Thursday, 27 July 2017

My Driving Experience

On Tuesday 27th June, a month ago today, I passed my driving test. I thought it would be helpful to share my driving experience with those of you who are thinking of learning to drive and would like to know what the process entails. 

Before you can start learning to drive, you have to apply for a provisional license (£34) which you can do either at your local post office or online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-provisional-driving-licence. If you are 16, you can apply for your provisional license up to 3 months before your 17th birthday. 

Once you recieve your provisonal license, providing you are 17 and over, you can legally start learning to drive. Most people learn with an instructor, lessons are typically £20-25 an hour if you are learning in a manual but prices are slightly higher if you learn in an automatic. I would recommend learning in a manual just because once you pass you can drive both manual and automatic cars whereas if you pass in an automatic, you will only be able to drive automatic cars. Every person is different so make a decision based on which gearbox you think would work best for you. 

After a few months of learning, your instructor will usually let you know that you have reached test standard and you are ready for your test. Before you can book your driving test, you have to pass your theory test. The theory test is split into two parts. The first part is multiple choice on basic road knowledge and the second is a hazard perception video test. To pass, you must answer 43 out of 50 questions in the first part correctly and 44 out of 75 questions on the hazard perception. The best way to pass your theory first time is to revise consistently in the weeks leading up to it. I found that the offical DVSA theory test kit CD was really effective for revision, it costs around £14.99 and feautres all the possible questions you might be asked in the real thing.

Lastly, the driving test. The driving test is £62 to book including a fee of around £50 to use your instructors car for the duration of your test. The point of the driving test is to show the examiner that you are safe and ready to face the roads alone without an instructor. My best advice is to keep calm and to tell as few people as possible to reduce the pressure. I failed my driving test first time on the Wednesday 31st May and proceeded to pass on my second time round, 3 weeks later.

A few words of advice from another fellow teen blogger, Abigail Jessica, who has also recently passed: "Keep practicing, do not give up. If you can, get some extra practice outside of lessons with either your parent or guardian, practicing at different times will make it a lot more realistic to what driving will be like after you have passed. And finally, believe in yourself and you will succeed!".

Although, learning to drive is a costly and time consuming process, deciding to learn was honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made. Driving has given me a lot more freedom to do what I want and to go where I need to go at my own accord without having to rely on public transport and lifts from family members.


Fran
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