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Expectation vs Reality - Driving lessons

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

October 20, 2017

Learning to drive 4 min read

Did anyone else think that their driving lessons wouldn’t take too long? You imagine beginning your driving lessons and think before you know it, you’ll be cruising around with your friends and maintaining your own car like everyone else seems to. At least, this is what I thought. Yet 3 years and 2 driving instructors later, I am still learning! Driving lessons are much harder and more time consuming than I originally thought and learning different manoeuvers and gear changes take a long time; but if after 3 years I haven’t lost faith, neither should you!

Expectation: I thought I’d just pick an instructor and that was it!

Reality: I just didn’t click with my first instructor.

I felt like I wasn’t learning as quickly as I wanted to, and repeated a lot of the same things every single lesson! After a few weeks of lessons, I decided to call it a day and take a break with driving altogether.

As soon as I decided to start learning again, I had to make sure I found the right instructor for me; In my first lesson I wanted my new instructor to know just how much my confidence was knocked before. We started from scratch, and finally rebuilt my confidence back up!

Expectation: Once I could move the car, the rest would come naturally.

Reality: I had no idea how hard it would be to bay park!

Granted I have only had one lesson on it, but I had no idea how much went into it! Finding the right angle to position the car, and turning the wheel like a maniac to get it back into the space, is so much harder than I thought it would be! How does everyone make it look so easy? The worst part is, I know that there are much more difficult manoeuvres out there!

How not to park a car! Driving lessons: Expectation vs Reality

Expectation: I would pass my test within 3 months.

Reality: I am still learning 3 years later!

Even though it has taken me a while – and I am still going – I think the time I’ve spent learning has helped my confidence grow. I’m sure I’m not the only person who is taking their time to learn! Finally, I’m feeling more confident with my driving and I can’t wait to learn more.

Expectation: It can’t be that hard to turn your lights on.

Reality: Why are the windscreen washers on?!

I never knew how many different switches and buttons were in a car, and how hard it is to remember where each one is and what they all do! In my lessons I tend to get everything set up that I need before heading off (lights on, wipers set) but the moment it starts raining whilst on the road is when my practice will really come into place.


Expectation: I can have lessons any time

Reality: Where is the time to fit my next lesson in?

For some reason, I imagined that I could take as many or as few lessons I wanted. I have no idea why I didn’t take real life into account – for me or my instructor! Finding that hour or two in a week where both my instructor and I are free seems to be the hardest part. I need to make sure I am not rushed to fit a lesson in but also making sure I keep up the practice. What a struggle!

Just keep driving!

Needless to say, my expectations for driving lessons were way off! The journey I have been on, has helped me appreciate how hard learning to drive actually is though. I’ve stopped taking it for granted, and have realised that if I want to pass my test, I’ve got to really work for it!

We’d love to hear your stories – did the reality of learning to drive meet your expectations, or were you way out?

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Chloe Martell profile

By Chloe Martell

'As a new driver, I'm so eager to share my driving journey with you all - from when I was a learner, going through my test and all the aspects of my driving life now, including my love of cars!'  See more posts by Chloe

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