test.

  7. Firstly, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother in a car accident.

    I can completely understand your fears and trepidation when it comes to driving. I grew up in a village and was desperate for freedom so when my seventeenth birthday came along I couldn’t wait to get in the car and have a lesson…and that’s how I spent my birthday.

    I don’t really need a car where I live but if I’m ever without it, it’s like having my right arm cut off. I feel completely lost!

    Congratulation to your son on passing his test!

  8. I remember seeing your tweets about your son driving and the worries you had – I know I’ll be exactly the same! I learned to drive at 17 and passed at 17 too – I’m so glad I learned when I was younger, I don’t think I could be without a car!

  9. I failed my first test and never went for another. I regret it though and wish I could drive now I live so far away from my family. I keep thinking about trying again but never do it. Maybe one day!


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