With the rising cost of getting on the road, learning to drive has become ever more expensive in recent years…and that’s before you even get insured on your own vehicle!
Carfused.com carried out some research into this, and it turns out 53% failed their practical test the first time round. You also need around 22 lessons with an instructor before you are ready to pass, that’s equivalent to £561 in lessons alone. In total, if you pass first time and are an impeccable student the bare minimum to get on the road will be £774.
So is driving with parents worth it?
I started learning to drive on my 16th birthday, very much illegal but very much on empty roads in various industrial estates.
All excited and eager I hopped into the driving seat of the family car…a Renault Scenic. I know what your thinking – jealousy.
Everything started well, I jolted a little as I found the biting point, revved it within an inch of its life and started burning the clutch…but then I was off! Engine roaring and I’m too scared to change up. A rather long look down at the gear stick trying to work out the labyrinth that is the gear pattern and I start thinking this is impossible.
How on earth is any human being meant to be able to brake, steer and change gear at the same time?! Surely you need to be a member of MENSA to accomplish this.
I change up into second and just dump the clutch, the poor Scenic lurches forward and we continue onward. We are doing 30 MPH by this time and I’m pretty much hanging on for dear life, who EVER needs to travel quicker than this?! – I think to myself. Next up is a junction.
Now the only time I had ever really steered anything with a wheel is when I was at Lego Land aged 9 – I would like to add that I achieved my Lego Driving Licence first time – and then subsequently on the PC whilst playing Colin McRae rally with a wheel and peddle set up.
Colin McRae I was not. You see I only thought the wheel turned a quarter lock…why would I think any different?! That’s how the wheel works on the PC?
I turn right into the junction but we only turn ever so slightly, heading toward the kerb Dad shouts to turn it more…more?! Are you mad?! I try turning it more and low and behold it goes ALL THE WAY round. Black magic.
I’m not turning it anywhere near quick enough, and with the kerb approaching. I get some “help” from Dad reaching across the car. This would be the first physical invention of many in the next year.
We went out nearly every weekend and practiced. Lots of swearing was involved. This doesn’t go well with my automatic reaction to anything that goes wrong…laughing hysterically.
I remember one time in a car park when I wanted to go around the car park again to better prepare for a reverse bay park. I was sternly told “No”. So when I set off to do my lap of honour the handbrake was pulled up nearly hitting the ceiling, followed by more expletives. I threatened to get out and walk home.
This sort of incident happened more often than I would of liked. It was stressful yes, but I wouldn’t’ve changed it for the world. It never bought me to tears…nearly!
It definitely made me a far better driver getting such a head start. It turns out I really didn’t pick up that many bad habits either, as when I finally took expert tuition – from Sid in his dark blue and white Mini Cooper with a union jack on top – very few things needed correcting.
Alas…I didn’t pass first time. Nerves completely got the better of me. I stalled it three times getting it out of the test centre, I never stall?! I was beaten, but I rebooked as soon as I could and the second one was the charm.
So yes stress levels do rise under tuition of parents.
However if you are the type of person that can deal well with stress, works better under pressure and doesn’t mind a bit of confrontation it will serve you well.