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 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 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 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 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 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.

fayummummy Wed 24-Apr-13 20:33:23

Poor you, your instructor sounds horrible, no wonder you have no confidence in your driving. I've heard so many horror stories about what people have put up with from instructors. Please keep trying until you find the right one, you should be able to get free or at least a reduced rate on your initial lesson. I made the mistake of persevering with 4 instructors until I found one who was an ex lorry driver and he was unorthodox but fab and never criticised me, just gently corrected and guided until I had enough confidence to be calm, which gave me the head space to start making better distance and speed judgements and not being afraid to change gear (yes, I too did the grabby thing as afraid of being out of gear grin ) etc. You'll know when you've found the right one. I finally passed my test age 34!

I can't recommend a driving instructor as I am oop north, but I want to say I completely empathise with not being able to make sense of what you see, until recently (and still when I panic) everything just turns into a senseless mass of cars, a very very calm driving instructor who talked me through every tiny step (at my request..I need things explained A LOT) and I'm so much better....test on Friday, eek.

BoyMeetsWorld Wed 24-Apr-13 20:35:22

Tidy - two of them didn't refuse to teach me: they were truly awful instructors. One spoke next to no English, the other used to make me drive to the cafe and then go buy his lunch.

The one who refused to teach me - I was quite heavily pregnant whilst learning with him & I think baby brain had utterly taken over. He said I was dangerous.

Then there's this one who I know is headed that way just by how blatantly obvious he makes it that he hates teaching me, the stream of negatives & the fact he says he doesn't understand me at all.

Incidentally I'm pg this time too but only barely & putting it off until after isnt an option if I'm to do school runs in sept

Tisy10 Wed 24-Apr-13 20:35:28

Luton based so might be too far but I highly recommend headlights driving school (there is a Facebook page if you search it). Justin the instructor is fantastic!

PS mine is a one man independent driving instructor, expensive, depends entirely on word of mouth for advertising

Locketjuice Wed 24-Apr-13 20:37:31

Il pm you x

dexter73 Wed 24-Apr-13 20:38:43

Have you been out driving with your dh? If you have what does he think of your driving?

motherinferior Wed 24-Apr-13 20:42:56

Right. You've had very bad experiences of crap instructors. I feel your pain; I had a series of awful ones and was convinced I just 'wasn't a driver'; the last one but one was, I now realise, quite content to rip me off and let me pootle around - badly - for an hour and pocket the money (I only got on with doing my theory test because DD1's childminder told me she wouldn't have me back till I did!). Then I changed, got a decent instructor, went back to basics and guess what I passed. On my FIFTH go, fourth instructor, 14 years since my first lesson (OK, with big gaps in between) and 37 weeks pregnant...if I can do it, anyone can!

TidyDancer Wed 24-Apr-13 20:44:13

Oh you poor thing. You really haven't had much luck with them!

I went through two instructors, the first one I left because although he was an okay instructor, he was terrible at scheduling lessons and I suspect took on too many students at once.

You definitely need a small independent instructor. And pay per lesson rather than in a block so you can just stop without worrying about getting your money back if they turn out to be shit.

HortonHEARSaboo Wed 24-Apr-13 20:45:02

He sounds very unprofessional his parting words were delibritly insulting and hurtful I would make a complaint.

Oopla Wed 24-Apr-13 20:48:31

YES complain about your current instructor. Hope you find a better one through a recommendation here.

BoyMeetsWorld Wed 24-Apr-13 20:57:34

Dexter - I went out once with DH. But DH is a self-confessed aggressive driver. He's very confrontational on the road, drives fast & gets real road rage.

I expected him to be kind with me because he knew my issues but I stalled on a country rd with cars behind me, he started yelling at me & I panicked so much I couldn't get the car started at all, had to get out. So he said he wouldn't drive with me until I was much better. Died t help that his car has a much higher bite point than any I've ever learnt in, lots of digital controls inc a button instead of an ignition key & no handbrake. Bit scary to drive.

Thanks Locket....

jamdonut Wed 24-Apr-13 21:00:44

I passed my test when very pregnant!

My Dad taught me in a non dual controlled car. Then I went to work for BSM ,as office staff, and had a couple of lessons with instructors, before my first test,which I failed much to my shame!!
Second time,a few months later, I just stuck with my Dad,and passed!

dexter73 Wed 24-Apr-13 21:02:16

It's not surprising you feel so awful if everyone who has taken you out has ended up shouting at you. Maybe try taking lessons in an automatic and see if you find that easier.

Complain about your instructor.

Learning to drive if you're nervous can be scary and nervy enough (well, it was for me!) and having an instructor who is happy to make you few even worse is terrible.

I don't live anywhere nearby so can't reccomend but hope you can find a good instructor to help you!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 24-Apr-13 21:08:55

The cost of lessons being what it is you can't afford to endure it with nothing to show for it. Your instructor shouldn't make you feel demoralised and upset.

I can't think of many other instances you pay to feel humiliated and castigated.

Please look into an alternative driving school. When our DC were ready to take lessons, DH's motorbike instructor tipped us off about good local instructors. One was a 'one man band', the other had a small franchise.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 24-Apr-13 21:09:13

Definitly a different instructor-now!
I had 4, and it was only with the last one it made sense. She was ex-army, and totally calm. She realised that I dont respond well to step by step instructions, e.g " now get into 2nd. Now move left. Now signal". Rather, she would say,"OK, we are going to take the third left" and let me think for myself a bit.
She also said, "all you need to do, is follow the road, and make sure you notice what the other cars are doing". Sounds obvious, but when you are doing all that look in this mirror, then that mirror, all you are really doing is checking what's around you.
Panicking and feeling stressed are the worst conditions to be driving in. With a better instructor you will be fine.

CognitiveOverload Wed 24-Apr-13 21:10:15

Get a different one. He's useless.

NatashaBee Wed 24-Apr-13 21:17:15

How far are you from Hemel Hempstead? I'm guessing maybe too far... but Jeanette was fantastic, she got my through my test on my ahem fifth, or maybe even sixth, i lost count attempt.

HerrenaHarridan Thu 25-Apr-13 00:01:35

Sorry op, I'm place marking because I need to go to sleep now. I will be back tomorrow with lots of advice for now though I will say two things

Your instructor should NEVER speak to you like that

You can learn to drive, I was a nervous wreck learning to drive last August and my test is next week! If I can do it anyone can.

DrCoconut Thu 25-Apr-13 00:16:56

I completely understand. I need everything explained and nothing about driving is logical to me. I have failed 3 tests and don't feel like I will ever pass. I am also the first person in my family to fail a test so no pressure there!

OnwardBound Thu 25-Apr-13 00:40:54

OP your instructor sounds AWFUL!

I have just passed my third driving test, following lessons with my fourth instructor.

My first [independent] was a pleasant enough chap but just let me pootle around the back roads and wanted to chat about his day.

My second [independent] was nice but very pedantic and particular. Used to get very worked up about MSM and the process of driving without really giving me a feel for why she wanted me to do it this way iyswim. So I became completely OTT about doing this, then that, then something else and would stress if sequence was slightly out of order because she would get slightly exasperated and nit picky about it. I ended up feeling I couldn't get it right, she always found something to find fault with and usually something relatively minor but she made a big song and dance about it. So after I failed my second driving test [due to unfamiliarity with a particular road and it's markings, I hadn't done enough re general road awareness with her] I decided it was time for a change of instructor.

Third driving instructor was AA. He seemed calm and encouraging in our first lesson and I thought great, he could be the one! But he got a bit stressy with me when I was practicing a bay park in my second lesson. I was getting flustered because he was giving me complicated directions on how to do this and I was struggling to follow his train of thought. I ended up bursting into tears and cancelled my remaining lessons with him.

However fourth time lucky. I googled 'patient' driving instructor and started lessons with a chap who had his own driving school. He was calm and friendly but also gently challenged me when I needed it. Basically he was more on my wavelength, I understood what he was telling me and he let me go at my own pace.

OP, in your position I would ditch your current driving instructor, really, leave the bastard, he is no good for you and will only leave you feeling completely demoralised.

As my experience shows, it is of vital importance to get the right instructor for you.

Don't give up, you will get it with the right type of teaching!

There are good instructors out there. Ditch this one and look for a one-person firm or at least a small company with just a handful of instructors.

I haven't used any of these personally, but here are a couple of local firms who seem to have good testimonials for dealing with very nervous drivers:

Glyn Fletcher
MSM Driving

(now it'll turn out that your current useless chap is one of these and I shall slink away and hide...)

Neighbourhoodwatchbitch Thu 25-Apr-13 03:40:36

I hated bsm! I'm in Aylesbury, but 3 of my friends passed with Julie Martin it won't let me pm you but check out

FeistyLassie Thu 25-Apr-13 04:20:44

I typed a very long reply but then the computer restarted and I lost it so to summarise (in case it decides to eat it again!):

I lost count of how many times I sat my test and how many driving instructors I had. Driving was the first thing I consistently failed at.

The most patient instructor I ever had was from an independent company. I tried most of the big firms (BSM; DRM; AA) but they had a very different attitude.

The very patient and gentle driving instructor didn't work for me as I couldn't tell if he thought I was doing something right or wrong. He was too subtle for me. I needed someone who was a bit sarcastic and a lot funny. My point is that you need to click with your driving instructor and there will be one out there who is exactly right for you. Personality is everything. It makes all the difference.

I finally passed with an independent company that specialised in Mini driving (I don't think the latter point is relevant but you never know! Obviously it meant the car was smaller!). I did intensive lessons when I started maternity leave and passed when I was 8 months pregnant. Everything just clicked into place. For the first time I understood depth perception and road sense.

Now, over 4 years later, I still absolutely love driving and rave about my instructor to everyone. If driving is important to you then keep trying. You will find the instructor that works for you. Good luck!

TheVDM Thu 25-Apr-13 06:50:03

Your driving instructor sounds like he's in the wrong job, shouting, huffing & puffing wont help a nervous driver one bit.

From my experience when I was learning to drive I found that the independent driving instructors were the best as they have their own image/reputation to hold.

My partner is a bit of a nervous driver, we bought a car for her to learn in (or more like I bought my dream car and gave her my 1.3 Rio), I find she does well with me but it can take a bit of coaxing to get her out on the road, at the moment both cars are for me to drive as she is a week away from dd2's due date and doesn't feel like driving.

That said, she is insured on my dream car and surprisingly she can drive it quite well, despite being 16 foot long, requiring a 4 lane road to turn around and a nice roar under the heavy pedal. I wonder if she feels more secure in that car!

Perhaps it might be worth considering the one off driving schools that teach in something a bit bigger as it may increase your confidence with the extra feeling of security and safety.

Driving is one of those things that you practice and practice at and then it suddenly clicks and you've got it. As a guy who is quite into my cars I don't often tell people that I failed 3 tests, although when I did pass I didn't get a single mark on the sheet which made my instructor very happy and he asked if he could have a photocopy of it smile

Just stick with it and you will get there in the end, if your instructor isn't helping with his grumbling then try somewhere else, if it's feasible to have a car insured with you on it then do so, still keep the lessons up but make sure the other half takes you out every day as practice makes perfect.

Good luck and you can do it.

BoyMeetsWorld Thu 25-Apr-13 07:39:06

Thanks neighbourhood - you're the 4th person who's recommended Julie Martin to me: she must be doing something right!!!

JeeanieYuss Thu 25-Apr-13 07:58:54

I asked on facebook and the selling pages on there, got loads of recommendations for local driving instructors.
My instructor is great, very calm!
Also I chose to learn in Auto, I did manual lessons when I was 17 and it didn't really click... This time I just wanted to pass asap so opted for automatic, it's great, I'm really enjoying learning and should be putting in for my test soon fingers crossed! I 'm 33 now, wish I'd started again years ago but circumstsances weren't right.
Good luck smile

Ps my instructor is from a 2 man company, he left AA to join the other one, I'd def say smaller company/individual better.

pigletmania Thu 25-Apr-13 07:59:29

My goodness your driving instructor sounds rubbish, I woul ditch him straight away e obviously is in the wrong job. Yes try the big me ones like bsm or AA and tell them you are very nervous with confidence issues and ask them for a very patient instructor

DigestivesWithCheese Thu 25-Apr-13 08:38:46

New driving instructor for you. I had about three that didn't work for me (I was extremely anxious) and a woman from BSM screamed at me because I hit the wing mirror and she didn't want to pay for a new one shock

I found a local instructor who worked for himself and he was brilliant. I passed first time and recommended him to my equally nervous friend - she also passed first time.

Are you on Facebook? You could ask for recommendations on there to find a good local instruction. Good luck. Also, even with the good instructor, I felt like I was crap for months but then, in one lesson, it suddenly came together and I could drive grin You just have to keep turning up - with an instructor you trust.

Graceparkhill Thu 25-Apr-13 08:50:14

I passed on the 4 th attempt. First had lessons at 17 and finally passed at 28,
What helped with me was a sympathetic instructor ( the last one was female and I preferred that)
I also went for a hypnotherapy session for general relaxation and I definitely think that helped.
A good teacher ( in any discipline) should boost your confidence,not wreck it so I would find another instructor ASAP.

HerrenaHarridan Thu 25-Apr-13 09:17:44

Right well looks like you've already had some pretty good advice.

Please change instructor, it is shocking that he would speak to you like this. You are wasting you money paying a knob like him to bully.

Please report him, think of all the others he is treating like this.

From what you put in your op, I think you'll be a great driver once you've built up your confidence.

I was terrified if learning to drive? Hyper sensitive to the dangers and horrified at the idea if being in charge of two tonnes of metal shooting down the road at 70!

In 45 mins I start the semi intensive that should take me from half way through the learning process to my test in a weeks time!

Goodness, you seriously do need a new driving instructor! I hit a kerb in my 3rd lesson, buckled the wheel, kncked the tracking out and snapped the suspension. My driving instructor LAUGHED! While I know that yelling at me would not have been the way to go,him laughing abut it was a bit of a shock

Follow up on some of the reccomendations you've had here (if you lived nearer to me, I'd reccomend Parry's Driver Training, he's the most patient man I've ever met) and start again fro mthe beginning

almostanotherday Thu 25-Apr-13 10:19:34

Change instructors, I had one (male) who said I would never pass my test for when I had booked it, I had 6 weeks to go, found a new instructor (female) and passed first time on the date I had booked smile

MansView Thu 25-Apr-13 11:06:02

please do us all a favour and give up driving - it's not for everyone, and it's not a given right that everyone should be able to drive on public roads.

TheCatIsUpTheDuff Thu 25-Apr-13 11:10:44

I got through 6 instructors and 7 tests before I eventually passed at the age of 27.

Instructor 1: showed me his baseball bat with teethmarks in it.
Instructor 2: lovely, but I wasn't getting it and decided to concentrate on my a-levels.
Instructor 3: lovely, taught me to do it fine in lessons but I kept failing tests through nerves. Stopped learning when I moved away.
Instructor 4: mixed up left and right and shouted at me for doing what she'd told me.
Instructor 5: Bullied, shouted, made me cry, told me I'd never pass.
Instructor 6: Patient, kind, calm, reassuring. I passed 10 weeks later.

No. 6 was Bryan Amon, based in North London. I'd recommend him to anyone.

IEatCakeInBed Thu 25-Apr-13 12:07:19

BoyMeetsWorld I'm in Marlow, so quite near to you. I had my 5th lesson today (and I'm 37), nerve racking but good. Roy from MSM is teaching me (someone linked to him above) and he's thankfully patient and understands I'm a bit of a panic-er grin

TheVDM Thu 25-Apr-13 12:07:56

MansView: I know a few people who were terribly nervous as learners but have gone on to pass and become very good drivers, I feel those that are over confident should be taken off the road. Those who are nervous tend to be considerate drivers.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 25-Apr-13 12:17:40

Mansview is right it isn't for everyone but the OP says,
I'd started to feel I was doing much better than ever before... I really do want to learn so a change in instructor could be the answer. The tests should prevent dangerous or flakey drivers from being on our road.

Fwiw I think that everyone holding a driving licence should sit with an instructor to see if they have any bad habits and if necessary, re-take their test after 25 years on the road.

Thepursuitofhappiness Thu 25-Apr-13 13:44:56

OP that all sounds very stressful for you, I don't envy you and your driving instructor sounds like an idiot.

I am not saying you are in this category, but I do think some people need to review whether they will ever be safe on the road for others. One of the responders to the OP stated...
'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...'

Unless this poster is confident that she will improve dramatically, is it safe for other road users??

Maureen from driving school from the documentary years ago did pass her test on the fiftieth something test... I don't necessarily think she should be on the road as she has managed to fluke a test, but is a danger on the road.

My cousin lives locally and cannot pass his test. He makes ridiculous decisions on the road and has had to be driven back to the test centre by he instructor on one occasion. Much as it is inconvenient for him not to drive, I'm glad that he doesn't for the safety of the community! Of he managed to one day get 14 rather than 16 minor faults one test won't mean his special awareness suddenly improves.

Not saying your in this category OP, but you do need to think whether you honk you can become a safe road user.

Branleuse Thu 25-Apr-13 13:51:03

go for an automatic. I have now after 3 years learning and several failed tests. it's revolutionary. wish I hadn't wasted 3 years on bloody clutches and gears when I didn't have to.

are you dyspraxic

ophelia275 Thu 25-Apr-13 13:55:20

Have you thought of going with one of the special driving instructors that use hypnosis to help ease nerves for nervous drivers? There are a few on Google, just type in "hypnosis, driving phobia" or "driving fear". They are supposed to be quite successful.

LimitedEditionLady Thu 25-Apr-13 18:32:14

Im swapping mine too.we get on fine but his teaching style just doesnt suit me.have you got anyone in your family you can go in the car with to practice basic skills?i practice in our family car and it makes me more calm because i feel like im not under as much a nervous person too but im not going to give up,look how many people are driving on the can do it too.everybody has to learn and it doesnt matter if it takes a while youll get there x

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 25-Apr-13 18:38:46

I had three different instructors, due to moves, failed 2 tests. If I had had the third instructor I would have passed first time.

My dad passed on his 5th attempt - and what did the trick was swapping to an automatic

frogspoon Thu 25-Apr-13 20:02:13

You need to change instructor to one who is more reassuring and patient. You are paying alot of money for these lessons- you deserve to be taught by someone who is patient and tolerant of someone who isn't a natural driver.

I am not a natural driver and had a total of six driving instructors, over 200 lessons, and 3 tests. However that was for complicated reasons including an instructor getting cancer and me moving 200 miles away.

I also eventually switched to an automatic, and I would suggest you consider this.

HerrenaHarridan Thu 25-Apr-13 21:10:12

Mansview shock odfod

cuppateaanyone Thu 25-Apr-13 21:35:25

There is hope, I failed my first 4 tests spectaculary, one I think I failed in the first few mins of the test.
I was also in my 20's and was facing a horrible, unsustainable commute and thought I was never going to get it.
I found a local instructor who had been doing it for years, he had little hints and tips for the manuoveres that I still use today....

I also booked my final test during the day on a weekday, less busy and acknowledged that I was getting more a more nervous so also used some relaxation techniques. Good luck.

ilovesooty Fri 26-Apr-13 00:54:13

Change your instructor. I was petrified of my first instructor and failed four tests through sheer nerves before I had the courage to ditch him. I found out later one of his other pupils had stopped the car halfway round a roundabout to abandon him. It took my next kind, patient instructor ages to undo the damage. I've been driving for over 30 years now and clock up miles in my job, but I really thought with my first instructor I would never pass.

I learnt with bsm I was nervous and bsm made me feel very stressed! But I learnt in automatic after several disastrous manual lessons! Take the pressure off and learn in auto its fab!

ZolaBuddleia Fri 26-Apr-13 07:33:58

"Getting through" the test isn't ideal, I'd think about continuing lessons if you pass this summer to help build your confidence and road awareness.

Everyone learning in automatics, do you have automatics at home? Seems pointless to learn in automatic if you then won't be able to drive your own car.

Liskey Fri 26-Apr-13 07:56:58

Another one voting to change instructor. DH learnt to drive at the age of 35 - first instructor was happy to just drive around but didn't want to work on his poor points, only when he stopped instructor did the new one let him drive around watching him and then agree on points that needed attention - DH then passed test at first attempt.

SaveWaterDrinkMalibu Fri 26-Apr-13 09:23:42

OP I've messaged you

BoyMeetsWorld Fri 26-Apr-13 18:30:57

Thanks to all who have pm'd me..I've booked to go with a lady who talked to me for a good half hour on the phone & seemed lovely. She was recommended by lots of people, including on here. So fingers crossed!!!

Last lesson with terrifying instructor tomorrow, eek.

Thank you so much for your kind words & support - & for those who have suggested some people should not be on the road: I would say that, if there is no physical or mental disability present, anybody should be capable of learning anything, with time patience and a teacher who gets how to help them understand. When you have children depending on your transport in order to be able to take all the opportunities available to them, including getting to a decent school, failure is not an option. So I will persevere...

dexter73 Fri 26-Apr-13 22:50:05

Good luck with your new instructor!

HerrenaHarridan Sat 27-Apr-13 09:11:51

Don't worry op done people are just knobbers, they can't help it!

Fwiw my instructor said he'd rather teach someone who was over cautious to be more confident than someone who is blind to potential hazards to spot them.

cazcastles Mon 12-Aug-13 10:49:53

I am a Driving Instructor and find it strange that other instructors make their pupils cry or tell them to give up driving. I deal with nervous pupils all the time in an automatic and not one has given up. I lve the Ely area of cambridge.

LimitedEditionLady Mon 12-Aug-13 11:53:36

Ive had two instructors,the first from a big company and my current one is independant.I is a case of finding one you gel with as the first one was a goid one but his teaching style wasnt right with me and i dont know why but i felt anxious with him but i dont know why cod he was a nice i tried another one and its going great,we have the same style and actually have a laugh while im learning and now i love my lessons.Everyone has good and bad driving days and some things take longer to learn.persevere and youll get there.All the best,believe in yourself hun x

trinity0097 Mon 12-Aug-13 12:13:09

I would recommend spending lots of time as a passenger talking out loud what the driver should be doing, what hazards they should be aware of etc... When I learnt to drive as a teen this is what I had to do a couple of times with my BSM instructor. That way you can start to learn to read the road without also having to do the driving.

NutcrackerFairy Mon 12-Aug-13 12:13:16

Oh learning to drive sucks OP!

Driving is so much easier once you have your license and can do it for yourself with no-one breathing over your shoulder.

I know what you mean about looking and not knowing what you're looking at. This is because you are trying to hard to second guess the instructor, who no doubt will tell you you got it wrong anyway hmm

I had an instructor like the one you described, would huff and puff and criticise constantly. It seemed to me that the instructor's requirements changed every lesson, so one day I'd be too close to the car in front and the next, when I tried to correct my previous mistake, I was told that I was driving too slow and too far away from the car in front.

Honestly it SUCKs and you end up feeling such a failure and like you can't get anything right.

OP, I would ditch your current instructor and keep trying to find someone you click with. I went through four instructors until I found the right one... but when I did I grew in confidence and actually started to enjoy my lessons. And I finally passed my test!

Good luck OP, you'll get there I promise. Just find the right instructor for you!

ComposHat Mon 12-Aug-13 13:22:12

I have no wish to be horrible but are you sure driving is really for you?

You current driving instructor -who sounds like a total arse btw- plus three other driving professionals seem to be of the opinion you shouldn't be out on the road.

If you're getting flustered now in a controlled driving environment, how are yoi going to be in the organised chaos of parkong outside school with other cars arriving and departing left right and centre and kids running between cars. Throw in a small child acting up in the back and it seems like a recipe for stress.

Maybe think if you really need that in your life.

ICBINEG Mon 12-Aug-13 13:27:56

zombie thread unless the OP comes back and tells us she passed....

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