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To think after 3 years I should be able to drive?

(84 Posts)
JimmyChooChoo Fri 23-Sep-11 14:00:59

Feel like a loser!Been learning to drive since DS1 was 6months old and now he's 3blush.I also have ds2 who is now over 1yr!
I have gone through 3 instructors and from manual to automatic.
Just failed my second test todaysad
I'm ok going from a to b but in my test I was all over the place on the huge roundabouts,other drivers stopping infront didn't know what to do and how to position myself in horrible situations etc!
Will it ever come natural?Everyone says it does so why has it taken this long?
Are some people just not 'natural drivers' or does everyone have the potential and just take a little while longer?
Just booked my 3rd test for 2 weeks time!
Any words of wisdom greatly appreciated!Thankssmile

Dillydollydaydream Fri 23-Sep-11 14:03:17

I still can't drive. It took DH 5 attempts too.
Hope our dc have more luck!

lesley33 Fri 23-Sep-11 14:04:24

It took me a long while to pass. What helped? I found out by chance that all instructors are regularly externally graded in their teaching ability. The highest is 6. Few have this. Using google I found one in my local area who was graded at level 6. I really really noticed the difference and learnt much faster and passed my test.

Seriously, don't underestimate the difference a great instructor makes.

lubeybooby Fri 23-Sep-11 14:04:54

Keep trying and get lots of practice lessons in. I'm sure you will get there eventually with enough practice for it to feel more normal. This is from a non driver (but hopefully not for much longer)

Andrewofgg Fri 23-Sep-11 14:05:24

You are right. Some people are not natural drivers.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 23-Sep-11 14:07:51

Take heart! I took 4 tests before passing, also several instructors and was also very good from A to B but couldn't manage all the twiddly bits in the middle.

TIP..... What you need to develop is road sense and for that you need to drive lots. For the next 2 weeks, put the L-plates on the family car, have your qualified driver nearest and dearest ride shotgun and take the family everywhere you'd normally go.... supermarket, days out, DIY store, whatever. Your passenger should not be barking out instructor-like instructions but just letting you get everyone to the destination to the best of your ability like a real driver would. Put the radio on, wind the window down, steer with one hand... like normal people. Doing this, you'll get more confidence and it will become a more natural act. Lessons are far too artificial and constraining.

Good luck

AlpinePony Fri 23-Sep-11 14:08:16

You instructors are being unprofessional to take your money if you just can't do it. sad

fanjobanjowanjo Fri 23-Sep-11 14:09:35

Sounds like a confidence issue more than anything, you'll get there. My mum only passed her test in her 40s, after she switched to automatic!

You aren't a loser smile

Andrewofgg Fri 23-Sep-11 14:10:30

Indeed Cogito after failing twice at seventeen I bought a motor-bike (passed the test on that easily) and then acquired 100,000 miles of road sense and experience before passing the test on a car at 25. Not sure I would suggest that to OP . . .

strangetowngirl Fri 23-Sep-11 14:12:44

Switch to an automatic. it allows you to concentrate on the rules of the road without worrying about the mechanics of driving. i took hundreds of lessons in a manual and passed after 3 months in an automatic!

deemented Fri 23-Sep-11 14:14:30

Oh sweetheart, you are so not a loser.

Learning to drive is hard. I was a nervous wreck each and every time i took my test. I finally passed on my 7th attempt, and over four years of learning.

What helped me? Valium wink

AMumInScotland Fri 23-Sep-11 14:14:38

Why did you not know how to position yourself etc? It sounds like you are not getting enough practice at actually driving - moving the pedals and the steering wheel while the instructor tells you what to do is not anything like being in charge of everything.

You need to spend the time betwen now and the test driving at every opportunity.

tigercametotea Fri 23-Sep-11 14:17:08

I have been taking driving lessons, on and off, for the past few years now. I think a good instructor makes all the difference. Like you, I am on the 3rd one now, but I find him to be very much better than the other 2 I've had, though it seems to me that every subsequent one I get seemed better than the previous one - the first one, I still think, was really sh*t. Some people take to driving more naturally than others, its almost like a talent they have for it. I know someone who only after 6 lessons (and this is just last week) passed his first driving test, and he was quite skint so he couldn't even afford regular lessons, he'd have the odd lesson every few weeks, and when the instructor told him he was ready for the test, he waited nearly a month before taking it as he couldn't afford to pay for a 2-hour lesson for the test until then. For many others I've known though, it has taken them at least 3 failed attempts before passing and they've taken ages too. Just keep trying, and you'll eventually get it. (hopefully, me too!)

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Fri 23-Sep-11 14:19:39

I took lessons for ages and failed 2 tests. On my third my instructor was ill and I had a stand-in. I had an 2 hour lesson before the test and I passed! I think he was just a much better teacher, wasn't staring at my boobs so much etc. He even re-taught me my maneuvers using different techniques which sounds risky but I was happy for him to do so.

I actually think the other instructer was more interested in getting in my pants then having me pass my test. If I had passed, his pants access opportunities would have dried up. (oo er)

Callisto Fri 23-Sep-11 14:19:45

The Highway Code is actually quite simple. If you learn the rules you will know what to do at a roundabout, traffic lights, box junction etc, etc. Lots of it is common sense. After three years of lessons I'm quite worried that you panic at a roundabout though.

withLainintheWired Fri 23-Sep-11 14:27:25

I passed 7th time too deemented, I didn't use valium though, I went for beta blockers!

cat64 Fri 23-Sep-11 14:28:00

Message withdrawn

gethelp Fri 23-Sep-11 14:44:03

I only passed when I was in my 30's with very young dc's, which is what motivated me to drive. I was almost blind with panic at roundabouts, merging in traffic etc. One day (after my 2nd failed test) my instructor said almost casually that my technical ability was far beyond the standard of the test, I actually realised it was all about my crap attitude. You probably have all the skills you need to pass, you just need confidence and practice. If you're having panic attacks find out how to stop them - valium and beta blockers certainly work!

gethelp Fri 23-Sep-11 14:45:31

But I still burst into tears and said "really?" about 20 times when I did pass . . .

Andrewofgg Fri 23-Sep-11 14:50:13

Switching to an automatic is only a good idea if when you pass you will have the use of one and be able to rack up the miles of experience - and if you decide that in due course you will then tackle driving a manual because if you can't drive both you're only half a driver.

Sidge Fri 23-Sep-11 14:53:31

I think it's a bit premature to reattempt your test in only a fortnight if you were so all over the place on the last one.

Some people just need many more driving hours under their belt before they're ready to pass than others.

Things like positioning, awareness of other vehicles, knowing what to do in unexpected situations are all fundamental for driving safely and until you know how to do those you won't pass.

Dozer Fri 23-Sep-11 15:07:07

You can do it, keep going, will be worth it in the end.

Claxonia Fri 23-Sep-11 16:04:12

I took my test 5 times over 12 years before finally passing. God knows how much I spent on lessons! I'm sure you will get there in the end and it will be worth it. I just really don't like driving which I think is why it was so hard. Agree that finding an instructor you are comfortable with is key.

IloveJudgeJudy Fri 23-Sep-11 16:23:06

My DM took 6 attempts! She took two when I was very young then they couldn't afford for her to take lessons for a few years. She went back to it. She did loads of driving, it was her worrying about the test that kept her failing. Her doctor, too, gave her some valium or other tranquiliser (maybe even a placebo) and she passed.

valiumredhead Fri 23-Sep-11 16:33:31

Switching to an automatic is only a good idea if when you pass you will have the use of one and be able to rack up the miles of experience - and if you decide that in due course you will then tackle driving a manual because if you can't drive both you're only half a driver

Half a driver? Gosh, bet Americans are so sad they are only half drivers! grin The UK does seem to like their manual cars!

OP - I think you need a new instructor, when eventually I found a good one I passed in about 4 months. How many lessons will you have between now and your next test? You need to get to the point where driving feels much easier and THEN put in for your test imo. I think the worst thing you can do is keep booking test after test without putting in the hours or practice.

Is your instructor taking you on test routes so you have an idea of where you will go on your test?

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