I bought a car before I passed for 2 reasons. The first was to give me even more reason to pass as soon as I could, and then to be able to have a car straight away, and the second was to be able to practice any little thing that I was unsure of, outside of my driving lessons so I could perfect it before my test!
To do this I needed a co-driver and luckily, my Fiancée was more than happy to take the hot seat. We got Learner Driver Insurance, slapped on the L plates, plugged in the dashcam and off we went!
Getting behind the wheel of my own car
I wanted to practice my manoeuvres more than anything and my Fiancées local knowledge of the area gave us loads of new places to practice, including reversing around corners (yes, this actually used to be on the driving test!) It also meant I was able to drive around places I knew from driving with my instructor – but at my own pace. Having said that, sometimes I think my Fiancée thought he was a driving instructor! He has been driving for nearly 10 years and loves everything about it. He wanted to pass on his knowledge and experiences to me, but I sometimes found this easier said than done.
Trial and error
He could be bossy and it did make me realise that sometimes learning with someone you’re close to can cause arguments! Don’t worry – not major arguments! It was mainly me getting overly annoyed at doing something wrong and him not having the expertise that my instructor had to be able to explain how to put it right. We found that it was more of a trial and error situation and learning together from mistakes – like reversing around a corner. We tried so many things like sitting on a cushion so that I was higher up and winding down the windows. He even sat exactly how I did in the seat at my height to try and figure out what I was seeing. It was a little unorthodox but it really worked!
The perks of private practice
Private driving practice is great if you’re trying to save money on lessons, or eager to get in as much practice as you can before test day. Having a family member or friend that is willing to help you, can boost your confidence behind the wheel than just having lessons. It also helped me to get used to and understand my own car. I really struggled with finding the biting point but my other half explained it in a way that I understood and now I get it every time!
I was taking a lot of hints and tips from my Fiancée, but I had to make sure that I used what I had learnt in my driving lessons first and foremost – after all, my instructor was the one teaching me to pass my test! I was sticking with what I knew, and not picking up any bad habits.
The best decision
Possibly the best thing to come out of this experience was the day before my driving test my Fiancée said we should go out, practice literally everything I knew again and do a test route or two. Would you believe that one of the routes we went down which I had only done once before was the one I took on my test day! Talk about lucky!
Having my own car before my test and fitting in extra lessons gave me the opportunity to get used to my car in time for when I would be driving independently after my test. It was good to learn with someone I’m close to as it made it much more relaxed and I felt more comfortable asking questions. I would definitely recommend it! Just prepare for the arguments if you’re anything like “know it all” me!