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To think that driving lessons don't teach you how to drive

(59 Posts)
catgirl1976 Fri 19-May-17 14:41:19

I passed my driving test on Tuesday (hurray!) at the ripe old age of 40

But....now I don't think I can drive.

I learned in a nice nippy car, now it's DH's massive Saab

I've driven once to school and back with DH in the car and he was so jittery it put me off

Then I took it out to the corner shop just so I had driven on my own. I couldn't park the fecking thing when I got home and smashed the front licence plate on NDN tow bar

Please tell me everyone is like this and does anyone have any tips for driving?

I learned to park the instructors specific car using a specific set of markers at the test centre to park in a specific bayand parallel parking which was fine because there was never a jeffing car behind us when we did the manoeuvre. I now feel I can only park in the test centre car park or on an empty road. None of which is much use in real life sad

I'm scared to get back in the car in case I stack it.

DeanKoontz Fri 19-May-17 14:43:31

Go to an Supermarket Carpark (or similar) when it's empty. Sunday eve, or whenever. Go on your own and just practice in DH car.

Spudlet Fri 19-May-17 14:44:41

You almost certainly won't stack it. It does take time to get your confidence up without the reassurance of dual controls and someone who's there to tell you what to do if you need it! But I'm afraid the only way to get that confidence is to bite the bullet and drive, alone. Take your time, and you'll get there.

catgirl1976 Fri 19-May-17 14:44:57

Good plan. I guess I just need to practice.

JigglyTuff Fri 19-May-17 14:45:32

I would go out really early tomorrow morning - first light. Take 4 2 litres bottles of water with you. The roads will be nice and empty. Drive to a superstore and practice parking it - forwards, backwards, parallel. Use the water bottles to act as other cars.

Do that every morning until you get confident. It will get better, promise.

catgirl1976 Fri 19-May-17 14:45:55

I had visions of all this freedom and setting off on lovely trips.

I think I'm a little way off that. I'll drive DS home from school and then find and empty car park over the weekend

Blobby10 Fri 19-May-17 14:47:00

Driving lessons teach you how to pass your test. Driving on your own ie without the back up of a second set of brakes - teaches you how to drive!! I echo PP and say practise, practise, practise!!

NemosKnickers Fri 19-May-17 14:47:16

practice practice practice

The more hours you can get behind the wheel the better. And don't forget that every single driver on the road was once inexperienced too. you can do it!

JigglyTuff Fri 19-May-17 14:48:47

You'll get there a lot sooner than you think. Honestly, every time I get a new hire car, I'm a bit WTF about parking it until I get a sense of how big it is and I've been driving for over 30 years.

Hillarious Fri 19-May-17 14:48:50

Practise on your own too. It wasn't until I dumped the boyfriend who took over where my driving instructor left off after I passed my test - giving instructions just before I was about to do that manoeuvre anyway - that my confidence (and ability) grew!

He did teach me how to parallel park though, and in London, in the days before that was part of the test.

Kokusai Fri 19-May-17 14:50:11

You just need to practice in that bigger car - like PP says go to supermarket after closing and practice parking and stuff

Thinkingblonde Fri 19-May-17 14:50:38

Driving lessons teach you the basics and how to pass your test. The rest is experience. Driving a different car to one you're used to can be nerve wracking at first. Don't be put off.

donajimena Fri 19-May-17 14:51:04

You sound just like I was when I passed my test. I used to drive somewhere and leave straight away because I was getting worked up over the return journey! Practice practice practice! Just set yourself a very short target and come home. As pp advised definitely practice the parking in an empty car park.

catgirl1976 Fri 19-May-17 14:52:42

It's like a tank

I want him to swap it for a teeny tiny Smart car (he won't - he's 6 foot 2 and we have a child) smile

I will practice as much as I can. Empty car park is a great idea

I'll get some P plates too

Spudlet Fri 19-May-17 14:56:29

And leave your DH at home, he is undermining your confidence! Don't take anyone who won't sit still and keep schtum.

HundredMilesAnHour Fri 19-May-17 14:56:37

As others have said, you need to practice. It will really help for parking. My boyfriend at the time took me to a huge empty car park and he ran around and I had to try to follow him whilst reversing. Sounds silly but it helped a lot. Driving on your own at first can be scary. I remember the first time I drove on my own I felt like a nervous wreck. Then I drove on my own in the dark. Then it was on my own in the dark in the rain. I still remember each of these times as it felt like a big deal to me. The more you drive, the easier it gets.

Eolian Fri 19-May-17 14:57:35

I think most people feel a bit like that when they pass their test, unless they are a real natural or have clocked up a LOT of hours' driving. You just need practice.

TrollMummy Fri 19-May-17 14:57:50

Don't give up OP, I gave up on driving due to lack of confidence after my test. I really regret this now and I'm desperately trying to get the confidence to get back to it again.
Keep going don't end up like meflowers

19lottie82 Fri 19-May-17 15:03:43

You will get used to the car, try not to stress.
If it doesn't have them already you can get parking sensors installed for about £150....... they would definitely help improve your confidence.

Clnz4fun Fri 19-May-17 15:04:34

It's amazing how little confidence you have after passing a test, I would have nerves just exiting the junction in my street.
When I first got my car I had to drive it about 35 miles on motorways and dual carriage ways to get it home and I abandoned the car about 3ft from the kerb when ibgot homeblush.

And I also went into a space to quick and bashed my car into a bollard within the first few days.
Short drives and just focusing on what you were taught. A different car will have different manouevering points so until you get confident driving it and used to it just use the manouevers when absolutely necessary.

I quickly ditched proper reverse bay parking and do it like most other drivers where you pull at a 40 degree angle and then reverse into a space.

Tenshidarkangel Fri 19-May-17 15:17:44

I was similar OP. Passed on my 6th try, learnt in a Nissan Micra, had a Vauxhall astra waiting.
Took time and practice. Don't go out with DP as you'll pick up bad habits. Just practice. I'm only confident now 3 years on and I still managed to write my car off in January due to foggy conditions and poorly sign posted temporary traffic lights.

Tenshidarkangel Fri 19-May-17 15:18:28

Also suggest getting your instructor to take you out on the motorway. Best thing I did.

MontyPythonsFlyingFuck Fri 19-May-17 15:21:36

There's some really good advice on here - yyy to the deserted car park and the keeping at it. The other thing I'd add is - is there any chance for you (maybe with a supportive friend?) to do a longish drive somewhere? Because one of the things that you need is to get the feeling of driving being a bit more boring than scary. So if there's a chance of a weekend away with a nice friend, or a trip to a distant IKEA or something, then do volunteer to drive, even though you won't want to.

I still remember the first time I was on my own driving a car. It was 10 October 1983, the day I passed my test, and I was TERRIFIED. It gets better, it really does!!

ShatnersBassoon Fri 19-May-17 15:22:33

You understand the mechanics of driving and road safety. That's enough to get you on the road gaining experience.

I drove a lot when I was learning, so I never had that nervousness once I'd passed the test. It is just hours on the road that get you to the point of driving without fear of crashing.

purplemunkey Fri 19-May-17 15:28:34

I passed two weeks ago and have never before experiences the kind of anxiety I've been dealing with since being able to drive in my own! You are definitely not on your own.

I've been forcing myself to face the fear and just do it, small trips at the moment but each one feels slightly better. I am also nervous of parking so will prob go to an empty car park as pp suggest too.

I am also waiting for this great sense of freedom I expected - I know it will come, with time and experience. Keep at it!

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