Patrick's driving seat journey

young driver posing in front of car and ripping up L-Plates

Posted by Patrick Cantellow on 09 November 2016

I never thought I would be driving at 17 because I didn’t need to. But with the sudden change from education to an apprenticeship, it was all systems go to pass my test and get a car.

The first few weeks after my birthday was really stressful, I was let down by three driving instructors, either not showing up or ignoring my calls. I got fourth time lucky when my neighbour recommended a driving instructor. 

Having purchased Pippin the Peugeot, we decided to get learner insurance from Marmalade so I could practice some more! We ended up taking a 7 hour round trip to Brighton with no hiccups! 

It was getting closer to driving test day, and it was only the day before when I realised I hadn’t practised bay parking! I just so happened to bump into a random driving instructor who gave me some tips and advice on bay parking. 

Driving test day, I was confident I could pass, but I was also confident I could fail. Just like I had watched on YouTube, the driving examiner called my name, checked my license and asked me to sign my life away.

When we left the test centre I was panicking inside as it felt like my car was grumbling which it had never done before. This was most definitely down the nerves.  I ended up stalling, but I quickly apologised (quietly swore) and got Pippin running again and moved off.

Towards the last 10 minutes of the exam, we started chatting. He told me how he had been in every Peugeot 208 you could imagine but never a 108. I slightly hinted about the vague clutch that others complain about (definitely not grasping for brownie points) and he cheerfully said “well you’re doing alright so far”. 

Luckily, we went down some roads that my instructor had shown be just 30 minutes before. And to push that luck even further, I got the bay park manoeuvre, which I had practiced 50 times before the test.

I only got 1 minor (new family record) for undue hesitation. I expected to get 12 minors due to the amount of time I had been driving!

My top tips are to charm the examiner and watch mock driving tests on YouTube. Without YouTube, I would not have passed my test.

About the Author

Patrick Cantellow
Patrick Cantellow

Hello! I'm Patrick the 17 year old founder of Swale Young People. Driving has given me my freedom and chance to explore! I have passion for young people and marketing!