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Chanell Saunders Forde profile

Chanell Saunders Forde

October 5, 2018

Driving test Young driver stories 4 min read

I started looking for driving instructors in November 2016 when I was 20, and I officially started my lessons in December of the same year. I chose to do my driving lessons back at home when I was at university. I was home every weekend anyway, so why not!

Getting behind the wheel

My first driving lesson was so nerve-wracking! Yet as nervous as I was, I was really eager to learn and know how to drive. At this point, I didn’t realise how much technical jargon my instructor was going to throw my way. It seemed to all go over my head, and I lost concentration completely – not ideal! Once concentration came back, my instructor was allowing me to drive around the estate and I felt like I was really getting the hang of it. Although being 20 isn’t the youngest age you can drive, I was the first one out of my friends to start to learn. Needless to say, their need for unlimited road trips added a lot of pressure to pass as soon as possible.

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I continued my lessons, every weekend back from uni. It was all going really well, but it didn’t seem like I was progressing much. It then got to a point where it seemed to go rapidly downhill. About 30 lessons into my learning journey and I was making silly mistakes behind the wheel and losing concentration just as I had in the first ever one.

Pushing back my driving test

My test was booked in for the 24th October 2017 which was approaching fast! I decided to help myself out, and buy a car! My Fiat 500 was going to help me pass my test. I purchased Learner Driver Insurance and went out driving with family to cram in as much practice as I could before test day. This helped, and the next time my driving lesson came along, my instructor could see how much I had improved! Unfortunately, the hard work just wasn’t paying off as quickly as it could have, as my instructor said he didn’t think I was ready for the fast approaching test day and suggested I push it back to January.

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I really wanted to pass as soon as possible. I had my own car so I was eager to take that for a spin by myself. As well as that, my friends were all itching to hit up the local McDonald’s and I was the only one even close to passing so all the pressure was on, but my instructor was right. I wasn’t ready to take my test – so I took my instructors advice and rescheduled my test for 3 months later.

Test day arrived

After the extra 3 months of driving practice, both with my instructor and outside of my lessons, test day arrived! I felt that I had more practice in my own car, so I decided to take my test in that. My examiner was lovely – I followed the sat nav, did the bay park and independent drive all without any issues. When we pulled back up to the test centre, I couldn’t believe it when he said I had passed – I cried with happiness!

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My first trip with friends

One of the first calls I made after passing was to my friends, who also couldn’t believe I’d done it! They suggested we go straight to McDonald’s and I agreed (I couldn’t leave them waiting any longer). After picking them all up and heading towards our favourite fast food chain, I couldn’t believe how distracting it was having other people in the car. Let’s face it, Fiat 500s aren’t the biggest cars in the world, so having 3 extra people in it was tight. I stalled quite a few times on that trip but made it back without any major issues.

No more P plates

I passed my test 8 months ago, and I can certainly tell that my confidence and skill has come on a lot in that time, but I still find having people in my car quite distracting. This has meant me and my friends haven’t been on as many road trips as they may have liked. Don’t worry – they’re still getting their Chicken Nugget fix – I’m just going to pick it up without them!

Chanell Saunders Forde profile

By Chanell Saunders Forde

'I love driving because it’s given me so much freedom to visit new places and of course, because I love my car. I’m so excited to have a new career working within the car industry.'  See more posts by Chanell

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