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To just want a supportive driving instructor?

(86 Posts)
BoyMeetsWorld Wed 24-Apr-13 20:03:05

I think this may be all my fault but I'm really not sure & DH is saying he's going to phone the driving school & complain because I make myself sick worrying about my lessons and end up in tears after every one....

I'm a terrible terrible driver. I've tried to learn 4 different times with 4 different instructors (I'm now 28) and given up each time as the instructor basically said they couldn't teach me.

This time is the worst - I really desperately want to pass so I can do the school run with my DS. I'm trying so so hard to do everything the instructor tells me. But he says everything I do is wrong: I use a 'pathetic action' when I steer, I grab at the gears, I go too fast when I should be going slow and too slow when I should be going fast, I can't judge distance and he says I don't look anywhere. He shouts at me all the way round or else huffs and puffs and tells me I'm making everything difficult. At the end of my lesson today he told me he just doesn't understand me, I'm very unusual and he thinks I don't look at all. I tried to tell him I do - im constantly looking as im petrified of hurting myself or anyone else, but I don't understand what I'm seeing.

I know he hates teaching me. But when I joined, I told them I was awful & very nervous. I suggested I might be better with automatic after 4 lessons but he said that was stupid. But he can't fix me.

DH says I need to change instructors but I think it's just me. I'm awful & no matter how hard I try I'm just no good. The saddest thing is, in myself, I'd started to feel I was doing much better than ever before. But he still says everything I'm doing is awful.

Is there a driving school or an instructor out there who could work with me? I really do want to learn, I don't want to be useless at this anymore confused

Thank you for listening & for your thoughts

orangepudding Wed 24-Apr-13 20:07:08

There are patient instructors out there. Tell us what area you live in and someone may be able to help.
I found it very difficult to learn but thankfully had a patient and calm instructor.

BoyMeetsWorld Wed 24-Apr-13 20:08:52

I'm in High Wycombe. If anybody could help I'd be so grateful. All the big companies don't 'hand pick' an instructor for you based on personality etc they just give you any that's available. But what if it's just me & I'm actually untraceable? I've spent thousands on lessons over the years...

Euphemia France Wed 24-Apr-13 20:09:52

I would recommend Phillip, who works for BSM in Glasgow. grin

But seriously, yes you need a new instructor! Could you find a driving school that advertises itself as specialising in nervous drivers? Have you tried a female instructor? An intensive week-long course?

What it is you're "not seeing", according to the instructor?

Do you wear glasses? A friend of mine had to get glasses owing to problems with depth perception.

CheungFun Wed 24-Apr-13 20:10:41

Well huffing and puffing at you isn't going to help when you're already nervous is it? Silly instructor!

I think you need to stick at the driving. I'm in a similar position and learning to drive at 28, I had lessons at 17 which I stopped because of time/money. Don't stop now or you will have spent so much time and money on driving, but do get yourself a new instructor!

livinginwonderland Wed 24-Apr-13 20:10:55

what area are you in? someone might be able to recommend a good instructor smile

it can take time to find a good instructor. i lucked out and got a good one on my first try - i panic sometimes but he's really patient with me, and when i got upset over something, he was SO nice and calm and it made me feel so much better.

NuhichNuhaymuh Wed 24-Apr-13 20:11:21

find a new instructor, makes a world of difference.

can only recommend one in Dublin

CheungFun Wed 24-Apr-13 20:11:34

And if my sm can learn to drive I'm sure you can grin

Euphemia France Wed 24-Apr-13 20:11:44

When I phoned BSM, I asked for someone who was patient as I had failed two tests before. They gave me Phillip, the sweetest, calmest instructor ever. I passed no bother that time!

HumphreyCobbler Wed 24-Apr-13 20:16:27

Shouting at you and huffing and puffing is a SHIT way to teach anyone anything. The instructor is at fault.

You need to find a nice instructor and things will be better. It took me a fair while to pass my test, it was v stressful as we were so poor at the time, and impatient instructors made me worse, not better. I finally got a nice one and passed fourth time. I would seek out someone who specialises in very nervous drivers.

ShadowStorm Wed 24-Apr-13 20:17:40

Agree that you need to find a new driving instructor.

The one you've got sounds rubbish at teaching nervous drivers.

Euphemia France Wed 24-Apr-13 20:18:59

My dad shouted and huffed at me when he took me driving when I was 17. That's when I started paying a driving instructor!

MrsBucketxx Wed 24-Apr-13 20:21:37

a new instructor will be the best option the one you have sounds awfull,

shouting will only make you worse, praising the small things you do correctly. and talking calmly through the mistakes.

I'm thinking of training as a driving instructor, id live to teach someone like you if I do.

LydiasLunch Wed 24-Apr-13 20:22:24

I have been learning for years and have had many instructors. I've found a lady now who is calm and lovely and patient and never shouts, even when I do something really stupid. I think she will get me through my test and I am a terrible driver - no sense of direction, poor spatial awareness and can't tell left from right or understand where people are going at roundabouts.

Look for a local one who doesn't necessarily work for a big company, ask to meet them for a chat and explain that you're shopping around for a new instructor. Please don't feel you have to stay with a bullying one who will destroy your confidence. Leave the bastard!

Peanutbutterfingers Wed 24-Apr-13 20:23:37

It makes so much difference, I used to have panic attacks and quit so many times. When I was 32 I was recommended a driving instructor. I was a new single mum with a non sleeping baby and she was so supportive of me, would lay off on the days she could see I was at the end of my rope and push me when I could take it. Took just over a year at 3hrs per week (and no driving I between) and I passed 2nd time. Her mum and son are now babysitters to my toddler and I thank the stars I met her. Abbie at LDC You are a diamond!

trikken Wed 24-Apr-13 20:25:03

Try another instructor. I've recently given up for the same reasons. Im 27 and had three instructors, the last told me I should think about giving up as I was still making basic errors (after many many hours driving) and that I have no spatial awareness. I now think maybe Im just not meant to drive. The driving instructors were not particularly good ones either.

BoyMeetsWorld Wed 24-Apr-13 20:26:47

Thank you all so much. Part of the problem is I don't know where to start - no recommendations to go off, they all seem to say they're good with nervous drivers & are sweetness & light for the test lesson. I just want to find someone special...

SlumberingDormouse Wed 24-Apr-13 20:26:57

If you find one please let me know! I used to get into screaming rows with mine... No wonder I gave up. I used to leave the car shaking and crying.

Procrastinating Wed 24-Apr-13 20:27:36

Try an automatic car and have trial sessions with different instructors until you feel comfortable with one.
I was absolutely terrible too, I think I got through 7 or 8 instructors over the years. I'm not generally pathetic but most of them made me cry.
I found that instructors who set up on their own were best and most understanding. I passed last year, if I can do it anyone can.

vivizone Wed 24-Apr-13 20:28:08

Try AA. I'm learning in automatic and in the past was just like you. I have learnt so much already -15hrs so far, 2hr lessons because I have a brilliant instructor. It makes all the difference.
Best wishes to you.

TidyDancer England Wed 24-Apr-13 20:29:41

Okay, the truth is that yes, there are some people who just can't drive and will never be able to. The driving instructor I had many moons ago, aka the most patient man on the planet, told me there were a few people he genuinely felt would never pass a test, but they were mainly ones who refused to listen to instruction and who had funny ideas about what was expected of them as a learner.

Someone with nerves would've been the least of his worries!

What exactly have the four instructors told you when they refused to teach you? It's unusual for that to happen so many times I think.

BoyMeetsWorld Wed 24-Apr-13 20:30:26

Thank you. Would most people recommend small independent instructors then or large companies?

landofsoapandglory Wed 24-Apr-13 20:30:35

Do you know anyone who has learnt to drive recently, or who has a friend or relative who has, who can recommend their driving instructor?

DS1 learnt last year, his instructor was absolutely brilliant. He learnt with the Driver Centre. The instructor came to the house first for a really long chat, went through everything, was helpful and we never felt we were being ripped off ever.

I hope you find someone who you feel comfortable with.

TidyDancer England Wed 24-Apr-13 20:30:42

Ooh would recommend very strongly against the AA tbh. Too structured and not built for the individual.

MrsBucketxx Wed 24-Apr-13 20:32:18

same with bsm, I used a smaller company after I had been ripped off and failed.

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