We wanted to know what it’s like for young drivers who are getting in extra driving practice with their parents before their test! Let’s see how it’s helping…
I think everyone should try private practice with parents. Why? Well, after only 10 driving lessons with an instructor, I felt I wanted to go out more and asked my mum if she could take me out – I haven’t looked back since. Having 2 people teaching you to drive may make it seem over confusing, but I left learning manoeuvres and decision making with my instructor and gave my mum the task of supervising my “everyday driving skills”.
A 1-hour driving lesson a week wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to learn and pass my test as quickly as possible, so I took the plunge and asked my Mum to take me out driving too. Driving with my Mum was stressful at first. “Left, left, left HERE!” not the calm “take the next left” approach of an instructor. Personally, I loved driving with my Mum, and we experienced all different kinds of weather; snow, rain, storms and sun to name a few obvious ones. You don’t get this practice often with a Driving Instructor, so it was brilliant for boosting my confidence.
I remember one drive where we went out in the snow and turned into an estate. The road was steep and usually, I would slow down the car fully, but with it being a snowy and quiet road, my mum said: “Let’s practise a hill start”. Usually, my hill starts are good – in the snow they drop to average. I got myself prepared, car at ‘bite’ point and we… rolled back! Not quite what was planned… Luckily there were no other cars around! It may sound strange, but to me, that is the beauty of private practice, the ability to learn when you want, in any conditions you want and having more time to do it safely, whilst feeling more relaxed.
It must have been the day that my car got delivered to my door that I decided I wanted private practice. I was still a learner and I wanted to drive my new car as soon as possible, who wouldn’t!? Unfortunately, it took me about 4 weeks to find the right insurance deal to get me out on the road on my provisional licence.
During the search for my insurance, I was always sitting in my car, listening to music, opening and closing my roof and just generally wishing I could drive it! Then came the day that my insurance started – I was allowed on the roads! I had to bribe my stepdad to take me out driving, by offering to buy him his favourite beer (which he could drink when not supervising me, of course!)
I was SO excited to finally drive my own car! I hopped in and started it up, only to realise that I had completely run my battery flat! After about 40 minutes of waiting anxiously, my stepdad jumpstarted my car and off we went to the petrol station. I then went on what felt like the longest drive in my life, but I was so happy to be driving in my own car. I think me and my stepdad definitely fell out a few times! He was trying to tell me what gear to go in, but I made sure that I was merely practising what I had already learned in my lessons with my instructor, and stuck with what I knew!
I started learning to drive in January 2017. After passing my theory in March 2017, I was determined to be at test standard as soon as possible. At the end of May 2017, I discovered a used Renault Twingo that took my fancy. Mum and Dad both agreed I could purchase this car once they test drove on my behalf, they also fell in love. As soon as we bought it, the private practice began with Mum and Dad and I was on my way to passing my test as quickly as possible.
The first time my dad took me out he drove me to this big hill and got me to start from there, but I couldn’t get the car going. This car was different to the Clio I was using in my driving lessons, so it took some getting used to.
The few weeks before my test my Dad would take me to practice the manoeuvres every night as that was the part that was making me anxious! Having my own car, Marmalade’s New Driver Insurance and the support of parents, I met my goal and passed within a year!
Private practice helped me a lot. I was already learning how to follow a Sat Nav with my parents, so I was ready for the test changes. After failing my first test in early November, I took about 3 lessons with a driving instructor and the rest I did with private practice. I then took my test in my own car!