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New driver - Expectations vs Reality

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

July 27, 2018

Young driver stories 4 min read

Before passing my driving test, I had so many ideas and visions of what it would be like to hit the road and embrace the freedom of having a full driving licence. I would literally find myself daydreaming – wind in my hair, music up, cruising along a road without a care in the world. Whilst I am probably extra naive, I will blame the chick flicks I’ve spent most of my life watching, for this warped perception of what it is like to be able to drive.

Expectation: I can go where I want when I want

Reality: I’m off to work – bye!

I genuinely visualised me wheel spinning away into the sunset, off on long road trips and adventures with my friends (my dog… I mean my dog), but instead I am stuck in the cycle along with everyone else who can drive – ‘off to work, off to school’. Now I can’t really complain, because as soon as the weekend hits the world is my oyster and I really can go anywhere! However, 5 days out of the 7, the only trips I take are to and from the office. Ahh, adult life – how are ya?


Expectation: I’m as free as the wind!

Reality: How do I need MORE petrol!?

One question I often find myself asking is how do I seem to spend so much money on fuel?! I bought a small car with a small engine to try and avoid this, and yet still – I find myself filling up my tank way more often than I’d like. Deep down – I know why. Since being able to drive, I barely walk anywhere! It’s bad I know, but I drive to work, back home, to the shops… you name it, and I am hoping in my car and driving there. And yes, I know I could walk – but I put the effort in to pass my test, I may as well make the most of it. Right?


Expectation: Road trip!

Reality: Can someone else drive?

I love driving and the freedom it has given me – but I miss the days of being chauffeured around and being able to check Instagram on the go. Driving is a lot of concentrating – and on a long distance journey, it can be super tiring! Bring back the days where I could put my feet up and have a nap in the passenger seat.


Expectation: My car will be so pretty!

Reality: What on earth does that noise mean!?

Like many new drivers, I passed my test, got a car and went on my way – without spending any time reading the manual or learning what each button and light in the car means. It wasn’t until recently when my car started beeping like crazy when I went into a full panic and had no idea what was happening! It’s ok – it turns out I was just low on fuel (shock… yet I’d never made it into the red, so I had no idea what was going on) but I realised I should probably take some time to figure out what all the stuff in my car actually means!


There were a lot of things I thought driving would give me, that it didn’t. I haven’t yet had the wind in my hair moment (because I didn’t buy a convertible), but I have also gotten a lot more from driving than I thought I would. I have freedom, and control over what I want to do in my free time. I no longer rely on lifts, taxis or public transport – because I can take myself. Yeah – my overall vision was a tad off, but driving has given me a different sense of freedom I didn’t know existed – and I’m loving every second of it!

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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