Hi, my name is Jack Marsh and I have very recently turned 17 so have just started the journey of learning to drive. This post is going to share the beginning of this journey and what I have planned – pretty exciting, right?
Turning 17 (finally!)
Ever since I can remember I have had a passion for cars. They are a big part of my life so needless to say I have been trying to sprint through the years to get to the age of 17 and start driving for as long as I can remember. Due to me being so eager to drive, around the age of 15 my dad took me to private land so I could start to learn the clutch and basics of driving. This was very helpful as I meant I had a good understanding of driving when I reached eventually 17. As soon as I turned 17 I bought Marmalades Learner Driver Insurance for two months so I could drive straight away. On my birthday my parents drove me to a nearby estate and I tried driving around it – exciting! Then once I felt a bit more confident we went to a different estate, then a different one after that, to encounter new situations and learn in new places.
Finding an instructor
When I came to find an instructor I started doing the usual of looking online in the local area, however, one of my close friends recommended his instructor to me. I rang him up and he had an offer for £15 for each of the first three lessons – great! I booked one a few days after my birthday, and after I had a chance to get to grips with being behind the wheel. I wanted to make sure I was confident on the road first because I didn’t know if the instructor would just throw me into the deep end. The first lesson he wanted to gauge my driving ability so we drove to a loop in an estate (which just so happens I had done the day before) and the practice paid off as we ended up doing what he would normally do in his normal first three lessons, in the first lesson I ever took! What’s more, it turned out the driving instructor was really nice and prides himself on creating confident drivers and he gives hand out sheets that explain what we have done with diagrams. Due to my school schedule, I can only have a lesson once a week on a Wednesday which isn’t ideal. However, I can practice all through the week and use the sheets so I can make the most of the lessons.
Buying a car
I can’t lie this was probably my favourite part of the process and as you probably guess from me saying about my passion for cars I had been researching to find the best car and looking almost daily on sites such as AutoTrader, eBay and Gumtree to find the perfect first car. I had a budget of £2000 of saved money and I wanted to find the best car for this price that was also going to be a suitable car to learn in. It needed to be easily manoeuvrable, reliable and not too expensive to insure. A few months before my birthday I was researching a lot and talking to some mechanic friends and completing online insurance quotes I found the best car that would fit my budget would be an mk6 Ford Fiesta, now I just had to find the right one. I managed to find an mk6 Fiesta with very low mileage 2 previous owners (one only had it for a month) and a full service history which I knew meant this was going to be a one of the best I could find. A tip I really want to emphasise is when buying a car to never become emotionally attached to a car you choose initially because you may put all your money on it but you may find it’s the opposite of what you thought. There were a few small complications with buying it but that was a small price to pay for a really good car. I ended up buying it for £1995 and I believe it’s the perfect car for me to learn in.
Where am I now?
Currently, it is 21 days since my 17th birthday and I have completed 4 driving lessons and have driven almost every day for at least half an hour. I have driven at different times in the day to encounter different traffic and new situations. I am also revising my theory test and are have booked it in 3 weeks’ time – wish me luck!