Driver Hub  Learning to drive  Real life learner stories   Learning to drive at my own pace
Young girl in front of car with doors open
Amy Carpenter profile

Amy Carpenter

July 31, 2018

Learning to drive 5 min read

Hi Guys! I’m Amy, I’m 21 years old and this is my blog on how, unfortunately, I lost my confidence behind the wheel. I want to tell you why I think you should always pick the right driving instructor for you and why you should never rush into your practical or theory tests.

Where did it all go wrong?

In March 2014, I had turned 17 – I had seen my peers start to learn how to drive and I wanted to join in – so I did! I had my first lesson on my 17th birthday and I was flying! Very early on in my driving journey, I passed my theory test! Yet maybe a year and a half later, and at the expense of £1500, I still hadn’t passed my practical test. My driving instructor knew I was confident, I had ticked all the skills in the pupil book and I was absolutely ready to take my test – yet each time I asked him; I received the answer of “you just need one more lesson…” and this continued for quite a long time.

In the end, I gave up on driving and honestly? I couldn’t have cared less whether I got in a car ever again or not. I wasn’t being impatient, but I also wasn’t getting anywhere with this instructor. None of my family members had a car I could use for my driving test, otherwise, I would’ve gone in for it myself – I was limited to what I could and couldn’t do at the time.


Learning how to drive… again!

So almost 2 and a half years on, I had a new job and I had planned to start learning how to drive, so I could do more overtime and have more flexibility – let’s face it… public transport sucks, buses are either late or they’ve broken down and me catching a bus home at 09:00 pm at night scared me, so I’d end up spending £10.00 on each late shift to have a taxi home.

November 2017 came, I  gave in and started looking for a new driving instructor. With great reviews, I found a local instructor named Phil. My first lesson back and to be honest, I even surprised myself!  I performed a couple of manoeuvres and even drove myself home!

When the lesson ended, Phil said he felt I was confident and had been diddled by my previous driving instructor – he then said that I should book my test for in a couple of months, just to give myself a bit of time to get used to driving again and relearn some of the vital skills (mirrors were my weak point). So in January 2018, I had taken my practical driving test, and guess what? I passed the first time! That moment honestly felt like no other and I am so grateful for the time and effort Phil put into ensuring that I would pass my test and that he wasn’t out there for the money.


Confidence and freedom!

Of course, as soon as I got home – I went car shopping! I wanted a brand new car, so went with applying for finance with Marmalade for my little Ford Fiesta (which I absolutely adore)! My car was made to order and was going to be delivered in April 2018. During this time, I decided to take my pass plus test, to increase my confidence even more behind the wheel!

Words cannot explain how much freedom you get when you have your own car. You aren’t tied down for where you can travel or go – I just sometimes get into the car and drive anywhere to just have a road trip. My confidence has grown over time and I feel that without taking a break from my first instructor I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Looking back 

I look back on how I rushed into finding a driving instructor, how I rushed into taking my theory (but still passed) and then being held back from taking my test. I realise now that I was being taken for granted, and unfortunately, my first instructor wanted the money and not to really help me get on the road. It’s rare, but it can happen!


Make sure that your research is done into finding the right driving instructor for you, recommendations are OK but do your own research, too – you want to feel comfortable and secure with your driving instructor because they are the one who will help you achieve your goals. When you’re unsure, ask. When you feel ready – go for it!

Amy Carpenter profile

By Amy Carpenter

'Hi guys, I'm Amy and I'm 21 years old. I passed my test in January 2018! I already feel super confident and love the freedom of being able to drive wherever I want. I'm here to blog about my driving experience and give some great hints and tips to you all.'  See more posts by Amy

Share this article

Angry man in car pointing
Learning to drive News Young driver stories 6 min read

Victims of road rage - Learner driver stories

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

October 17, 2019

As many of you know, we’re petitioning for change on how learner drivers are treated when they’re on the roads. Astonishingly, 90% of learner drivers have been subject to tailgating and overtaking when in their…Read more

Young girl in car
Driving advice Owning a car Young driver stories 6 min read

Kimberley's MOT misery

Kimberley Dodge profile

Kimberley Dodge

September 27, 2019

Fear. Dread. Horror. No, I’m not talking about the rush of panic when you spot a spider in your bedroom. I’m talking about the stab of fright that pierces your heart when you hear the…Read more

Interior Audi A1 steering wheel
Owning a car 7 min read

Audi A1 - Chloe's review

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

March 7, 2020

As a young driver, whilst I like to think that reading reviews about cars from petrol heads will help me when it comes to choosing my car, it really doesn’t. I want to know what…Read more