I never learned to drive a car. We do not own one growing up and I am cool with the art of commuting.
However, now that we moved to Australia , I have no more excuse not to learn and get my license. Last year, I signed up for the Learners Theory test to get the Learners Id. It is quite a process to get the license here in Australia but I think it has really good reasons why.
Now, I have to be honest that I failed the first theory test. Geez 30 items u can only make 4 mistakes. Well, in the end I got it. And the lessons begin.
Lessons are not cheap. It costs around 45-70 dollars an hour. Or, you can have someone you know teach you. As long as they are full license holders . But, I tried it with my DH and I chose the path of paying the instructor. Why ? Because my husband And I wanted to stay happily married. Thank you.
My lessons, due to my hubby being at work, can only be done on weekends or night. Which is challenging because it means I do not have a lot of momentum or continuity of driving and being confident. Well, it is fortunate that we found instructors who are kind and adaptable to my schedule. Also, my LO started daycare so I got Fridays free.
You do not commit to the first teacher you meet. Go for an hour session and see how you feel. I had 5 teachers to give a go.
Teacher 1: Female, stocky , grumpy.
She drives an apple green hyundai getz. When i first met her, she asked me to drive in a parking lot . Just basic skills . It was ok but she kept on doing it and always scolding me and she kinda hates non Aussies. Ok missy, bye.
It was short and sweet. Unfortunately teacher 2 only meet me for a test drive. He was actually good. Calm, and took me straight on the roads of Gosford. But we moved to Newcastle a week after I meet him. It was a shame I had to let go.
Salesman? surfer? real estate agent?
Non stop chat! I like to chat but later, it was turning out that he is also losing his patience on me. Dunno? Stressed? Wife busy all day at work? ( i got these info from his chattiness) or maybe because Im bored of his surfer stories and what real estate property is good around. After Easter , he disappeared.
An older man. Doesnt talk much but really straightforward and honest. He asks me to sign sheets about my progress too. Like a teacher, dad should be. He is good. And really takes safety seriously.
Rockstar: teacher 4 has a friend who owns a driving school car and when T4 had his car serviced , Rockstar helped me a bit. He is like T4 but a bit scruffy and likes to hum…. And bust a line Breakdown tenenenen. One session was not bad but I am happier with T4.
I asked my T4 if I am ready last Aug 25. He said why not? So we went , and the assessor was a lady. She has a serious face and a squeaky voice. She is alright but I was just fffn nervous. I did not do my reverse park well and I miscalculated another vehicle coming from my right so she had to hit the brakes. FAILED.
I didnt cry or anything . i was hopeful actually. So my t4 said.” Let’s go again” I said yes. So Sept 8
My daughter was unwell that week. Damn! I did not sleep well but she was better on my test day. So I went on. However, the mind speaking about how is my daugheter in school got me.. no major fails this time but , the assessor thinks I am not doing my headchecks at the beginning and was better at the last few minutes of the course. ( by the way I got same lady assessor) So if you have 4 missed observations. Failed.
I am not gonna give up. This P license had to happen. So I booked again. 22nd Sept. so boom booked. The day came and behold…… the paper is actually 25th Sept. Bloody Monday. I cannot make it. So quick think. Go to website and change. Darn! It is fully booked till Oct. so I decided to go for the Newcastle testing area.A mum like me took her test there and she passed at one go. It is a busy place and T3 took me there too but It was too crowded. I found a suitable time for me and day… 29th Sept 1.15.
I know I am a freakkin nervous driver. So I became more vigilant and signed up with another teacher ( lets call him, back up) to teach me on monday,got t4 to teach me tues and thurs night and backup on friday morning and t4 on an hour before my test ( i paid t4 ‘s car for test which is always the best way when you go for test) .
I was desperate. I google map the routes we go and remember the signs and possible hazards. Laugh all you want but that is the way I can only think of passing this test. Post pregnancy and being a full time mama and housewife can tangle your nerves and brains.
My assessor is a tall , bald but cheerful man. He smiles , jokes with my instructor. We did the papers, and off to the parking lot.
The test goes like this :
Check the cars lights, indicators, brakes and tires .
Start the car and listen for his instructions.
Breathe, focus, relax, focus breathe.
The course has 25 zones it is around 30-40 mins. Now, since my assessor is a happy bloke, I told him straight about what kind of driver i am. I am nervous and i mess my right and left sometimes so perhaps a hand direction guide may help. He is absolutely fine and said” i will be okay with that”.
It was different from my previous 2 tests. It may be the time, road condition and perhaps i had somehow learned from my mistakes too. But iI felt that the assessor has a contributing factor too.
I was not overspeeding, in fact i had only 1 mark for being slow. Few hits on road positioning ( forgive my lefthandedness) a bit slow on decision ( nerves guys come on).
When you return after the course you need to park the car and make sure the assessor can get out of the car. He will ask you to wait on the comfy seats of NSW- Roads and Maritime Services corner.
T4 asked how it went and I said I was ok. No interventions or anything. But we cant guarantee that.
The assessor called me and said the feedback. I was looking down the paper and because he put an x on the pass box i thought I failed again. But he said, i passed . I PASSED!
So he handed me the red P plates . Damn it is the most precious plastic red P ! He took my green license ( learner) and I have to pay 57dollars for the new one which will arrive in 5-7 days.
T4 was proud of me. Like a dad who has a daughter who keeps on failing Math tests and finally made it.
I finally made it! I am 35 and I can drive.
T4 drove me home and reminded me of the things a new P license holder like me should remember. The best advise: Practice and be focused.
Watch out… I am gonna be driving! Beep beep!