and that I’ll book a test for September as I’ll be taking lessons throughout the summer. We’re not sure where we’ll be moving to after the summer and I don’t want to take a test in a different place to where I did my lessons. That’ll give me about two months to learn whilst I’m writing up my thesis in the summer.
I should be ok learning for the theory and hazard perception tests. Hopefully it wont take up too much time and energy during the write up period.
my mum got me 10 lessons and got my sister 10 lessons, and told us in no uncertain terms that as she passed her driving test with 10 lessons whilst working as an au pair in Malaysia she expected us to get by with 10 each too.
And I don’t blame her. Driving lessons are expensive here- I think they cost about £20 ($32) per lesson in London back in those days (it’s more expensive now). And with two daughters going for the test at the same time even that was an outlay of £400 (excluding the cost of the theory tests and the actual driving test).
But of course London in 2002 wasn’t quite the same as Kuala Lumpur in the early 80s, and needless to say the plan didn’t pan out. I was proper keen, in those days though and started out well. I scheduled my theory test as soon after my 17th birthday as I could (as early as you could take it). Swotted up and got full marks. Sadly all in vain though as the practical test needed to be taken within 2 years of the theory or it expires.
In the UK you generally need to take about 30 lessons to have a chance at passing the test and 10 just didn’t cut the mustard. And at risk of sounding cynical driving instructors do have a vested interest in stringing it out as long as possible, ‘cos its a steady income if you’re coming back week after week.
So I’m back on square one really. A few of the jobs I’ve been looking at need you to be able to drive and I’m thinking it might be useful. I did think about it seriously when we were living in NZ as they drive on the same side of the road there.
But they have so many restrictions. You have to do a test to get a learner’s licence. You have to keep the learner’s licence for 6 months and can only drive with an adult with a full drivers licence next to you. And then you do another test. After that, if you pass, you can drive alone but only between 5am and 10pm. As I was under 25 at the time I would have had to wait 12 to 18 months to take the final test (so an outlay of at least 18 months from start of the driving process). As we only had year long visas, and were in two minds about extending, it wasn’t really an option. Especially as you can get a licence in 2 weeks in the UK if you do an intensive residential course…
The first step in learning how to drive again is getting a new photo-card licence. I lost my original licence photo-card way back when I was 17, so this week’s task was to get a new one. I’ve requested a new one on the DVLA website (for a hansom fee of £20)! I now need to send them a form I’ve signed, which I’ll do later today. And then, hopefully, within a couple of weeks, I’ll have a new photo-card.