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New driver behind the wheel with sat nav
Owen Nutkins profile

Owen Nutkins

March 29, 2018

Young driver stories 5 min read

Since passing my test back in December, I drive pretty much everywhere. To college, to work, to my nans, you name it – I’ll drive there, and honestly – it’s never felt better! Driving has allowed me to become independent. It’s allowed me to go places and have more opportunities that I wouldn’t have had before.

Driving has really allowed me to do a lot. Last week I drove over 600 miles in 10 days! From seeing the forests in Wales, aquariums in Plymouth, shopping in Bristol and museums in Dorchester – I couldn’t get enough of driving! I’m able to go to places I never thought I’d go anytime soon. I went on a range of different driving routes too, and it’s really helped me build my confidence on different types of roads, but it’s great to end at the destination I  intended – who doesn’t love a scenic route?  I know that if I didn’t drive I’d also be waiting months to go to these places, so I’m grateful I can take all of these road trips now, and not have to rely on anyone else to get me there.

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Being behind the wheel

Being behind the wheel of my own car is great! I get to decide the starting point and end to my own journeys. I am in control of the different ways I approach different routes and no two journeys are the same! I love that I am in control, and if I decide to change the route I want to go, that’s ok. I feel so comfortable behind the wheel. The freedom that driving has given me is amazing, and I love being in control of where I am going and when.

When you’re sat in the back of your friend’s or parent’s car, you have no control over what’s going on, and whilst you may trust their driving – there’s no better feeling than being in control yourself.  My sister passed her driving test a couple of months before me, but whenever I’m in the car with her, I know there are things I would do differently. I trust her driving completely, but when she tries to squeeze her car through the smallest lanes when cars are parked on either side, I do get a little worried. I always try to take a slower and wider approach, waiting to be absolutely sure there is enough room to get through.

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Having my own car, and being able to drive myself has made me feel like I have more of a role in this world. I can drive and take my friends and family to different places – virtually going anywhere I want to. It’s like taking a huge step into adulthood.

The costs

You own a car – great! But now, as well as your bills, you’ve got a car to pay for! Whilst paying for your own car is a big financial commitment, it gets you ready for the bigger picture in life. I know almost everyone gets caught up in the costs of learning to drive,  buying a car and then the costs that come with running the car – but it’s a great feeling to have this sense of responsibility.

In a way, the freedom of driving almost cancels out all the costs (for me anyway). You can spend £100’s on driving lessons, to then buying a car, sorting insurance, tax, fuel and so much more – it’s definitely a costly lifestyle, but nothing beats the freedom.

I always thought it was a waste of money even learning to drive, but it makes life so much more compelling and when you’re on the road, you want nothing more than just you, your car and the surroundings – possibly some jams too! The costs can easily fly out the window, and you can get in the habit of looking after how much you spend on running your car, but when you think about the freedom and new lifestyle you have, every penny is worth it – right?

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Being behind the wheel of your own car is something special. You’ve earned it! Whether you’ve got your hands on your own car, or you’re driving your parents,  you’ve moved that one step further than you had before you could drive. I couldn’t be happier that I own a car and that I’ve taken this step in learning to drive, now rather than later.

Owen Nutkins profile

By Owen Nutkins

'I'm a filmmaker and photographer from the UK. I've recently started taking driving lessons and I feel it would be great to write about my personal experiences, and be able to share advice to others whilst I prepare myself for my driving test. I've recently started taking driving lessons and I feel it would be great to write about my personal experiences, and be able to share advice to others whilst I prepare myself for my driving test.'  See more posts by Owen

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