Driving test: PASSED

A few weeks ago, I introduced my wonderful new little Ford Ka, but what I failed to say is that it was a great big giant incentive to get my ass in gear and get my British driving license. Yep, I’m 25 and still didn’t have one. Yep, I’m rubbish!

So this morning, I made my way to Cowley Rd test centre, feeling much more prepared and at-ease than I would have ever dreamed I would be two months ago when I booked my test. Still managed to rack up 9 minor faults, but all in all, I’m pleased with the results.

For the record, if any of you are in the Cambridge area and dreading the idea of doing your practical driving test, I strongly recommend giving Malcolm at Mallyn School of Motoring a call. I usually love a good ol’ challenge, but driving was one I just couldn’t face in the past, but I felt at ease the moment I met my instructor. I’ve met instructors who were pervy, some who were shrinking violets, but Malcolm’s an all around great guy.

Lessons were two hours at a time, and it worked much better than one hour lessons, where you hardly have the time to get into your groove and the lesson’s over! Cowley Road is an immensely sucky test centre, especially with the awful construction that’s been going on for over a year (!!!), but I felt thoroughly ready to cope with the chaos of it after my 15 hours of lessons.

So yup, goodbye L plates, you won’t be missed. Now I just need to find another learner to pass on the Hazard Perception CDs and the Learner books onto!

[Edit: Yes, it was a first time pass!]
[Edit #2: I just got back home and gave my Ka a hug. It deserves it for being patient with me. Andrew does too.]

16 thoughts on “Driving test: PASSED

  1. Ade

    Well done!! 🙂

    Cowley Road: when I was doing my motorbike test I had a chance to talk to some of the instructors there. They said there were two driving test centres in Cambridge; the other one (can’t remember where it was) always had a huge waiting list.

    The reason is that horrible car park at Cowley Road. I had to wait in the test centre for Claire to do her test, and it just seemed incredibly cruel watching all the car drivers have to do their parking exercises in that tiny cramped car park, all at the same time, on the hour when the tests started. It was like ballet trying to watch them reverse around each other. If ever anything was designed to destroy confidence, that was!

    So once again congratulations!

  2. Mathew Patterson

    Congratulations – Now I suggest driving through Milton Keynes to Oxford – never have I driven through so many roundabouts in one day in my life. Afterwards it was nearly impossible to drive in a straight line.

  3. Vero

    Ade – Yeah I was lucky on that level, they didn’t make me do the bay park in Cowley Rd, the examiner just wanted to get out on the open roads and away from the construction near the test centre.

    I would’ve most likely been fine since I managed the bay parking every time in practice, but on test day everything’s that little bit more demanding!

    Mat – Sounds like a thrilling drive 😉

    So far I’ve only driven to the Balsham butcher and back on my own but it was a pretty smooth journey.

  4. Lisa

    Canadians can “trade in” their Canadian licenses for a UK one, but it only allows you to drive an automatic. I’m too lazy to learn how to drive a manual, so I stuck with the trade-in license. 😉

  5. Vero

    Lisa – The hubby would categorically disown me if I did that, though granted I hadn’t passed my Canadian test either.

    I bought a wicked little red Ford Ka and am coping fairly well with the whole clutch thing so far.

    Good luck with the mat leave!

  6. pa

    Andrew would have loved the stiff clutch on the Aerostar 1990 Van..Joelle drove it from the cottage through Montreal pulling a sailboat .. Glad that’s over.(the old van I mean)..
    Again have fun driving ..Félichitachion!!

  7. Helen

    Well done on passing. I have just taken my test at Cowley road and found the car park awkward behond belief.

  8. Vero

    Thanks Malcolm 🙂

    Helen – you’re right, it is incredibly awkward. My test is already turning into a hazy old memory, but if I remember right, I didn’t need to do the reverse park into a bay during my test. I did a parallel park and left reverse around a corner instead. You didn’t specify in your message, but I hope you also passed on your Cowley Road test!

  9. Pingback: that canadian girl » Blog Archive » Heads up! Driving Tests are changing

  10. janetthe failure

    I just came from failing the test for the second time and am nearly convinced this is anti-Americanism at work (I moved here nearly a year ago). I’ve been driving for 35 years, squeaky-clean record, got a perfect score on the theory test, and have taken a dozen private driving lessons while here. But the examiners have failed me twice for “serious” faults that weren’t serious at all- once because the car behind me swerved out to pass and then changed his mind and the other for going straight ahead (as directed) when the examiner meant for me to “go to the roundabout” which was on the left. How does anybody manage to please these guys?

  11. Sean

    I’m taking my practical test in Croydon/South Norwood centre in a couple of weeks on a second attempt. Can anyone on this forum please recommend a good driving instructor for me, s/he must be someone who has been or still an examiner with DSA and can expose me to the real demands of passing the test because I don’t want to fail again. My former instructor sucked the confidence out of me and doesn’t seem to know the test rules as he kept giving me mixed signals on the dos and don’ts and spending over 40mins of each instruction time chatting away on the phone or just talking about what was irrelevant to the lesson. So much rip-off out there. Please mail details to me at seanbriggit@yahoo.com.

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