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Girl looking worried in car with instructor
Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

May 30, 2018

Learning to drive Young driver stories 4 min read

It wasn’t until after passing my test that I realised how common it is to have the feeling of never quite being good enough to pass your driving test. Getting over the nerves to hop into your instructor’s car on that first lesson is one thing, but what about that feeling you get – when you really believe you’ll never really be able to drive?

It turns out, it’s not just me that feels this way. In a recent survey of 500 young drivers, nearly 32% of them said their biggest concern when learning to drive was that they would never actually be able to pass their test! Unfortunately, as common as this feeling is – it’s not always talked about. So I’m here sharing my story with you, and hope it helps you to realise that you’re definitely not alone in that feeling.

I just can’t do it

At what point did you start to pay attention to how your parents were driving? I mean really paying attention. Gear changes, clutch control, indication? For a long time I took it for granted that my Dad would just drive me from A to B, and never really looked or cared about how he was driving. He wouldn’t crash – he knew what he was doing, so why did I need to pay attention? It wasn’t until I wanted to learn to drive that I started to watch what he was doing – and honestly, I was straight up confused. It all came so naturally to him, the fear set in from this point that I would just never be able to do it with such ease.

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“How are your driving lessons going?”

The dreaded question I would hear week on week… “Yeah – fine, thanks!” I said every time through gritted teeth. No, they weren’t going fine – far from fine, actually. One mistake, and in my mind, I took 3 steps backwards. Every single time I got behind the wheel, it was like my first lesson all over again. Why wasn’t I getting it?! Friends and family of mine that could already drive kept telling me that I’d get there – but what if I never did? What if I was just wasting my money, trying to perfect a craft I’d never be able to do!? Oh, what we would do without self-doubt, ay?

The day it clicked

I think it was about 2 months before actually taking my test, which it finally clicked – and I knew from this point I could pass my test after all! It was a strange feeling, but as always I hopped in my instructor’s car and started the lesson as I always would. Yet making the first turning out of the road, I didn’t have to overthink about what gear I needed to be in or check to make sure my hands were in the correct place on the steering wheel. Everything just happened as it should have, and I remembered what I needed to do – without going into a blind panic that I was getting it wrong… I knew I wasn’t! My instructor said at the end of the lesson “it’s clicked, hasn’t it?” – wait, this happens to everyone!? It had finally set into place in my mind. I have no idea why or how it happened on that lesson in particular, but I wasn’t questioning it!

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Now I’m behind the wheel of my own car every single day, and I don’t overthink every move I make – because it comes naturally. Don’t get me wrong, I still have to keep my wits about me because you can never predict what other drivers will do, but all the gear changes and general driving comes naturally! Although I still have to put myself in full focus mode when I’m trying to park… but I’m sure that’ll get easier as time goes on!

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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