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to not understand why I can't fucking drive?!

(159 Posts)
Floatingfancy Sat 20-Apr-19 15:34:07

I've had 20 lessons and I cannot get the hang of it. What is wrong with me?! I am thirty years old. I have two degrees. There are teenagers out there happily passing without a second thought.

I still have not got the hang of gears. I stall constantly. I can't do all my checks while trying to sort the cocking gears. I live in SE London so it's very intimidating with a lot of fast and aggressive drivers.

I'm considering switching to automatic lessons but will that even be better?!?!

I feel like a complete failure for not being able to do this.

gotmychocolateimgood Sat 20-Apr-19 15:37:09

I passed third time 15 years ago but I really struggled. My parents spent over £1000 on lessons for me. My coordination was just crap. I'm a postgraduate and professional with no other intelligence issues but driving was so hard for me! Now I love driving as it means a lot to have the freedom to travel on my own steam.

Keep going op, you will get there!

MrsWillGardner Sat 20-Apr-19 15:38:02

I think you’d 100% benefit from lessons in an automatic. I’ve always been a manual driver and I dont really like my husband auto but in your case, you’d be a prat to not consider it!!

DramaAlpaca Sat 20-Apr-19 15:38:35

Yes, change to an automatic it'll make all the difference. My mum tried & tried to learn with gears, just couldn't get the hang of it, then changed to an automatic & passed her test first time soon afterwards - at the age of 66! You can do it, OP.

redcarbluecar Sat 20-Apr-19 15:38:37

I had about 70 lessons before my instructor would even put me in for a test! Hope you don’t need that many but people just learn at different rates. I thought I’d never really get the hang of it but became a confident driver almost as soon as I got my own car. Hold your nerve and stick at it.

gt84 Sat 20-Apr-19 15:39:48

I had less lessons than you with a manual and just couldn’t get on with it and was desperate to start driving so I switched to automatic. Definitely worth doing, it’s so much easier and less things to think about all at once

IncognitaIgnorama Sat 20-Apr-19 15:40:13

Switch to auto, OP. I passed 2nd time, after 50ish lessons (but no opportunities to practice outside of lessons as my parents drove autos) - and haven't driven manually since. I struggled to co-ordinate gears and both feet - zero problems with auto and two accidents in 35 years: both involved being hit by other drivers, both of whom were in the wrong. Do it - driving makes a huge difference!

Xyzzzzz Sat 20-Apr-19 15:40:35

It took me years to drive and in the end I did automatic. I’m not a natural driver but I got there and so will you.

Floatingfancy Sat 20-Apr-19 15:40:49

I need to pass tbh because I have a toddler and I hate relying on DH for lifts. If I didn't I'd just say sod it.

gotmychocolateimgood Sat 20-Apr-19 15:40:54

Forgot to add I now drive an automatic and have fine for some time. Much much easier. When I had to drive a manual courtesy car recently it was blooming hard work! Automatic is basically stop and go.

AllTheWhoresOfMalta Sat 20-Apr-19 15:40:59

Go auto. I had ten manual lessons and wasn’t getting anywhere. Had 7 auto lessons and then 2hrs the day of my test -and passed first time. Wish I had done that from the start.

TabbyStar Sat 20-Apr-19 15:41:12

I was 32 when I learned and it was one of the most difficult things I ever did. I too told myself that there are some really stupid people able to drive (though obviously that sounds really rude!) - it's just practise. Tbh I didn't really gain confidence until I was driving 500 miles a week in a job and had a more powerful car that was more controllable than my first little one. Don't give up! I think I had about 30 lessons and also went out with my XP. It took three goes to pass my test but now I'm a confident (and I think good) driver.

LittleMissMummaBear Sat 20-Apr-19 15:42:00

You are not a failure OP! I am from SE London too, I know how many reckless drivers are out there! switch to automatic and keep practicing, you'll get there in the end! x

Cutcrease Sat 20-Apr-19 15:43:08

I had exactly the same problems. I changed to an automatic and passed first time after 20 (2 hour) lessons. That was over 30 years ago. I reckon if id tried to persevere with manual I’d have totally given up or still be attempting to pass my test.

It’s absolutely nothing to do with intelligence so please don’t put yourself down. In my case I’m very uncoordinated, clumsy and have little special awareness which combined to make trying to focus on the road, the gears, the steering and what manoeuvres were necessary etc, impossible. I do think an automatic makes it a lot easier as you don’t have the gears to get to grips with, just put it into reverse or drive and that’s taken care of. That way you can put your foot on the accelerator, hands on the wheel and off you go. You are not a failure. And London driving must be doubly stressful.

JenniferJareau Sat 20-Apr-19 15:43:31

Learn on an automatic. Much easier.

Floatingfancy Sat 20-Apr-19 15:45:07

I have no coordination at all so that's definitely part of it.

secondday Sat 20-Apr-19 15:46:21

It's very difficult. I had 70 hours worth of lessons and 3 tests before I passed. Stick at it, 20 lessons is nothing!

Gronky Sat 20-Apr-19 15:46:35

It's NU to move over to an automatic to lessons/testing but you are limiting yourself in later life with car purchases. Have you tried other vehicles? It's possible you just don't get on with that particular car, your seat positioning is off or the instructor isn't the most helpful. I'm not saying you shouldn't consider automatic at all, I'd just recommend trying some other variations beforehand.

When I did my test in the early 80s, it was a lot easier but I started riding motorcycles in the early 2000s and almost quit because the gears on those stumped me (I actually failed my first CBT, almost unheard of). In retrospect, I'm so glad I persisted, even though I ride an automatic motorcycle at the moment (though this is a lot more limiting than it is for cars).

MrsCasares Sat 20-Apr-19 15:48:14

250 lessons it took me. Please, please don’t be stupid like me. Switch to automatic. So much easier.

Good luck. You will succeed.

Gronky Sat 20-Apr-19 15:48:20

Also, to add, as others have said, this hurdle you're facing is in no way an indictment of your intelligence.

Willowcat77 Sat 20-Apr-19 15:48:58

It took me 4 years to learn with over 100 lessons! I couldn't cope with manual gears so learnt in an automatic. Passed a year ago on my third attempt. Passing revolutionised my life though I am still quite unconfident 😕

littleskittle Sat 20-Apr-19 15:49:18

Echoing other posters, defo get an automatic licence. I had 30 lessons at 17 plus loads of practice with parents and still failed twice, then I gave up until I was 30 and had lessons in an automatic - was so much easier for me. I still failed 2 more times just through silly mistakes due to nerves but persevered and passed on 5th attempt. I've never looked back, after always feeling crap at it I'm quite happy driving now. And anyone who says to you 'but what if you ever want to drive a manual?' (I got this a lot initially!)- why would you ever need to if your car is automatic? I've never had need in a decade. Good luck, if I can do it anyone can!

Witchend Sat 20-Apr-19 15:49:34

I was told that you need approximately the same number of lessons as your age.

ChocChocButtons Sat 20-Apr-19 15:49:38

Switch to automatic, I couldn’t do gears either.

AnnieMay100 Sat 20-Apr-19 15:51:47

It could have been me posting this! Also in London and struggle to pass my test (failed two) had 35 hours of lessons and still crap with the clutch and forever stalling. Everyone tells me to stick at manual as I’ve spent so much money on it and an automatic is more expensive for the lessons and the car, but sometimes it’s the only way to pass. It wouldn’t hurt to try an auto lesson or two and see how you find it, I’m considering this. Sometimes it depends on the instructor too, I didn’t find mine great which didn’t help my confidence at all. You can do it, you just need confidence and lots of practise. Watching lesson videos on YouTube helped things make sense to me that my instructor described badly, worth a look. Good luck.

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