Learning to drive in London – “this is what it must feel like to be dead”

Today’s post is written by Bee.

I am writing this post now because I have been blocked from my Driving School online account for 15 minutes for entering my details wrong too many times, even though I KNOW they are right, because I just changed my password.

This happens every week when I try to add money to my account for my lesson. Bloody technology. Whatever happened to cash in an envelope, or cash rolled up in a video tape, or trading 4lbs of goat meat for a driving lesson? Those were the days. It’s like they don’t want my £60 (which I don’t even technically have.)

Now I’m sure you are all whispering to each other, ‘she can’t even get onto the internet, how is she supposed to pass her driving test?! Duuummbb!’

Well you would be right. Because after much money and many hours screaming at buses to ‘get out of the bus lane’, I still don’t know how to drive.

The conversation at the end of each lesson with my instructor goes like this;

“So, have you booked your theory test yet?”


“Well if you don’t do your theory, you can’t do the practical. Best just to get the theory out of the way as soon as possible.”


“Why not?”

“Because I can’t answer the questions.”

“Have you practiced?”

“Yes. Every day.”

“And you still can’t do them?”

“No. I can sometimes do one. I don’t think one is enough.”

Then I am thrown that look which is specifically reserved for use by a man who is pitying an apparently useless and helpless woman.

It also doesn’t help my usually extremely high levels of anxiety that I have to learn to drive in Central London. With my last instructor, I was learning to drive in the quiet residential back streets of my small home town, and he described my driving technique as ‘fast and furious’. I had a lot of confidence because there was nothing to crash into apart from the pavement.

Now at the wheel in London, it tips my anxiety over the edge, to a point where I’m not even thinking and I’m just blindly gliding through traffic, unable to blink. I go round a roundabout with 10 buses, 8 bikes and 100 cars thinking ‘this is what it must feel like to be dead’, because I’m so anxious half of my brain has shut down and I actually feel calm. Then after two hours I get to go home and have a cheeky chocolate soya milk.

Despite all the stress and cost of learning to drive, I am excited to finally be able to get a crappy car, buy myself some More Than Smart Wheels car insurance and go wherever I like, whenever I like. I will definitely be getting

Then at least when people buy me wiper blades for Christmas, I WILL have a car, unlike Rachel.

Car insurance

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  1. 3 December, 2014 / 1:02 pm

    I keep picturing the scene in European Vacation and Clark Griswald circling Big Ben over and over because he can’t get off the round about.

    • Jo Middleton
      5 December, 2014 / 8:43 pm

      Haha! That’s what I would be like learning to drive in London! There would probably be some squealing too.

  2. 3 December, 2014 / 8:32 pm

    Just bought myself some wiper blades. 40 quid!

    In hindsight I do wish I’d waited and asked Santa.

    • Jo Middleton
      5 December, 2014 / 8:42 pm

      Bloody cars. They literally just burn up your money.

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