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Kitty Haslam profile

Kitty Haslam

March 7, 2018

Learning to drive 4 min read

Since turning 17 in October – I’ve started to have regular driving lessons with an instructor that one of my mum’s friends had recommended. After my first few lessons I began to get into the swing of things, and as I gained more confidence with the more that I drove, I decided that I should probably drive a bit more between my weekly lessons and because I had already bought a little car that I could learn to drive in, my mum and I thought that it was about time that I became insured to drive it with Marmalade’s Learner Driver Insurance. I was definitely slightly nervous at the thought of driving without dual controls and with my mum, but when she suggested it, I knew it was probably a good idea.

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Private practice begins

So, after about five or six lessons we went out to practice together for the first time. She didn’t really know what I had and had not yet learnt, so for the first sessions, we drove around an empty car park very tentatively. The car that I use in my lessons with an instructor is a Nissan Qashqai, which is substantially bigger and different to our Citroen C1. This definitely made me very nervous at the beginning as I knew that it would take a while to get used to as it would be a completely different experience.

As I am the oldest child, my mum has never been in the car with a learner, let alone tried to teach someone how to drive. Because of this, we were both pretty nervous, to begin with, but as we continued on with the sessions we have both gotten used to it.

Calm down, Mum

For the first few sessions, my mum would hold onto the side of the door in fear the entire time, even when we were completely stationary. This didn’t exactly fill me with confidence at the beginning. After the first session in the car park, we decided to move on to roads. At first, I spent most of my time actually being distracted BY my mum! She is not often a passenger, let alone used to giving a driving lesson. Needless to say, there were often sudden intakes of breath as she tensed up any time that anything happened, even so much as a car passing on the other side of the road. There were even occasions where she grabbed the handbrake or steering wheel.

Even after the initial slightly difficult sessions I became used to the car, which is very different from the car I use in lessons, and my mum became used to being a passenger and to teaching. This made us much more relaxed.

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2 months later…

Following two months of practice without any incidents, I think it’s fair to say that we have both gained confidence in each other and are making good progress. We are both much more relaxed now and have begun to enjoy our training sessions. We now go out to practice as often as possible.

Being able to practice between lessons have been really beneficial as the more I drive on local roads, the more I get used to them. It has also definitely been helpful to be able to practise manoeuvres and parking in empty car parks at the weekend as I now feel much more confident when trying them in lessons with the bigger car.

Overall, I think that as we have learnt all of this together, we’ve realised that in order to get the most out of our time practising together it is best to plan what we need to do ahead of time, and to use it as an opportunity to complement what I had been doing in lessons.


Do you want to see how Kitty’s mum feels about the private practice? You can check out her blog here. 

Kitty Haslam profile

By Kitty Haslam

'I've only recently passed my driving test so I'm currently getting to grips with being on the roads by myself. So far I'm really enjoying the newfound freedom that driving gives me. Plus, being the designated driver for my friends is actually quite fun, who would have thought it?'  See more posts by Kitty

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