I have officially been a certified driver for around two and a half years now, and I can definitely say that getting to the point where I could convert my green provisional into a shiny pink license was actually a bit of a headache. Learning to drive if you’re scared of almost everything (me), or if it just doesn’t come naturally to you (also me), is not an easy task, but with a bit of perseverance I really believe it’s something you need to just get done and dusted whilst you’re still young with little responsibility. So, I’m writing this post in collaboration with BookLearnPass to give you all the tools and advice you need to pass your driving test, being completely open and honest with my own experience.
BookLearnPass is a website that helps you learn how to drive, practice for your theory test and book driving lessons in your local area. They do a lot of the leg work for you and essentially make learning how to drive a much smoother process.
First, book your lessons
Usually, when I hear a lot peopld tell me about how they want to start learning how to drive, they start off with wanting to study for their theory. In my opinion, this is just not practical enough, it’s a slow start and often people that do this never learn how to drive and never even actually go on to take their theory. I think the first thing you should do when learning to drive is go ahead and book a lesson. Picking the right driving instructor is important, but a sure fire method seems to be to contact people you know who have learned and go with whoever taught them. For me, my older brother was recommended his driving instructor from a friend two years before me, that same driving instructor (Hi Tim, if you ever happen to stumble across this), ended up teaching all the children in our family. Some driving instructors are too slow, or they make you have way too many lessons to ensure their own cash flows and pockets are kept healthy, so definitely do your research and get your recommendations when choosing an instructor. If you’re struggling to find an instructor – BookLearnPass is a great tool, they basically do all that hard work for you!
Get help from friends and family
My dad gave me and both of my brothers extra lessons, whilst we were learning with our instructor, pretty much every weekend. Whoever you choose as your authorized supervisor must be at least 21 years old, and had their license for 3 years, you also need to be insured in whatever car you learn in and of course, you must have a L plate on that car when you’re driving. Going driving with my dad really accelerated the speed which I learned at, I always thought of it as my dad teaching me how to drive and my instructor teaching me how to pass the test. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to find a supervisor to help them with this, it’s definitely a necessity, but speeds up the process as you pack in more practice.
Book your theory
A few months into learning to drive, I booked my theory. The theory test is pretty easy and I studied for it and passed it within 2 weeks using a DVD. These days you can get your theory done and dusted using very cheap apps, or even better you can pop onto the BookLearnPass website and learn there. I wouldn’t recommend buying huge textbooks as they’re pretty boring and less likely to stick in your head as is something interactive. You can definitely pass your theory test whilst you learn how to drive, and I actually think it improves your driving as you become better at perceiving hazards, and actually start to notice and understand different road signs. If you do happen to fail – don’t worry – just dust is off and try again.
Book your test
Your supervisor and your instructor will be able to tell you when you’re good enough to take your test. Book your tests far ahead as it’s likely no tests will be available for at least a month. Typically it takes around 20-30 hours for people to learn how to drive, I was definitely at the end of that bracket. I failed… twice. The first time I failed within 5 minutes of my driving test, the next time I failed half way through. The first time I failed I literally balled my eyes out in the car, the second time I just thought “well, whatever.” The most tragic part of it all is that after I failed the second time, I was off to university, so I had to postpone my next test for over 10 weeks. If you fail, just book another test, take a few more lessons, and try again. Each time you book a test, you’re probably paying close to £100 to book your instructors car for the lesson (learning to drive is very, very expensive), which is definitely not ideal, but learning to drive . You never know, you might even pass first time (in my opinion, the key to passing is purely confidence).
The main thing when it comes to taking your tests, or even just learning, is just to not give up. All in all, including my failures and my delays, it took me just over a year to learn how to drive. Yes, 365 days. If you’re determined enough, and good enough, you can get it all done and dusted within 6 months. I know way too many people that have started learning to drive, then stopped out of laziness, or who have failed a few times and given up all together, which not only elongates the process – the certificate for your theory will also end up running out, and you’ll have to pay to resit that. Just keep persevering until you pass – it’s so worth it in the long run!
Great posts and tips. Gemma x