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Passed my test last year and haven't driven since.

Madao

Active Member
I don't know if this type of post is appropriate for this forum, but I don't really have anyone I can discuss it with without fear of being judged.
I'm in my 30s and have always wanted to drive for the freedom, go places I normally couldn't and just to make life easier in general. I passed my theory and practical both first time around. I learned in a Mercedes and I feel at times the car basically drove itself.

After I passed I got put on the insurance of a family members car, an aging 2004 honda civic. I went out once in it with said family member who was constantly questioning my ability to drive and in turn I began to question my own ability. I tried to go out a few more times after that on my own early in the morning when there wasn't many cars, but had a bad experience with a woman on a phone behind me who almost crashed into the back of me and she was making it out like I was at fault giving me the middle finger etc. I just stopped after that and now it's been over a year since I've been in the car. It was such an important part of me gaining my independence, but now I don't know how to get back into it. One other thing was how uh... different it is to drive an older car. I felt really safe in the Mercedes.

Should I get more lessons to ease back into it? I'm not even sure if that would help because I'm fine when the instructors there it's when I'm driving on my own that the real fear seems to come into play. I'm just not sure what the best way forward is.
 

Theseus

Distinguished Member
I don't know if this type of post is appropriate for this forum, but I don't really have anyone I can discuss it with without fear of being judged.
I'm in my 30s and have always wanted to drive for the freedom, go places I normally couldn't and just to make life easier in general. I passed my theory and practical both first time around. I learned in a Mercedes and I feel at times the car basically drove itself.

After I passed I got put on the insurance of a family members car, an aging 2004 honda civic. I went out once in it with said family member who was constantly questioning my ability to drive and in turn I began to question my own ability. I tried to go out a few more times after that on my own early in the morning when there wasn't many cars, but had a bad experience with a woman on a phone behind me who almost crashed into the back of me and she was making it out like I was at fault giving me the middle finger etc. I just stopped after that and now it's been over a year since I've been in the car. It was such an important part of me gaining my independence, but now I don't know how to get back into it. One other thing was how uh... different it is to drive an older car. I felt really safe in the Mercedes.

Should I get more lessons to ease back into it? I'm not even sure if that would help because I'm fine when the instructors there it's when I'm driving on my own that the real fear seems to come into play. I'm just not sure what the best way forward is.

I think a more advanced instructor would help. Mine was an ex police instructor and he pushed me very hard when I learnt to drive. By the time I passed my test I was a very confident driver. I would suggest taking advanced lessons.
 

494930

Distinguished Member
Your issue seems to be a lack of confidence which can only improve through driving more. I'd recommend speaking with a few ADIs near you regarding further lessons to work on this. Having someone qualified in the car with you should provide a confidence boost and allow you to get more hours behind the wheel which is all you need.

I'm not sure proper advanced training is what you need right this moment, the jump in expected driving standard could perhaps hurt your confidence even more given your lack of experience, but it's definitely something to look into in the near future.

Edit: I'd also recommend putting some sort of signage in the rear window to let other drivers know your inexperienced. Here in NI drivers must display an R plate for a year after passing their test and most people will give you a bit more leeway when you make mistakes, which you will, we all do.
 

ostewart

Well-known Member
I passed in 2014, only got a car in January and have been driving ever since. Last year I hired a car a couple of times, the first time I drove was a hire car to Birmingham and back :rotfl:

But again, I don't lack the confidence as I cycle on the roads a lot, and also started driving off-road when I was 15.

It seems you need some time to gain your confidence behind the wheel, maybe with a family member who isn't as pushy.

My main pet peeves currently are drivers who don't indicate, and drivers who sit on your arse. It's better in my opinion to driver a slightly older car if you've not got the confidence as it's a little more mechanical than a brand new car with all sorts of driving aides. This allows you to understand the mechanics of a car a little better, you'll gain confidence quite quickly in my opinon.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Here in NI drivers must display an R plate for a year after passing their test and most people will give you a bit more leeway when you make mistakes, which you will, we all do.
You can get P plates here (for Provisional driver) to make other drivers aware, although they have no official meaning or requirement e.g. P Plates . I'd also agree with trying to find a more sympathetic family member to sit in the car with him.
 

Madao

Active Member
Thanks for all the advice. I really appreciate it.

I think the P plates are a good idea. While I don't have a legal requirement to display them, I think it will give me confidence knowing that other drivers are aware I might be more error prone. It seems either way I will have to push myself to get over this initial hump, I just hope my confidence does indeed grow over time as I don't like the prospect of being that nervous while driving all the time.

My instructor said one of my issues while driving is that I was a perfectionist, in that I was easily put off if I didn't do a manoeuvre to perfection.

I passed in 2014, only got a car in January and have been driving ever since. Last year I hired a car a couple of times, the first time I drove was a hire car to Birmingham and back

So you didn't really drive for the better part of 6 years? That was one of my fears. That because I hadn't been driving during this time I might forget the skills I learned, but I guess I'm just over-thinking it.

I could maybe ask my sister to come out with me in the car as she's relatively care free.
 

ostewart

Well-known Member
Thanks for all the advice. I really appreciate it.

I think the P plates are a good idea. While I don't have a legal requirement to display them, I think it will give me confidence knowing that other drivers are aware I might be more error prone. It seems either way I will have to push myself to get over this initial hump, I just hope my confidence does indeed grow over time as I don't like the prospect of being that nervous while driving all the time.

My instructor said one of my issues while driving is that I was a perfectionist, in that I was easily put off if I didn't do a manoeuvre to perfection.



So you didn't really drive for the better part of 6 years? That was one of my fears. That because I hadn't been driving during this time I might forget the skills I learned, but I guess I'm just over-thinking it.

I could maybe ask my sister to come out with me in the car as she's relatively care free.

Yeah I drove briefly about 4 years ago when I went to visit my parents in Portugal (out there the car is insured, not the driver) so I got to drive when there. Apart from that I didn't drive at all for that period until last year when I hired the car to go from Worthing to Birmingham and back. I was quite nervous getting in the hire car, but got comfortable quite quickly. You don't really forget how to drive, but it is super easy to overthink and worry.

Just having someone you're comfortable with be in the car can help a lot. I've been driving regularly since January now and am really comfortable doing long trips etc... Anyone who gets in never thinks I've been driving on the road for only 9 months.

Confidence is key, my other half is planning to start lessons again, she can drive but she is such a nervous driver. I will get her out in my car once she's on the insurance as a learner and has had a couple of lessons.
 

nvingo

Distinguished Member
...One other thing was how uh... different it is to drive an older car. I felt really safe in the Mercedes.

Should I get more lessons to ease back into it? I'm not even sure if that would help because I'm fine when the instructors there...
Most instructors 'trade' on how modern their car is, you'd still have the issue of going back to an older car on your own.
Maybe see if any instructors would be willing to sit with you in 'your' car.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
My daughter passed her test in January, but due to university and COVID, didn't really drive much until July. Since then she's done some long trips - 2-3 hours on unfamiliar roads and this has really built her confidence.

She learned in a nice new Ford Focus and now drives in a 2010 Seat Ibiza, which at best I would describe as "baggy" with much less precise brakes, steering and very crashy suspension. She has adapted to it well and has become far more confident.

I would second the suggestion that you have a few advanced driving lessons. Some instructors will take you out in your own car, so you can get some advice on how to drive that specific model well. Although most cars have the same controls, some do behave differently, have unexpected blind spots, grabby brakes at low speed, that sort of thing.

Stick at it and build your confidence and don't let others put you off!!
 

outoftheknow

Moderator
My OHs 17 year old daughter has driven her to the coast today (about 100 miles with a 1:5 mountain over several miles at the end to get down to get there and back up to get back this afternoon). 1.5 hours if you concentrate and are experienced, 2 hours or just over is “normal”.

The 17 year old got her “full” licence 3 months ago and wants to drive to the coast with her friends. Her mum decided a day trip would get her head around the road - which is very different to driving around the city here. And it is my OHs car and her daughter has already crashed the car into the back of an Audi, pushing it into an oncoming BMW around town :eek::laugh:

we have mandatory P plates (And a Provsional licence) here for three years after Ls. Red for one year and green for two after that. P plates are useful to indicate to other drivers that you are inexperienced and on the whole help you gain confidence. They also attract the cops here though (P platers have less points before losing a licence and statistically obviously have more accindets and tend to hoon around without any skill or experience:) ) - my older (19-20) daughter was stopped almost every night on Ps and breath tested with accompanying interrogation. As soon as she got the full licence and didn’t display the Ps she hasn’t been stopped since - same journeys.

overall though for the OP - the P plates are useful and with other drivers giving you a bit of leeway (mostly there will always be a tool or two around), you will become more confident in your abilities.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Do the Rospa Advanced driving course. Costs next to nothing to and is very rewarding. You’ll learn a lot and be able to drive anywhere with confidence.

Just don’t get told off in your examination for driving too slow like i did! :eek: :laugh:
 

dmpzsn

Distinguished Member
I don't think you'll find you can do an advanced course till you have some experience as everything you'll be taught is vastly different to that which you're taught to pass a driving test.

You need some experience to be able to be able to a simulate the new lessons and a brand new driver would be confused.

Go to a driving school and ask for a pass plus lesson which would be the next logical step, that will be a level above the dsa standard and give m/w experience as well.
 

un1eash

Distinguished Member
I would get some more lessons or take someone understanding out with you. You don't truly start to learn how to drive until after you've passed your test and mistakes will be made, the key is to just take your time.
 

tickedon

Well-known Member
There's also the Pass Plus Scheme which might be worth a look?

I do also agree that there can be big differences in cars that are a bit older, even those that are only a few years apart. I gave my old Ford Focus to my parents when I swapped in for a Volvo. There was only 6 years between the two cars, but every time I went back to drive the Focus when I was visiting them, it felt like I was stepping into a different era! Most driving instructions run relatively new cars that are regularly replaced, but, might be worth seeing if you can find someone with a slightly older and more basic car to get a few lessons?

As others have said though, experience and more opportunity to drive and get confident is probably the only long-term solution here.
 

dmpzsn

Distinguished Member
There's also the Pass Plus Scheme which might be worth a look?

I do also agree that there can be big differences in cars that are a bit older, even those that are only a few years apart. I gave my old Ford Focus to my parents when I swapped in for a Volvo. There was only 6 years between the two cars, but every time I went back to drive the Focus when I was visiting them, it felt like I was stepping into a different era! Most driving instructions run relatively new cars that are regularly replaced, but, might be worth seeing if you can find someone with a slightly older and more basic car to get a few lessons?

As others have said though, experience and more opportunity to drive and get confident is probably the only long-term solution here.

Already suggested in post 13. I think this is the best and only real option for the op to get any constructive experience.

If the op has their own car than maybe the instructor could take them out in that, slightly cheaper as no petrol to pay.
 

tickedon

Well-known Member
Already suggested in post 13. I think this is the best and only real option for the op to get any constructive experience.

If the op has their own car than maybe the instructor could take them out in that, slightly cheaper as no petrol to pay.
Sorry I did have a look through but missed that at the end of your post #12. Definitely the best thing to do, I think.
 

Madao

Active Member
Thanks again for all the replies. I have already done the pass plus, it was the first thing my instructor suggested when he heard I was struggling to go out in the car after passing. I did pass the pass plus, had to do night driving (TERRIFYING) motorway driving etc. The problem I have with it is that I just felt like I was listening to what he was saying, there was no independent driving if that makes sense. He was telling me which lane to go in etc which is where a lot of my anxiety with driving comes from, I often feel like I don't have the experience, I might end up in the wrong lane. One way systems still confuse me and I still get confused about which lane to take for a roundabout unless I know the roundabout.

I was considering getting a different instructor one that wouldn't baby me. Are many willing to sit in with me in my own car? It shouldn't be a problem as I'm legally allowed to drive, right?
 

dmpzsn

Distinguished Member
Thanks again for all the replies. I have already done the pass plus, it was the first thing my instructor suggested when he heard I was struggling to go out in the car after passing. I did pass the pass plus, had to do night driving (TERRIFYING) motorway driving etc. The problem I have with it is that I just felt like I was listening to what he was saying, there was no independent driving if that makes sense. He was telling me which lane to go in etc which is where a lot of my anxiety with driving comes from, I often feel like I don't have the experience, I might end up in the wrong lane. One way systems still confuse me and I still get confused about which lane to take for a roundabout unless I know the roundabout.

I was considering getting a different instructor one that wouldn't baby me. Are many willing to sit in with me in my own car? It shouldn't be a problem as I'm legally allowed to drive, right?
When I was giving advance lessons the first couple were mainly me telling the driver what to do and where to be on the road, then as they progressed I'd sit quietly unless they did something wrong or asked me a question.

Practice gives experience and you've said you don't have any experience, I would expect the instructor to give you guidance until you've built up enough experience to make your own decisions, then taper off unless you make a mistake or ask for help.

I took my test in 1967, long before pass plus so I can't really advise you on what an instructor would do, though I shouldn't think a person using their own car should be a problem except for the dual control aspect.

The only thing is to ring a couple of schools and enquire.

What ever you decide, good luck and hope it goes well.:thumbsup:
 

psychopomp1

Well-known Member
OP, hire out a small-ish car (Focus or Golf would be perfect) from the likes of Hertz or Avis for a week or two. They will almost certainly give you the latest model so will feel great to drive & comfortable to sit in. Drive around your local areas at quiet times and you'll be a pro in no time.
 

beasty54

Distinguished Member
I passed my test at the beginning of October 2017, just before my 37th birthday and i'd got myself a little clio ready, i was out in it straight away, i couldn't wait. 4 days after passing i was thrown the keys to one of the company cars and sent about 80 miles to Birmingham to see a customer, i was absolutely sh*****g my pants and by the time i got there, i had to change my shirt :rotfl: Just under 3 years later, I've driven so many nice cars (some quite powerful) I've owned 3 and had a company car for 18 months in between. I've done a good 80K miles so far and just over a year after passing, i was driving around Vegas in a convertible mustang, i was pretty nervous when i first climbed in that too but 10 minutes later :D:D:D

My advice is to simply get stuck in, just assume everyone else around you is an idiot and never assume they'll do what they should. Passing my driving test was one of the best things I've ever done, i feel so stupid for being 20 years late though so don't waste any more time, you'll regret it later.

With regards to wrong lanes and stuff, don't worry at all, just follow the lane you're in and sort it out later. I think we all still get in the wrong lane on a roundabout or take the wrong exit but you just have to commit and fix it when you can, just make sure that if you need to be somewhere at a certain time, leave PLENTY of time so you're not panicking if you take the wrong turn.
 
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Madao

Active Member
Thanks guys for all the comments. Unfortunately dealt another blow recently. Car wouldn't start so had my uncle replace the battery, and it still wouldn't start. He thinks it's the starter motor and it might cost more to fix than it is worth. He said the tyres are terrible and need 4 new ones and possibly the brake pads. Got someone coming to look at it tomorrow to find out otherwise we might need to scrap it.

Is paying up a used car a terrible idea? For example a £6k car and paying it up monthly for 4 years. I think outright buying a £1-2k automatic car is a bit risky, but I don't know what makes more financial sense, really.
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
Did you pass in an auto?

If not stick with a manual for your first car, then you'll get the experience of driving properly. If you buy an auto now, with little experience, and then end up with a hire car/work car that's manual it might be ..... crunchy.
Manuals are cheaper to buy and maintain as well.

Is paying up a used car a terrible idea?

Most people pay a car monthly. It's about the individual deal. £6K over 4 years isn't great though.

You could look at a PCP? You'd get a brand new car for about the same monthly payment but it would only be yours for the length of time of the agreement, typically 3 years. Then you'd hand it back.
 

Madao

Active Member
Yeah, I only have an automatic license so my choices are much more limited, unfortunately.

My worry with PCP was if I banged it up a little which might be likely as I build on my experience, that they then charge you for every mark on the car etc or so I'm told.

The issue with hire purchasing being it could just break down and cost me more money. Not sure what to do.
 

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