Now’s a time for celebration, and a warning that I’m officially allowed on the roads. Yes, yes – you heard that right!
I can’t believe it. My first manual driving test – I passed! All the early mornings, late nights. The close shaves. Roundabouts. Stalling. Cars beeping me. Driving me off the road. Even one couple abusing me and threatening me – must’ve been having a midlife crisis. Even a 999 call. Yes you heard that right! And I wasn’t even around them! But that’s a story for another day.
On test day (yesterday), my nerves were coming out. I was trying to hide it but boy was it hard. On my hill start I felt my right foot shaking a bit, so I really had to concentrate on making sure my foot was stable! Thankfully it was in the end. My parallel park was just perfect without having to adjust, even the examiner said at the time, “Perfect,” I was like…
When the examiner said I’ve passed, in front of my instructor and I, I was just in shock. My instructor wasn’t but it took a while for it to sink in for me. My instructor even said, “Why aren’t you smiling?” I was just in a haze! A happy haze, but a too good to be true haze. After I switched off the engine, I think I blocked everything out as even though I knew I drove well, you still never know!
My examiner said, “I could’ve been there all day. Manoeuvres were perfect. It was a wonderful drive, smooth and I felt very safe.” She was basically blowing my trumpet for a good minute and my instructor said that never happens, and I was still like…
It was only when my instructor was driving me back, I was like “Woah,” after a good half an hour’s gone by.
Driving in the United Kingdom is a mission. An expensive mission to say the least! It’s almost like you have this giant hole in the middle of the Earth and you’re just throwing all your money into it, without a maximum budget. Basically saying, “Take my money!”
On this driving journey, I’ve realised. There’s no such thing as a budget when it comes to driving. I’m a money saving queen, unless occasionally I want to treat yourself but even when I do that, it’s 9 times out of 10 off the sales rack! I just can’t help it! Money leaving my hand without any discount, is something foreign to me. It’s like the money is glued to my hand and I can’t part from it easily!
Even with driving I set a mental goal in my mind for the expenditure. £500 – Very Maximum would be £750. Well was I wrong?!
All in all, on lessons alone I kept within my budget. But I think that’s mainly down to all the hours I put into my mums car driving it. Insurance for that was, quite hefty. So with learner insurance, practicing in that car and lessons, I spent around £1000 or just over.
With driving, it’s almost like you have to throw all your money at it and remember, it’ll all be worth it in the end. I, always holding my pursestrings fairly tight unless somethings reduced, found that hard to fathom. And because I paid for all of this myself, I didn’t wanna throw excessive money at something, if I could try and pass in the most economical way possible. And without my mums old old car, I know I would’ve had to spend much much more on lessons.
I learnt with this old car basically all the tough methods of driving. The extra gas, higher than usual clutch. The virtually impossible hill-starts on this car. But I learnt naturally how to handle such a difficult car. My motto, if you can drive this car, you can drive ANYTHING!
Many things were just polar opposite to the modern cars they now use in lessons with some driving schools.
Nowadays, the driving school I mainly used, have cars that almost do all the hard work for you. Hill-hold technology etc. All the things my mums car was about 2 decades to early for! I even had to adjust the side mirrors by hand every time I used the car! And I’d say these modern cars some driving schools use, can be a blessing and also a curse. Yes they make it easier for your test. It’s almost like driving an automatic in my eyes! BUT, it makes you reliant on modern cars. Because I mainly started on mums old car, I could adjust easier to a modern car. If I learnt completely on a modern car, then reverted to an old car – I would’ve almost needed a different license!
They’re just worlds apart. And if you learn entirely on a new modern car, it’s honestly virtually impossible to buy an old car. You’d have to learn to drive that car almost from scratch. You’d be in control of EVERYTHING in the car. No technology helping you out, full stop. So that’s just something to point out if you are thinking of driving!
Driving really does give you freedom. I still haven’t driven on my own yet, but I’m going to. It’s gonna be nerve-wracking not having someone next to you all the time, just in case. But I am confident as I have spent so many hours on the road! But less than half of the UK average number of lessons which I’m happy about, plus it’s saved me some £££!
All scenarios you can think of, you name it I’ve experienced it. Many haven’t happened in lessons. The roads are pretty dangerous nowadays especially, so spending all those extra hours practicing with a parent or friend who’s had a licence for over 3 years, is invaluable experience. It makes you not a naive driver, but a driver that has seen it all and you can almost expect scenarios to happen, that haven’t yet, and that can save your life!
Confidence is key, and when you’re driving like you’re a boss of the roads, you’ll know you’re ready for your test. Be careful not to be overly confident though, as bad habits can begin to display.
Now you know the reason why I wasn’t posting as often as usual. I couldn’t focus on much else because the pressure was looming! I’m back and better for more regular posts!
Let me know if you enjoyed this post! Would you like to know more about my driving experience? Or car related posts? Comment below! Next post will be… Acne Diaries; Part 3!