I Passed My Driving Test!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Almost a month ago, I passed my driving test! It's been something that I've been holding back for a good 4 years now and having finally done it, I'm so happy with myself. But it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows leading up to it. Time for a rambly post.

I set this up as a goal for 2017, as I was going to turn 25 and still hadn't even done something I could have done at 17, which was 8 years ago (ew)! So in January, I found a local driving instructor who was available to start lessons in February, which was fine as it meant I could mentally prepare myself for this (I've written a post already on my background with driving) and hopefully not get overwhelmed again.

So, the lessons started, going to quiet residential areas in my town, just to get me comfortable and used to driving a car again. Everything went fine, for someone who hadn't been behind the wheel of a car for almost 2 years. We did that for about 3 lessons and then ventured out into town, which mean it was getting used to being in traffic, stopping at lights, being cautious of people who would walk out into the road and again, everything seemed liked it was actually going okay for me. Soon enough my birthday came round and I said to my instructor that I wanted to start doing 2 hour lessons (suddenly 25 year old self became brave and going outside my comfort zone) which would allow me more learning time and be able to drive further and do a lot more. 2 hours was a long time but I'm glad I added them in when I did.

By mid April and having atleast 10 hours under my belt, it was time to book my theory test, but the earliest slots they had were at the beginning of May, so I had a month of learning the theory side of things, all the possible questions I could be asked and practicing some hazard perception tests, whilst still learning to drive alongside this. But, when the time came, I managed to ace it, getting 49 out of 50 on my multiple choice (you need 43 to pass) and got 57 out of 75 for the hazard perception (you need 44 to pass). So that was one big hurdle out of the way, next it was time to book the practical test. I wanted to book it straight away, so that I could work towards a date and should I not feel ready closer to the time, atleast I could re-schedule it. I found my date, 12th July at 11:01am (bit of a random time but there you go), which gave me 10 weeks to knuckle everything down.

So, lesson by lesson, I just kept taking everything in and trying not to think about this lurking date. Even though I was so far in and I was so close to the end,  I always felt so nervous before each lesson, probably because I didn't know what might happen, as driving is a big ol' learning curve. I did do little things wrong (stalled it every now and then, didn't do a good parking job, that kinda thing) but I just wanted to get past that and keep focusing on that date.

The week before my test, right at the end of my lesson, I had a bit of a breakdown and I bloody cried, in front on my instructor. I personally felt that the lesson didn't go that amazing, in comparison to my others and just worried that I was going to mess it up. My instructor (bless him) just told me that if I fail my test, I just got to get past that and I can do it again. He was right but I just felt so bummed out the rest of the day but it made me so nervous for my test, to the point where I was just feeling sick thinking about it. I managed to squeeze in a lesson the day before my test and thankfully, went much better, so atleast it set me up for a better test day (I hoped anyway).

The day came round and I felt so sick, nervous, all the feelings I could feel. We timed it so I could atleast do about an hour and a half lesson before my test but it was so busy (typical) getting into the town where I was taking my test. I managed to do a few manoeuvres, go through some show me, tell me questions but that was it, time to head to the test centre.

I needed to pee before my test but once I sat down, forgetting to breathe, it just suddenly kicked in where I was. OMG, my nervessss. Eventually, the man came out and called my name. This was it! We did the reading a number plate from so far away, did the show me tell me questions (learning all of those was ridiculous only to be asked two) and I was ready to go. I was leaving the test centre, with a bunch of other learners on their test. To get out, it was a driveway on a slight hill and because we all left at the same time, it started to queue. I tried to be all smart and do clutch control rather than me doing handbrake on and off but unfortunately, I stalled it. MINOR FOR ME within the first minute of my test (doh!). But, what can you do about that?

Everything seemed to be going okay, the town was fairly quiet at that time, was checking my mirrors quite a lot, keeping to my speed limits and then the examiner asks me to pull over, as it was time for my chosen manoeuvre. It was left corner reverse, which I was actually okay with doing. If I had been asked to reverse around a parked car (parallel park) I would have probably just cried and said 'just fail me now'. I managed to do it, bit wide but I corrected myself and I was in. I did my independent driving for about 5 minutes, which was fine because I knew the town quite well and had many lessons there so my knowledge was fairly good. Eventually, my 40 minutes was up and before I knew it, I was back at the test centre. I pulled up, where my instructor was waiting for me and the result.

I PASSED! I ACTUALLY BLOODY PASSED! I did a little cheer of joy then just went straight into crying (hahah) but I was so happy that I actually did it, with only two minors (the stall at the start and the control of my left corner reverse, mainly because of how wide I went round the bend)! I was over the moon and couldn't wait to share my news.

I get home and immediately wanted to call my boyfriend, who would have been at work at the time but gave him a rough time when I'd be back, so he knew to be ready. So, I call him, tell him the good news and he just hangs up the phone! I was actually a little bit pissed off, tried calling back and it would just ring, with no answer. About 2 minutes after my initial phone call, there is a little knock at the door and it's him! He actually booked days off work so that if I did pass, we would be able to look for a car. If I didn't pass, well he would be there to comfort me I guess. He got me a card and some chocolate and I was in more shock that he did that I had no clue (I'm normally quite good at finding things out). Later that day, one of my friends came round and gave me flowers (bless her) as a well done for passing. Soon enough, the day was over and I still couldn't quite comprehend that I had actually passed my test earlier in the day.

A few days later, I found myself a car, a little grey Polo, which hasn't been named (yet). I absolutely love my car! I've been out so much since I've got it although, it has rained so much during my drives to places. IT'S SUMMERTIME, WHAT IS THIS? I only had about 2/3 lessons where it rained but now it feels like I'm driving in it all the time. But, it's just such a great feeling to be behind the wheel of my own car, feeling confident, finally!

For someone who was scared of doing it, actually feared being a passenger at one point, to going through 32.5 hours of driving, a few tears and coming out of it the other side passing first time, I'm honestly so proud of myself. I never thought that I would have actually done it. I really thought that my fears would have got the better of me, again, and would be wasting another year not doing it.

This seems to have gone on quite a bit, but I'm hoping that if you're reading this because you're a little scared about driving/taking your test and seeing what I've gone through is giving you a bit of hope, then I'm glad I've been able to do that through this post. If you're reading it because you're just generally interested, thank you for making it to the end, as it's very long.

Don't let your fears get to you and take over any progress you want to make in your life. I wish that I was able to do that when I first tried getting into it after my accident but it's only now that I've learnt that, 4 years later. If you want to take your driving test but you're scared, just go for it. Try and get some practice in if you've not driven for a while and even if you fail, you can try it again, atleast you'll know what to expect if you have to do it a second time round. You can do it!

Have you been through something similar? Do you have a fear of driving? Hit me up in the comments.

Look after yourself,

This blog post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own and honest!

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  1. Congratulations on passing your test! I'm going to be starting lessons in the New Year and I can't wait!

    Emily xo

  2. I'm learning at the moment and have my test booked for the end of November! I loved reading your blog post, you sound a lot like me! I was nervous about driving and sometimes I still am and make silly mistakes (roundabouts are my nemesis) but I'm determined to drive and I can't wait until I've passed my test! I love your choose of car too ☺️ Xx