On The Road: What It’s Really Like Learning To Drive In Your Thirties

What It’s Really Like Learning To Drive In Your 30s


by Contributor |
Published on

WriterAnna Hartbites the bullet and books her very first driving lessons. And doesn’t kill anyone!

‘Why am I even listening to you to begin with? You’re a virgin, who can’t drive.’ Tai’s devastating blow to Cher in Clueless pretty much sums up how I’ve been feeling for the latter half of 2014.

Okay, so the virgin ship sailed a long time ago, but somehow I’ve reached the age of 34 without ever learning to drive. For years, it didn’t seem important - but recently, I’ve realised that I’m losing a lot by not getting my L plates. I can’t do road trips across California, I can’t do favours for friends with kids, and I would be completely useless during an alien apocalypse.

I’m not alone in being a 30-something (driving) virgin. My generation of city-living, bike-riding, eco-minded and digitally savvy professionals is - in stark contrast to our parents - decidedly meh about cars. More and more of us are putting off those BSM lessons, for longer. And the downer is that this only makes it more difficult. “At the age of 17, the pass-rate last year was 57%, but for drivers at the age of 35, it had dropped to 38%,” explains Lorna Lee, BSM spokesperson.

And not only is it statistically more difficult, learning to drive terrified me. So Grazia set me the challenge of passing my test in 2015, because if I can do it, then trust me, anyone can….

Anna Hart is On The Road
Anna Hart is On The Road

So far, I’m three lessons in, with my nerves-of-steel instructor Mario. Amazingly, I genuinely enjoy my first few lessons. I’ve done a roundabout! I’ve been in fourth gear! I’ve done a really terrible turn-in-the-road! Not bad, for a girl who still has to do that miming-writing-with-a-pen thing to determine my left from my right.

“At this stage, your learning curve is quite steep,” agrees Mario, warning me that the real challenge comes later. Being a terrible learner driver is easy - I feel triumphant simply because I haven’t crashed into a schoolbus. It’s becoming a good learner driver that is hard.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting regular updates about my progressright hereon Grazia Daily. I promise to be 100% honest about the ups and downs. If you, like me, were on the fence about learning to drive in 2015, then hopefully this will give you the incentive you need to get in the driver’s seat.

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