How I Learned to Drive & Passed My Driving Test in 6 Months

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So… Driving. Everyone does it, but nobody talks about it. As someone who only started driving at 24, let me tell you: it’s not easy. Well, at least it wasn’t for me. When I first started, I found driving remarkably difficult. Granted, I was cruising around a field in first gear – that was the easy part. When it came to getting out on the road, remembering where the controls were, watching for pedestrians, animals and everything else under the sun, I was overwhelmed. And that’s putting it lightly. Despite that, by some miracle I managed to learn to drive well and pass my driving test in about 6 months. In today’s post, I’m giving away my top three tips on how I did it. Because if I can do it, anyone can!

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I Got a Good Instructor For My Driving Lessons

This is definitely the most important factor. People make out like learning to drive isn’t a big deal. Think about it: you’re hurtling around at high speeds in a chunk of metal on wheels, trying not to crash into other people doing the same. That’s kind of a big deal. I usually learn well under pressure, but in this scenario, I took it easy. Instead of getting a super strict ball-busting personality, I chose an instructor that was lovely, relaxed and used little to no pressure. I still kinda dreaded the lessons beforehand despite having nothing to fear, but I usually always enjoyed them in the end. This absolutely depends on your own personal preference – but make sure that you feel reassured and supported by the person who’s teaching you. That way, you can focus entirely on upping your driving skills.

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I Practiced, Hard

It sounds really simple but I just drove. A lot. It’s a practical driving test, so you need to showcase that you can drive safely. This means knowing how the car works and simultaneously being cautious on the roads. Don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means perfect and I definitely didn’t do the perfect driving test. Maybe that’s a story for another day? Regardless, on the day I was able to showcase safe, confident driving on the road, and that’s the difference between a pass and a fail.

Also, learn your theory, road signs, internal controls, under the bonnet and hand signals! They’re all easy to points to gain before you even start driving, so it’d be silly to lose them. I watched a tonne of videos too, from Dane Tyghe and the Irish School of Motoring, which were really helpful. AND, I read a life-saving book called Drive It! by Brian O’Leary. I honestly think it saved me in my test, so I really recommend it!

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I Relaxed and Let Things Happen

Okay, I kinda lied here… I was freaking out from the second I got my test date. Which was well over a month before the test itself. The dread I was feeling was palpable. It was constant. I wasn’t really sleeping, and when I did sleep, I had driving test nightmares. It was bad. I actually ended up a tonne of remedies to help me out. Rescue Remedy, Kalms, lavender pillow spray from Boots… The works. I’m going to recommend approximately zero of these to you, as I don’t think any of them helped in the slightest… Anyway, moving on!

The closer the test got, I think I just chilled out because I had worried enough. I was out practicing every evening to the point that I was bored of it and didn’t want to do it anymore. Despite the fact that I could drive competently, I didn’t feel ready for the driving test – but I suppose no-one ever really does, especially not the first time. If you fail, you lose nothing. Your pride a little bit, sure. The driving test is tough, and failing is quite common. All it takes is another €85 to try again. Once you let go of that fact, it’s not as bad as you think.

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The Driving Test

In fact, the entire test isn’t as bad as you think. People tend to paint it as some nightmare scenario with a demon in a high-vis in the passenger seat. I’m here to quash that theory – my driving tester was lovely, and so was every other tester in the center that day! If you relax, it’s likely to run a lot smoother. Maybe down some Rescue Remedy while you’re at it. I’m still skeptical as to whether it works or not, but even if it doesn’t, it’s a powerful placebo! Silver linings, am I right?

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How was your experience of learning to drive, or doing the driving test?

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