Has anyone had a worse driving test than this girl?
‘The examination sheet had more minors than a One Direction concert’
Some people struggle with maths, some struggle with languages. I have a different ineptitude – I have a driving disorder.
Symptoms of this illness include: doing in excess of 200 hours driving lessons, taking so long that your theory test has expired and getting the grand total of 19 minors, 8 majors and a dangerous on your driving test (who knew they even existed?)
I’ve only taken it once but I’ve never heard of anyone with a worse result.
My road to driving dismay began in March 2012 when I was an eager 17-year-old excited at the prospect of the freedom a car would bring. I dreamed of trips to McDonald’s during free periods with the college massive ‘avin it large at Bournemouth beach.
After my first lesson I knew driving and I weren’t going to be the best of friends and I left confused in a blur of biting points, beeping horns and banter from my Essex driving instructor Pete.
It became less mirror, signal, manoeuvre and more misery, scepticism and mockery.
As the months went on and my progression was flatter than Norfolk I felt that I would never be ready for a driving test.
Particularly memorable moments from my lessons include going the wrong way round a roundabout and driving on the right hand side of the road as I was going right at the junction.
My driving instructor said the only other person who had my “unique” driving style was my sister, which led me to clutch onto the notion that it was genetic and not my fault that I was a hazard on wheels.
It became an ongoing joke at college, and as my 18th birthday came and went it seemed that everyone had passed but me.
My friend from college Matt May – who’s now a second year at Lancaster Uni – has been left with a deep-rooted fear of ever getting into a car with me:
“Getting into a vehicle with Louisa as my driver is something I could never bring myself to do. I imagine her driving to be erratic and panicky, causing every-day trips to become a risk on my life.
However, due to a combination of astronomical expense and wanting to pass before going to UEA I decided to take a test a year later in March 2013.
I confidently strode to the test car with the examiner, convinced that it would all come together. I imagined all the gushing congratulations I would get when I posted the standard certificate-holding in front of car photo on Facebook. Oh how wrong I was.
I managed to get a dangerous in the first 30 seconds by pulling out on a car coming out of the test centre car park, resulting in the examiner signalling to the car behind to apologise.
Not wanting to completely waste the £60 test fee, I decided to carry on so I could at least experience a test, despite the fact that the examiner was now sitting much more upright in his seat and had edged his feet further towards the dual controls.
It then went from bad to worse. I went the wrong way round the roundabout again, ended up on someone’s driveway and spent so long looking for an appropriate place to stop to do a parallel park that the road came to an end.
He frantically lurched over to the steering wheel at least three times and the test ended early when he asked me to switch places about a mile from the test centre.
Needless to say, the examination sheet had more minors than a One Direction concert – 19 to be precise.
As well as this I scored eight majors and a “dangerous”.
My driving instructor said it was the biggest fail he’d ever seen – I guess that’s sort of an achievement.
Since I started university in September 2013 I haven’t got in a car since, and in term time I don’t notice it at all, as no one has a car. It is only in the holidays when I go home and my friends have to drive me around, that I notice how more grown up they seem and how I am generally failing at life.
The only good thing about it all is that I am never pestered for “Lifts $$££” and I never will be even if I pass, with the horror stories I have told my friends.
Yes it is a bit embarrassing that I have taken so long my theory test has expired, but for now I will stick to foolishly convincing myself that I will work in London and therefore never need a car and/or be rich and famous and have a chauffeur called Quentin to take me around everywhere.