So if any of you follow me on instagram you will see something exciting happened last week… I passed my driving test! I’ve been learning to drive on/off for the best part of a year so it feels like such a relief to finally pass and be out on the road!
With all the travelling I’ve done this year, I found it really hard to commit to ‘normal’ driving lessons as I was always away for long periods of time. This meant I had very little continuity with my learning and although I was practicing regularly with my parents, I wasn’t really progressing at all. We decided to see if there were any intensive driving courses nearby as this seemed like a good option for me to try and after a LOT of research we found an instructor nearby who offered me a one hour assessment lesson and would then decide how an intensive course could work for me. We ended up deciding on a 3 day course starting on Monday, with my test booked for the Friday morning. He seemed very confident with my ability and said it was just minor tweaks and learning manoeuvres that we needed to cover. We set aside Thursday as a ‘just in case’ day where I could decide what we did.
My course was structured as 6 hours of driving a day with two 20/30 minute breaks. This is where I realised ‘intensive’ was definitely an accurate word to describe what we were doing (compared to a regular lesson which is 2 hours max). I found that I really struggled with my concentration and fatigue levels after the third hour, and my driving ability would definitely decline as the day (and actually the week) went on which was slightly disheartening! Every night I was exhausted and felt shattered every morning when I woke up (in all honesty it probably didn’t help that I only got home from America 4 days before). There is no chance that I could have maintained a job or social life over this week! On the Thursday we decided to just do 4 hours so I could get more rest in the afternoon. We did some test practise, revisited the hardest roundabouts in the test area about 739373 times and polished up my manoeuvres. In all honesty, my driving at this point was incredibly poor with the instructor constantly having to use his brakes and even grab the steering wheel at points. I was so completely done with driving and being in a car (my instructor said that by this point I had driven to the equivalent of the Russian border). I tried to relax as much as I could on Thursday afternoon, and tried to think positively!
As my test was at 10am the next morning, I knew it was only about 2 hours that I had to concentrate for and I managed to keep myself together long enough to pass my test!
Would I recommend it?
I’d recommend an intensive course if you have a good concentration span (maybe if you are still in education etc as I have been out of college for a year now!) and already have good car control and reasonable driving, otherwise I feel it’s just too much to learn and improve in a week or so. If you struggle to concentrate in a regular lesson then I wouldn’t recommend an intensive AT ALL (even if the idea of getting it out the way is appealing). Instead I’d recommend more shorter lessons a week (3×1 hour or 2×2 hours).
I’d also really recommend an intensive course if, like me, you are in a bit of a driving time crunch! However, you have to be confident that you are actually a capable driver before committing to this and and don’t expect an easy pass at the end as it’s hard work! Doing an intensive course was also a good choice financially for me at this point, as due to travelling I didn’t have a steady income, but did have money saved. This meant it made more sense to pay out a bulk amount rather than a smaller amount every week.
Have you done an intensive driving course or would you consider it? Let me know if you have any questions 🙂