How many lessons before you passed your driving test

Discussion in 'transport' started by Sunset Tree, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    I just got my first provisional license. I am in my early-mid 30s and I'm not sure why I didn't do this when I was young. I didn't consciously decide not to learn, I just neglected to get round to it. I'm wondering how many lessons is usual as I'd love to get on the road in the next year or so (very useful for career reasons).

    I'm sure there is no one answer but personal stories are good. Anyone manage with 10 lessons or fewer? Anyone need 30+? Are those intensive courses worthwhile?
     
  2. weepiper

    weepiper Jock under the bed

    I learned when I was pregnant with no. 2 child aged 27. I absolutely had to pass first time because we lived 5 miles from the nearest shop, elder child's nursery etc so I had 12 lessons with a paid instructor and did indeed pass first time with two minors.
     
    A380 and Sunset Tree like this.
  3. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    I did about 8-10, but it was different then.

    My dad said he had 4 I think.

    Most people I speak to who do it now seem to have 20-30.

    Not sure if it's got harder (it has), or whether it's just driving instructors fleecing people because they're cunts (they are).
     
  4. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    I'd say yes, 100%. Not only does it get it out of the way quicker, but it's a fixed price. You pay up front so there's no incentive for a driving instructor to hold you back to get more lessons/money out of you.

    Just do it, IMO.
     
  5. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    Yeah I've hit this stage in life where I'm realising this is a responsibility I need to deal with. Up until now I've been fine with public transport and just never really seen myself as a driver. But there are a couple of things it would make much easier.

    Twelve lessons is good going. I think I'm perhaps more worried about navigating the road systems and other drivers than controlling the vehicle, part of me is terrified about controlling this large fast machine in public.
     
  6. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    I forgot how much I hate driving instructors.

    I was having a conversation with my new flatmate yesterday and I reeled off all the professions I hate. Driving instructors weren't included, but only because it slipped my mind.
     
    Edie likes this.
  7. Ax^

    Ax^ Silly Rabbit

    to many :)
     
    marty21 likes this.
  8. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    I always thought intensive courses involved living on some residential driving school for a week. But looking at local instructors it is just like normal lessons except you do a few hours every day or whatever.

    Crazy to think you could go from not having a clue, to passing a test, in like a week or something.
     
    Fez909 likes this.
  9. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    My big sister took loads of lessons, failed a couple of times, and just gave up. Decided driving is not for her. I'm a bit concerned that'll be me. Although I think the vast majority of people who set their mind to it will learn. My mum didn't learn until her 40s and she's fine. My other sister was a very nervous driver but plugged away and is quite confident now.

    I could see myself needing tons of lessons though.
     
  10. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    Better to go with one of the bigger driving schools or find some independent instructor on gumtree?
     
  11. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    I thought that, too. And I think they _do_ exist, but they probably cost more.

    The one you describe is probably the most common, just because who can afford to take two weeks off work to learn to drive?

    But still, if you pay your instructor to 'block book' him for every day for two weeks, then he's got as much money out of you as he'd hope to get out of a normal, week by week, learner. So no reason to slow you down. Say you're not ready yet etc.

    Also, the sheet amount of time they waste in an hour lesson is infruriating.
    • Drive to your house
    • Pick you up (you don't even get behind the wheel for the first few lessons)
    • Drive you somewhere quiet - you might be 15 minutes into the lesson by now
    • Talk you through some bollocks - 20 mins in
    • Set your mirror up etc - 25 minutes?
    • Drive around for a bit
    • Drive home - 50 minutes into the lesson
    • Sit in the car for 5 minutes while he writes your next dates in the diary, then you get out with 5 minutes of your hour left
    If you are having a 3 hour lesson, then those 15/20 minutes at the start only happen once.
     
    Sunset Tree likes this.
  12. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    I got a recommendation from someone. tbf, he was a good instructor, but, I have nothing to compare with as he was my only instructor. He was much cheaper than the big schools, but maybe the big schools are less of the cunty behaviour I just described? I don't know how their payment works, but maybe they have less incentive to stall etc.

    I would probably still go independent, but do some research, get recommendations...
     
  13. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    That sounds sound like some bullshit. You don't even drive the first few lessons?

    See I am lucky that I don't have fixed working hours and mainly work from home (benefits of graduate school). So if I could get the money together I absolutely could make learning my full-time job for a week or two. That sounds like a decent way to go.
     
    Fez909 likes this.
  14. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Sorry, didn't explain this very well.

    I mean, on lesson 1, 2 and maybe 3, you will get into the passenger seat initially until s/he drives you somewhere quiet. You will of course drive on every lesson, but for the first few, the initial 10-15 minutes you won't be behind the wheel.
     
  15. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Sorry, you beat me to the correction - see above!
     
    Sunset Tree likes this.
  16. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    I see people asking for recommendations on my local fb community page sometimes, I could try that
     
  17. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    Ok I see what you mean! Makes sense, as I assumed the initial lessons will be on some industrial estate or wasteground where I can't crash into other drivers
     
    Fez909 likes this.
  18. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    Being on the road looks terrifying though. I was thinking this when I walked past the rush hour traffic earlier. Just the amount of cars jockeying for position and manoeuvring around each other
     
    Fez909 likes this.
  19. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Another thing with the lessons - you might be 'ready' to take your test after 8-10 lessons, but the instructor won't tell you to book it until you're 'ready'. In the mean time, you'll carry on doing weekly lessons with them, so there might be a 2-3 week wait. Basically 3 lots of extra cash for them.

    With the 2 week courses, it's test at the end of week 2, no matter what. Also, some of them offer 'guaranteed' pass. They can't guarantee, of course, but what they mean is you're extremely likely to pass, and I think you get a free retest in the event of a fail. Worth looking around to see the T&Cs.

    Also, start your theory training now. you don't even need an instructor to do a theory test. Just read the book and get it out of the way.

    My sister failed her theory about 4/5 times (not saying you will!) which just meant even longer doing lessons, though her driving was fine.
     
  20. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    It is, tbh. I still get a bit panicky when I'm boxed in...in the middle lane in heavy traffic, especially on motorways where they've narrowed the road. Cars are small compared to lanes, but it doesn't feel that way when you're in charge of one. Especially when there's artic lorries to your left etc.

    But most drivers are fine, and predictable. So even though it's a bit mental you're in charge of this massive piece of powerful metal, in a semi-chaotic lane of other massive bits of mental, piloted by people you don't know...it just kinda works.

    The transport system is a miracle, tbh. I hate cars and traffic and whatnot, but the fact it works and everyone has this shared rule system that they mostly stick to, is amazing.

    You'll be fine :cool:
     
    Sunset Tree likes this.
  21. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    Of course, the theory! Actually forgot that is a thing. So I can do the theory first, even without taking lessons? That would be a good hurdle to get out of the way.

    I'll have to look into these two-week courses, they sound ideal.
     
    Fez909 likes this.
  22. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    One thing to remember is most drivers are actually pretty considerate of learns...you'll annoy the fuck out of them, but they know how it is, so they'll either wait behind you annoyed, or speed past you when you're midway through a three point turn. Just ignore them, and don't give a fuck about holding up traffic or whatever.

    Especially when you have an instrubtor in the car. They have pedals etc for emergencies and they have done this loads of times before :)
     
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  23. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Yes, you can do the theory as soon as you have a provisional, I think.

    They've changed it since I did it - I think you have to do a practical bit now, about oil changing and such. Not sure if that's part of the theory or the actual driving test, but worth looking into.

    I imagine there's a website that explains it all - WikiHow or something seems like the place that might have good info
     
  24. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    Big hunk of motorised metal capable of causing so much damage, it's such a responsibility. I like being on the bus and letting someone else think about that. But then I think, if my mum can manage it, surely I can do it. You must get used to it.
     
    Fez909 likes this.
  25. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    You are encouraging me, I can do it
     
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  26. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    There was a thing with my provisional trying to sell me some driving theory book, I recall. And I thought nowadays I'll be able to get everything online, so I threw it out.
     
    Fez909 likes this.
  27. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    You definitely can! :)

    If you have a friend/relative who doesn't mind letting you have a go, that would be worth taking up, but I'd say stick to car parks etc, and maybe wait until you've had one or two lessons. A lot of the things you can fail on are things you'll do anyway as a drive once you've got a licence ("bad habits"). But time behind the wheel gains confidence, so you can save a lot of time/money by utilising any car time you can get.

    Of course if you go intensive course, this doesn't apply.
     
  28. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Yeah, I'm sure you can torrent the book. Let me know if you can't find it, and I'll see if it's on my e-book torrent site.

    Also, do the practice theory tests online! They're basically copies of real tests, so it's good to know what to expect.
     
  29. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    I find it so weird that my provisional means I can legally drive a car on the roads, as long as someone with a license is with me. When I first read that I did a double-take, as I thought it would only allow me to take official lessons. Unfortunately there's nobody who can take me out, I live quite far from my family otherwise they probably would have.
     
    Fez909 likes this.
  30. Sunset Tree

    Sunset Tree Well-Known Member

    Cheers! I'll look for it, I am usually decent at finding torrents.
     
    Fez909 likes this.

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