To feel like quitting driving after only two days on the road in a busy SE town + the switch to petrol?? Gaaaah. It does get easier right? Right??

(48 Posts)
TheOrchardKeeper Sat 04-Jul-15 14:51:24

So many roundabouts!! I passed my test a fortnight ago, and have a car on the go. I went on a small trip today and today drove out of town to a local village/nature centre with DS and a friend and back, which involves a few major roundabouts. The switch from a 1.8ish diesel to petrol has really thrown me. I want to drive a petrol car but in the learner car you could pull of before putting much (if any) gas on at all and I could pull away pretty fast so I was very confident. In this car (a tiny 1.0 Micra) I have to pull away slowly or I stall the bugger. Is it always going to be this hard to drive?? (I'm very safe by the way, and CAN drive but it's just the bite point and being careful not to over-rev when changing gears etc as it's all new).

I'm driving along the M4 next month so want to try and get as up to scratch as I can. confused hmm

I had no idea it'd be such a big adjustment from car to car. Trying not to beat myself up as I didn't stall much but I had to pull away a bit slower than the cars around me and just feel like an all around knob grin hmm

Does it get easier??

TheOrchardKeeper Sat 04-Jul-15 14:53:22

To be fair it is a Saturday and there was a tonne of traffic. I found music helped a bit because it makes you relax/ease up a bit but that's it. I got P plates so I don't feel as bad for being obviously a bit 'new' grin

Newlywed2013 Sat 04-Jul-15 14:54:21

You will get used to it,
Just keep practising pulling away. I learned in a 2l turbo diesel then went to a 1l petrol! I stalled lots in the first mee weeks but got used to it quite soon

SirSpamalot Sat 04-Jul-15 14:56:36

Yes it does. I've driven diesels for the last 10 years and am about to get a petrol, and I know I'll stall it a few times so don't think it's just a new driver thing.

Can you go to a quiet road somewhere and just practise pulling off, getting to second gear, then stopping? That might help.

Ooh and don't forget... M4 should equal no stopping and starting (traffic willing) so try not to worry about that.

TheOrchardKeeper Sat 04-Jul-15 14:57:49

Thanks. It got better today in the sense that I just stopped trying to pull away super-fast when lights changed etc and that stopped me stalling but I'm hoping to take it out tomorrow without DS to find a quiet road I can practise stopping/pulling away in for as long as I can stand grin

It almost feels like learning all over again. I don't want to lose the confidence I had though so am hoping to just push through it, if that's actually possible. This car also has no power steering and is so much noisier shock

TheOrchardKeeper Sat 04-Jul-15 15:00:44

Thank you Spam - cross post smile

I think it's a LOT more to do with switching cars than my driving. I'd gotten to the point where moving off wasn't something I worried about at all anymore before my test. I didn't even have to think about it. And I do prefer long stretches. My town is 80% traffic lights and roundabouts so today was 100% stopping and starting and traffic/crawling which is maybe why today has really upset me.

I feel pretty daft to be so bothered about it/stalling again like a learner hmm grin

AssembleTheMinions Sat 04-Jul-15 15:03:09

I feel your pain. I learnt to drive a very long time ago in a diesel car. At the time I didn't know there was a difference between petrol and diesel when it came to clutch control. (I was 17) My dad used to go bonkers at me for stalling his car when he was taking me out to practice.

Looking back, I actually think it was a bit sneaky for the driving instructor to use a diesel for teaching pupils and not even mentioning that I would struggle to begin with in a petrol.

It's all down to practice though, it doesn't take long to get used to it. Good luck.

TheOrchardKeeper Sat 04-Jul-15 15:07:35

Yeah I only realized I even needed to use more gas and sooner in my car to get it going by googling it...

My instructor was fab but never mentioned that a changeover would mean much besides just it being a different size!

I guess just keep trying? I really don't want to be one of those people who's too scared to drive unless necessary. The whole point of me learning was because I'm a single parent and need it! grin hmm

contractor6 Sat 04-Jul-15 15:13:31

Driving in se London is hard and despite driving for twenty years, I hate it....but you do get used to it. Btw are you allowed as a new driver to go on motorways, I thought you had to be driving a year now?

TheOrchardKeeper Sat 04-Jul-15 15:14:46

I hate having to concentrate so much on not stalling when I've stopped because I feel like it detracts more attention from the road. Not much but I'm spreading thinner than I should with looking around, being careful with clutch/gas and making sure I'm in the right lane or whatever . Better than a boy racer/over confident driver though I guess!

TheOrchardKeeper Sat 04-Jul-15 15:17:51

No you can do motorways as soon as you've passed in the UK. I'm not that worried about the M4 because it's mostly straight and I've been in the car with someone doing it a hundred times+ so sort of know the way to where I'm going already. I hope I do get used to it like you say!

Whoever said that you learn how to 'properly' drive once you pass your test was pretty spot on... And I suppose at least I'm a safe driver. I've not had any near misses and I don't hold people up too much, it's just frustrating when it's you driving/making the mistakes hmm grin

Fallout4 Sat 04-Jul-15 16:33:05

My driving instructors car was a diesel but I already owned a petrol which I practiced in everyday with my DH.
I think that's the key here, practise everyday and you will get the hang of it.
I now own a 2l turbo diesel but can happily switch to my DH's 2l petrol whenever I want without any problems.
You will get the hang of it OP. Enjoy.

LittleBearPad Sat 04-Jul-15 16:39:45

Practice and within two weeks you won't even think about the biting point anymore. You'll just do it.

And in a few more months you'll be able to pull away in third through sheer force of will (when you realise halfway through you're in the wrong gear) wink

PerspicaciaTick Sat 04-Jul-15 16:41:25

Did you have a driving instructor - may be call them and ask if they could give you one lesson in your own car to help you transition. But yes, you will get used to it and it will all be second nature very soon.

Your instructor can also give you motorway lessons now you've passed your test.

EastMidsMummy Sat 04-Jul-15 16:43:44

It's nothing to do with diesel to petrol and everything to do with car to car, especially ones with such a difference in power. You'll be surprised how quickly you switch and, once you get used to the next one, how the old one feels 'wrong'.

emwithme Sat 04-Jul-15 16:47:09

I've been driving for 8 years now (passed test at 30, having first learned - and failed - at 17). Just gone from a 2l diesel to a 1l petrol.

OMG...the test drive was HILARIOUS. Kangaroo hops all the way off the forecourt, stalled every time I pulled away from a stop (so traffic lights, roundabouts), was in the Wrong Gear so often the whining from the engine had stopped annoying me!

I've had Posie Flump for about a month now and I tend not to stall very much at all (I did this morning because I forgot to change from third to first when I'd pulled over to let an ambulance past blush )

It takes time. You're right in saying that you learn properly when you've passed your test. Just carry on and you'll be fine. And if anyone beeps you when you stall, stick up your middle finger, take a deep breath, and start the car. No one stalls deliberately but it happens to the best of us at times.

LazyLouLou Sat 04-Jul-15 16:52:10

Don't worry about it, it really isn't you? That's the good news...

... the bad is that every single different car you get into will reduce you to newbie drivership. Sometimes for a few days, weeks or, if you are really lucky, just a quick trip or two.

We have 2 cars, DH has been driving for about 35 years, and he still gets that confuzzled look on his face, if he gets into mine for the first time in a few months confused

And yes, the middle finger gesture is entirely appropriate for beeping twats...

BIWI Sat 04-Jul-15 16:57:35

Slower is better anyway! You shouldn't be pulling away super fast.

You will soon get used to it. I remember when I first started learning, really struggling to coordinate everything at the same time - feet on the pedals, steering, using the mirror, etc! Now it's automatic. And you'll quickly get there too.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 04-Jul-15 17:00:42

It is not the switch from diesel to petrol as diesel actually has slower acceleration. It is going from a 1.8l to a 1l you have pretty much halved the punch.

Optimist1 Sat 04-Jul-15 17:03:51

The more you drive your new car the better you'll get at it. Being in the SE you can congratulate yourself on being on the busiest roads in the country! In a couple of weeks time the volume of traffic will drop significantly as the schools break up (usually a slight drop when the private ones finish with the full benefit a week or so later when us common people finish) - enjoy the respite and by September I bet you'll be feeling 100% comfortable with your car.

And flowers to you for persevering and having a positive attitude - I know too many people who "can't" drive in rush hour/at night/when it's icy/where they've never driven before hmm !

Diamondjoan Sat 04-Jul-15 17:13:11

I go through a lot of hire cars every year travelling for work and without fail I stall every single one! That's after years and years of driving. It does get easier and I usually only stall a new car once. I'd say after a week you should be grand.

QueefOfTheSporned Sat 04-Jul-15 17:23:58

You'll get used to it. I've always driven a diesel but I was given a petrol as a loan car when mine was in for repair. It took me 3 attempts to get it off the driveway and then I stalled the bugger at every set of traffic lights.
Also, you'll definitely notice the difference in power between a 1.8 and 1 litre engine. My car is a 1.9 and when I drive smaller engine hire cars now, they sometimes feel like they wouldn't pull you out of bed when you're trying to pull away from traffic lights. Again, it's jusst something you'll adjust to.

Happy motoring!

TheOrchardKeeper Sat 04-Jul-15 19:19:04

I wasn't taught to put ANY gas on in my instructors car (until you've started pulling the cluth up anyway) which is where I was stumped with the stalling. So I had to figure out that it needed the gas first and the clutch needed letting up much more slowly/more controlled than in the other car. It's a 1999 Micra to be fair so it's pretty old and well as tiny grin

But the other stuff is definitely just driving a very different car along with only just passing my test (so slight nerves grin ).

And thank you Optimist. I sometimes struggle with anxiety (panic attacks etc) and learnt that exposure therapy is the best therapy!! If I started avoiding anything on purpose it became this big thing and I reallllllly don't want that to happen. And what woul I do if I hated driving at night/on the motorway but DS was sick and needed to go to A&E or anything like that....It's just me and him so I'd be cross if I spent all that time and money on something that wasn't useful!

I heard the SE is the worst for busy roads grin I got some pulling away practice earlier when I was sat in a slowly stopping/starting/crawling traffic jam for 30 mins on the way home today.

Thank you for the replies. I thought I killed the thread... blush

It's reassuring to know car-switching can be tricky for other people and not just newly-qualified drivers grin At least I have my P plate now, (some people say they're pointless & I find it a bit embarassing but just have a gut feeling that it's the safer option til I'm over this hump). So I guess I just need to drive as much as I can afford to over the next few weeks!

TheOrchardKeeper Sat 04-Jul-15 19:21:34

My DM learnt at 32 and I remember her being so terrified and now she's really confident and drives in whatever weather, swaps to her partner's car a lot and does a lot of long distance drives for work which I keep trying to remember when I feel defeatist about it. And just making sure I keep a cool head when I have ballsed up grin Otherwise you just make it worse.

Other people make it look soooooo easy!

TheOrchardKeeper Sun 05-Jul-15 14:43:09

Thanks for all the advice. I took my brother to Salisbury Catherderal today (a good 1hr away via dual carriageways and windy country roads as well as driving through the actual city) and did great. 2hrs overall and feel so much more confident. Didn't want to get in the car this morning but dragged myself!

I think I just needed to get out of the town and do some longer stretches to ease into the general driving. I eased up a lot after the first half hour and now don't feel half as daunted at the prospect of driving in general. So so glad I just bit the bullet. I still need fine-tuning but I'm safe and much more confident smile Thank god for that.

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