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Feeling rubbish at failing driving test (again!) at 40

(35 Posts)
WaitingForMyRealLife Fri 31-Oct-14 00:47:42

Just failed my driving test again after many many many hours of lessons. Feel rubbish. DH thinks I'm being over dramatic but am truly feeling like a huge failure - 40 and not able to drive, how useless is that?

Winterbells Fri 31-Oct-14 01:57:17

Driving is hard! I can't drive. I have a panic attack just sitting in the driver's seat.

Don't feel like a failure or useless. Are you gonna try again?

MrsMaker83 Fri 31-Oct-14 02:04:55

I took 8 tests and 2 years of lessons... You will get there grin

missingmumxox Fri 31-Oct-14 02:30:31

I took 6, that said I was 18 when I passed, but then again I didn't start in my 30's.
One of my best friends took it 13 times in her early 30's, she is an excellent driver, just went to pieces on tests, eventually persuaded her to take her test in an automatic, passed.

Whippet81 Fri 31-Oct-14 04:02:27

I took mine 5 times - it wasn't that I couldn't drive - I have driven over Europe for a job for a spell since - but I was so nervous! Prob same for you - don't give up - my DM did after failing twice and it's her biggest regret she always wishes she had kept trying.

CiderwithBuda Fri 31-Oct-14 04:50:05

I passed in third attempt. It was nerves. After second fail I wanted to give up but DH said that would be a waste of the money I had already spent on lessons. I did an intensive course (with a much better instructor) and he said I'd be fine. Then he said we would do a mock test. I was rubbish. So he reckoned it was pure nerves and recommended getting beta blockers from doc. I did that and passed. DH tells everyone I was on drugs when I passed! I didn't even get a prescription - GP just gave me three tablets from his briefcase! One to try that night to make sure I had no side effects, one next morning and one just before test. Could have been sugar pills for all I know but I passed.

Hated driving though. Then drove an automatic. Will drive anywhere now. Love an automatic!

velourvoyageur Fri 31-Oct-14 05:35:42

My aunt failed hers six times (!) and that meant her dad wouldn't pay for lessons for any of her 4 siblings. They were all slightly more than cross at her.

It's not that bad grin keep trying, it'll be worth it.

BathshebaDarkstone Fri 31-Oct-14 06:42:18

I'm not learning to drive until my DCs are old enough not to fight in the back seat! thlgrin

bananaramadrama Fri 31-Oct-14 06:51:03

What did you fail on? I failed mine 6 times before I passed. Each time I failed one big mistake and a couple of minor's. I could drive, but nerves got the better of me when it came down to it. After the 6th fail I changed driving instructors. I was with bsm, but changed to a very experienced guy running his own business and he was amazing and made me a much better driver. He helped me iron out lots of little bad driving habits that were causing me to make big mistakes under stress. I found out later that quite a few of instructors from large national driving schools are trainees who haven't passed their instructors test. They may be ill equipped to help you.
Had I passed first time I would have been a terrible driver.
Have you always had the same instructor? Could it be time for a change and find someone who can help you?
Driving is hard and learning it becomes much harder as you get older. I bet you'll be a better and safer driver at the end of it.
Good luck op!

bananaramadrama Fri 31-Oct-14 06:57:40

Forgot to say, your dh is being an arse! I know from experience that failing you test is hugely deflating. You are not being dramatic, you need sympathy and lots of hugs. And cake ( and/ or chocolate/wine/flowers or whatever is your bag!).

blanklook Fri 31-Oct-14 08:00:32

You are not useless, you're just not confident enough yet thanks cake

How much practise are you getting in-between lessons? Have you got your own car or can you practise in the family car? Sometimes half an hour a day or even a couple of times round the block can be the sort of ordinariness you need rather than one or two lessons per week. Is there a friend who would sit in with you?

Think about changing instructors, a different one may just explain or show you a 'how-to' slightly differently and you'll find it much easier than before.

What are you finding most difficult? If it's a question of having to do so many things at the same time, (like going up and down the gearbox every time you alter your speed) do consider learning in an automatic, as long as you'll have one afterwards to drive of course. I'm happily pootling around in a 10 yr old automatic and it's SO easy, you just go, or slow down and stop, no way of stalling the engine, no gears, and more importantly it gives you loads of headspace for actually driving, watching the road, anticipating hazards etc. rather than having to remember which gear you are in and what you need to change it to.

You will pass!

Blue2014 Fri 31-Oct-14 08:03:59

My mum passed her test when she was 46 years old. There is still time yet :-)

OwlinaTree Fri 31-Oct-14 08:08:36

Keep at it if you can. I passed 6th attempt. My lovely mother sent me a good luck card before each go!

It is so upsetting to fail, I think it made me more anxious each time, but I did change instructors and that helped me get much better.

Good luck, I'm sure you can do it, just take some of us longer than others.

OwlinaTree Fri 31-Oct-14 08:09:23

Actually it was 7th not 6th!!

chemenger Fri 31-Oct-14 08:17:18

I passed at my sixth or seventh attempt, learning to drive is hard. I started on my 17th birthday and passed when I was 28 (there were long gaps where I gave up, I didn't have lessons continuously for 11 years). Finding an instructor who suited me and a friend insuring her car so we could just drive around were the things that finally swung it for me. You need practice so that the skill based parts of driving - steering, gears etc become automatic so that you can think about the decision based parts.

Squeakyheart Fri 31-Oct-14 08:21:44

I took seven attempts over eight years to pass and as previous poster said think I am a better driver for it. It is deflating though, I was gutted after the fifth as really thought I would do it then as did instructor but nerves got me!

I used Bach rescue remedy to settle nerves as figured even if placebo it would help! Wasn't with an instructor at that point so driving home afterwards was scary even though you could see my house from the test centre.

U2TheEdge Fri 31-Oct-14 08:24:09

I passed on my 4th at aged 32.

I think I am a better driver for the extra lessons and tests.

You will get there. I failed on the most stupid things then on my 4th test I was sure I would fail because I had to get a new instructor and use a brand new car. I didn't expect to pass so the pressure was off I guess. I passed with one minor.

It is horrid failing the test, the thought of doing it again is horrible, but when you pass, because you WILL pass, it will be one of the best things you have ever done. For me, it was life changing.

Aeroflotgirl Fri 31-Oct-14 08:29:27

Contrary to Mumsnetters opinionsp, drving is an extremly hard skill which not everybody will get. I failed 4 times and cannot afford to do anymore lessons yet. I have dyspraxia and dyslexia which make it very hard, when I am nervous such as in driving, they get worse. Take a break and try again later. Have you considered hypnotherapy or CBT, I have and probably will try those before learning again.

duchesse Fri 31-Oct-14 08:33:28

Hang in there. Ignore your not so DH. Be resilient and get straight back in the saddle.

I have a fair few friends in their mid-40s who don't drive. All Cambridge educated. Didn't have time at the standard age to learn to drive and just learned to do without in adulthood. They don't feel like failures.

The problem with learning later is that you are far more aware of dangers then when you're 17. You just have to trust that most people generally want to stay alive and will act accordingly.

sunnybobs Fri 31-Oct-14 08:36:55

I hated driving lessons and did so many tests, felt like such a failure not to have mastered this "easy skill" everyone else seemed to just get at 17. Then I switched to learning on an automatic, passed my test (still not first time though!) and am now a very good driver. Still only drive automatics and love them. Don't give up but do consider different cars, instructors, styles etc. Its liberating when you finally do pass.

PiggyPlumPie Fri 31-Oct-14 08:44:09

Passed after 8 tests - been driving 10 years now and I am so glad I stuck with it. It is demoralising - I failed my 7th for speedingblush

chemenger Fri 31-Oct-14 08:44:26

I think I am the only person in the world who hates driving automatics, they unnerve me somehow.
If you are nervous when driving I found it useful to focus on relaxing my hands and hold the wheel lightly. Tense hands make steering much harder and having a single focus for relaxing was useful to me.

0898 Fri 31-Oct-14 08:45:17

I'm about to take my third test. And I haven't told anyone, not even DH. I feel so much more confident now I don't feel the weight of everyone else's expectation.

Take a break if you need to, the lessons won't be wasted as it really will come back quickly when you try again.

chemenger Fri 31-Oct-14 08:47:27

Piggy I once failed for both speeding and undue hesitation in the same test. My favourite failure was when reversing round a corner a dog sat down behind the car so I stopped, the examiner didn't see it, didn't believe me, and failed me on the manoeuvres.

Theboulderhascaughtupwithme Fri 31-Oct-14 08:49:22

I have literally hundred of lessons over more than a decade, eventually passed but IN AN AUTOMATIC!!!!!!! Cannot recommend highly enough. I, touch wood, seem to now be a very good driver, have never had an accident, feel confident etc. However I was very nervous under test conditions and this impaired my ability to drive well. Driving in the auto just gave me one less thing to have to coordinate and it made all the diff.

Good luck and don't give up!!

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