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to be terrified of driving on my own for the 1st time!!

(25 Posts)
welshone51 Sun 02-Aug-09 15:10:16

Hi all I recently passed my driving test after quite a few attempts, it took me a long long time to finally pass and it feels like a dream come true.
I did had the opportunity to drive my partners very large 4X4 but I feel this is too large to drive for my first proper car, however we have had a discussion and he says that he can afford to get me a small run-a round something like a peugeot 206 or a fiest which I am pleased and grateful for!
We have been around various garages and have seen a couple that I like so it will olny be a matter of time before I get my own car at the grand old age of 28!!
However I am terrified of the prospect of driving on my own- My partner has said that he is willing to sit by me at first but he feels I should go straight into the deep end!!!! I am scared that I will get in to a situation that I cant handle, or drive the wrong way down a one way street e.t.c!! I have been offered the prospect of pass plus courses but we can't afford them and I have had years of lessons so really dont want any more?
Is it normal to feel like this? Help!!!

K999 Sun 02-Aug-09 15:12:58

Perfectly normal!! When you get your car, get DP to sit with you and then go out. Go out somewhere that you know well and that is not too long a journey. It is nerve wracking but the more you do it the easier it becomes. And remember, all drivers have been in the same position as you at one time! smile

dizzydixies Sun 02-Aug-09 15:15:26

I have to say I was a nervous wreck during my lessons but absolutely fine once I was on my own - you might surprise yourself yet smile

get yourself a nice wee runaround that you like, are proud of and WANT to drive

go on roads that you are used to when you first start and you'll soon be a dab hand

if all else fails turns to rescue remedy to calm your nerves in such times of need grin

NervousNutty Sun 02-Aug-09 15:30:50

Absolutly normal.

I passed 2 weeks ago and got my car yesterday. I went staight out and was sooooooooooo scared i could have cried.

It went ok, but it was peeing it down and it felt so different to driving the car I learnt it, but for a first go I did ok.

I have been out again today, went to asda with 2 of my 3 dc. Again I was quite scared, but it went better than last time, and hopefuly will continue to get better and better.

Go somewhere very familiar to you and just take your time. I felt quite annoyed with myself that I couldn't just get in and drive off like any normal person, but I need to stop being so hard on myself I think.

cheshirekitty Sun 02-Aug-09 15:32:31

dizzy has given really good advice. The more you drive on your own, the more confident you will become.

It took me 250 driving lessons and 3 tests to finally pass my driving test, but once I had passed I loved driving on my own.

Good luck, and enjoy your new found freedom.

Paolosgirl Sun 02-Aug-09 15:38:12

Absolutely normal! I still remember the first time I drove on my own - and that was 21 years ago! I'd just start with lots of little trips, even if it's to the end of the road and back, and then gradually work up to longer journeys. Avoid rush hour to start with if you can, and take your time. If you do make a mistake, hold your hand up, smile and mouth sorry - most drivers will be OK with you! Oh, and put on the P plates, so it's obvious to other road users you're new to driving.

Good luck - your road to freedom starts here!

Paolosgirl Sun 02-Aug-09 15:39:27

Oh - and if you can afford to get a satnav, go for it. We've just bought a TomTom after years of saying "never" and it's been brilliant.

Pikelit Sun 02-Aug-09 15:43:05

I had an invitation to what I knew would be a seriously splendid afternoon party (with swimming!) on the day I took my test. I couldn't get to the party without my own transport so was determined to pass the test. Which I did! However, on the way out to the party it was so obvious that passing the test was just the first part of becoming a halfway decent driver so I took every opportunity to drive for the next few weeks. I also made sure that this driving involved challenges like driving around the nearest city (clogged with tourists in the summer) and parking.

In fairness I was always going to find driving a car fairly easy since I'd driven a motorbike until having the dc but it was the constant practice after the test that did the trick and made me into a proper car driver.

It's not necessarily helpful to drive with anyone else (other than children) in the car, mind. Partners can have a habit of chipping away at your confidence...

beanieb Sun 02-Aug-09 15:55:54

Just get in and drive. I went straight out when I passed in my thirties. Started off by going places I knew but before I knew it I was on the motorway and halfway to Swansea.

LilTulip Sun 02-Aug-09 17:15:23

I have only been driving for 2 years (i'm 34) and i couldnt wait to finally get out on my own. (although i did take the car out alone before passing test blush)
Just remember that everyone makes mistakes even if they have been driving forever. So don't beat yourself up about it. Stay calm and you will be fine.
I agree with pikelit re partners in the car. My DH still tells me how to drive/which lane to go in/grabs the steering wheel. Which makes me 10 times worse because he hasn't got a clue about the rules of the road. He passed 20+ years ago and things were different for him. In fact if he were to retake his test now would probably fail.

Take it slowly and build your confidence up and before you know it you will be wondering what the fuss was about.

squeaver Sun 02-Aug-09 17:17:26

Just do it. yabu

chickbean Sun 02-Aug-09 21:16:35

I passed my test 17 years ago and never had a car, so had to relearn this year aged 40 because we had relocated to a place that has rubbish public transport. The first drive is nerve-wracking but choose a route that you know well and don't feel bad about going a long way round to avoid things that worry you - I still avoid a roundabout that has a hill start up to it. Also, I would recommend getting some "P" plates (plates with a green letter P on - like learner plates) - I don't know if they work, but I always felt that if I was warning other drivers that I was a new and nervous driver, they would be less impatient with me - it made me feel better and less likely to rush when I was holding people up.

The hardest thing was ignoring the running commentary from my 2 year old: "Mummy, why are you driving so slowly?"

MetalMummy Sun 02-Aug-09 21:40:22

I passed my driving test 6 weeks ago, I'm 34 and it took 4 attempts for me to pass. I passed my test in my car which I think made driving on my own for the first time easier, but it was still really scary. My DH is now trying to get me to drive his car but it is a 7 seater and huge!!
Since passing my test I haven't been down a slip road onto a dual carriageway or done a parallel park, and now I'm really worried about doing these for the first time if I'm on my own. If you only do short journeys to start off with, on roads that you know well you'll be fine. It won't be long before you are going further afield, it's all a matter of building up your confidence.

5Foot5 Mon 03-Aug-09 11:28:46

It is perfectly normal but do try to get out by yourself as soon as possible and keep doing it.

When I passed my test I had no regular access to a car so I didn't really drive for years. DH kept encouraging me to have a go but it seemed as though every time I tried something went wrong. Nothing serious like an accident, just stalling or being in the wrong gear or something. But it sapped my confidence. It got to the point where I didn't even dare move the car in the car parl when someone was blocked in.

Eventually I went for refresher lessons and learnt from my instructor that this was a very common problem. After four lessons I had some comfidence back and then, as luck would have it, DH had to work away for 3 months so I was forced to drive myself to work.

It was nerve-wracking at first and I used to go early so I could avoid the worst traffic and have more space to park. However, it gets easier very quickly.

prettyfly1 Mon 03-Aug-09 12:06:53

Oh my goodness - ths is very reasonable. It took me three attempts to get through and I was scared for weeks - now held a license nearly three years but still get nervy on motorways. I think only teenage boys dont feel nervous when driving for the first time - its a big deal!!!

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 04-Aug-09 08:38:08

I didn't really have a choice. I passed first time (after years and years of terrifying lessons and crying like a loon whilst driving), DP was very pleased with me as he had been doing all the driving for years. Took me out for a celebratory lunch then he went back to work after dropping me home. He called me a couple of hours later desparate for some equipment for his work, asked me to pop to Gloucester (about 10 miles away) and pick a disc cutter up as he was on his own and couldn't leave the site. Just jumped in the car and did it.

I think if I had left it days before I drove on my own I would have got all worked up and it would have become this big trial that I had to overcome (like driving itself).

Same as motorway driving, I went on the motorway straight away (shitting myself I may add) and went from Cheltenham to Southampton a few days after my test, absolutely delighted with myself that I could go to see my brother at university without resorting to trains or lifts.

So my advice is brace yourself and just do it <nike tick>

Satsuma1 Tue 04-Aug-09 10:48:07

It's totally normal to feel the way you do, but you WILL get over it quickly, I promise!

I think your partner is right to encourage you to go out on your own asap. I would try and think of a short trip which you know well and do that on your own to start. Once you've had a few solo outings you'll be set to go.

Well done passing your test and enjoy your new found freedom!

Nezzi Tue 04-Aug-09 11:05:47

I can totally relate to this. I passed my test 1st time, 8 years ago but haven't driven since. I had some refresher lessons last year & the instructor told me I was fine & didn't need any more lessons although he didn't recommend driving DPs "boy racer" type car. DP has now offered to buy me my very own car grin but I am terrified.
I'm convinced I'm going to have an accident.
We've seen a car that we want to take a look at but I'm stalling (excuse the pun) because I'm so frightened.
I fantasise about DS & me driving around listening to music, going where I want, when I want & not having to wait for DP or the bus for that matter! I know it will be brilliant for me but I'm such a chicken blush

branflake81 Tue 04-Aug-09 11:11:52

The first time I drove on my own the car seemed so much bigger - it was beccause there wasn't anyone in the passenger seat!

I remember waiting for AGES at a roundabout to turn right because I was too scared about judging the gaps.

My teacher used to say that you only really learn to drive once you've passed and I think that's true. You HAVE to start going out on your own, like it or not, as it's the only way you will ever be a confident diver.

(I took 7 attempts to pass, if that helps!)

Nezzi Tue 04-Aug-09 11:17:25

Lots of great advice here Welsh, I'm going to take it all on board.
Maybe we could be driving buddies and urge each other on?
I'm sure we'd both be much happier with our independence & freedom, shame I'm pushing 40!

ipiratethief Tue 04-Aug-09 11:26:39

I found myself talking nonstop !!! To myself, to my car. Name you car, then you can be friends!!
I went out the day after my test( 2 yrs ago) and it was piddling down. The car was getting steamed up, I didn't know where anything was!! Like hot air, and wipers lights etc...

That was more nervewracking than the driving!!!

oh and I always pat the dash b4 and after.

i know, i'm weird but i like it!

cherrylips Tue 04-Aug-09 12:07:04

I was the same! Practice v short journeys. And gradually get longer. This is what i did, and it worked. Although i dont drive outside of the county i live in!!

Smurfgirl Tue 04-Aug-09 12:29:38

I was terrified, I passed 5th time after about a billion lessons and I am not a natural driver at all and find it quite stressful sometimes.

I drove places I knew the roads at first because then I had less to worry it about. I love my sat nav, it really helps, get one with lane guidance if you can. If you can't afford pass plus ask your instructor for a couple of lessons on the motorway. I did passplus and it was very useful because there was a different dynamic - he was not focusing on the minor things like not changing gear quickly enough. He took me to an empty multistory which was very useful.

I used at park right at the back of carparks away from the exit route so I could reverse in and out and in and out until I got it right. Actually some blokes were wetting themselves laughing at me as I failed miserable to reverse park at the gym last night so the shoddy parking continues.

But its so so worth it, I still get a little buzz when I go somewhere that I could not get to pre-car. I am so proud of my pink license!

twigsblankets Tue 04-Aug-09 21:17:30

When I first passed my test, I went straight out, and was totally terrified. It felt like I was doing 80 down a 40mph road. I was completely on my own. I was only doing 35mph, but yes, I found it scary the first few times, but less and less so the more I drove.

When my mum first passed her test, she would forbid anyone to make a single sound at all, and this went on for weeks. She got quite angry if any of us sighed or made any noise, because she was trying to listen to the engine. (Still not sure why, but we all feel different!)

She's fine now, and so am I. Wouldn't be without a car now. grin

welshone51 Thu 06-Aug-09 20:52:34

Hi all some great advice here- Well I drove for the first time today from the garage where my car was purchased and drove really really well until I came to drive into my driveway and misjudged it scraping the wall and my car however I went straight back out without dwelling on it and so far so good!!! Will keep you posted thanks for the advice x

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