I’m still a few months off of the anniversary of passing my driving test, but I’ve already learnt a tonne of stuff about being a new driver. Your first year driving is apparently the most exciting – but also most difficult – according to every single person that is baffled that I passed my test and got my first car at the age of 26.
“OMG I can’t believe you are only just driving? How did you cope?!”
Whodda thunk that a millennial (eww that word makes me feel dirty) wouldn’t have learnt to drive a car the second they turned of age?
Oh wait. There’s loads of us. In fact, I know people in their thirties who haven’t taken a single driving lesson.
So here’s a few nuggets of truth about your first year driving your first car – or y’know, if you want to be pedantic – the first 9-10 months.
- You’ll be a model driver for about a month tops. You’ll nail your signalling and manoeuvres, you’ll never go a single MPH over the speed limit and you’ll look twice at a junction. But then you become a real driver and learn the art of road rage and eagerness to get home during rush hour.
- Now you have your own car to look after (oooh, get you!), you’ll always assume there’s something wrong with it. Slight rumbling noise from the engine? IT’S GOING TO BREAK DOWN ANY SECOND.
- Petrol is damn expensive, isn’t it? Can’t cars just run on optimism or rain or something?
- When learning to drive, you had that magical ‘L’ plate that meant most drivers were nice to you and gave way to you whilst you were panicking about that parallel park you’re about to attempt. Now you have to adapt to the fact that even when you have right of way, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to be given it. Better to err on the side of caution than have a collision!
- Say goodbye to nice things, because that insurance, breakdown cover and tax don’t come cheap.
- As soon as you get your car washed, a bird will crap on it. Or in my case, the neighbour’s cat will run all over it and leave adorable but infuriating paw prints all over it.
- Your first “collision” will be incredibly undramatic. In fact, it’ll probably be with a bollard because you have no driving instructor to slam on the brakes when you get too close. This may or may not have happened to me (it did).
- Driving in the dark on your own the first few times will feel like you’re in a horror movie. Take it slow. Don’t worry because you’re not really alone. There will no doubt be someone driving right up behind you trying to get past because they clearly have somewhere so important to be. They might even beep their horn as they cut you up.
- Your first time driving in snow will be a weird combination of excitement because YAY SNOW ISN’T IT PRETTY? and sheer horror because OMG SNOW I CANNOT SEE.
- Ultimately, you’ll learn that approximately 75% of what you were told when you learnt how to drive will be thrown out of the window because you have to react to other drivers’ stupidity – and you can’t teach that.