Have you ever done an intensive driving course? 🚗

Want to pass my test before October when my theory certificate expires. I know there’s a big backlog of lessons/tests. I’ve previously done a lot of lessons (/failed three tests) in manual cars - honestly I’m gonna say we must be nearing something like 70 hours of lessons at this point and I’m still fucking shit, unobservant/poor attention span/bad at on the spot decision making does not a driver make - so I think it’s time to try automatic lessons. I’m unlikely to buy a car any time soon but it makes my life a lot easier if I have the option and I can always do a refresher course if needed. Just don’t want to do the bloody theory again when it’s already expired once.

If you’ve done an intense driving course before or know someone who did, how did it go? How many hours did they book for it?

I enquired about doing lessons in October 2020 and was told that because of the backlog I should book the test first and then have lessons but I feel really uncomfortable about having it loom in the distance when I don’t know how anxious I’ll be behind the wheel after years away. Also nervous that the local school I looked at recommends just 10 hours for people who have had lessons before. How long does it take to get used to automatic over manual?

This isn’t a space for complaining about cars or driving, there’s other threads for that. Just want advice/experiences.

I mean while we’re here, what’s the best time/day to have a test? Is there any truth to it being better to take a test at the start of the month and not the end because they have a quota of pass rates?

No but I have found it impossible to book a practical test and I’m pretty pissed about it

During school hours if possible to avoid the school run. No idea about intensive courses or automatics but good luck

My friend is trying to book a test and there’s nothing available for 5 months

Ok, this is going well so far :melting_face:

I guess at least Tunbridge Wells has a theory centre these days that’s open on weekends and I don’t need to traipse over to Chatham again.

You can look at dates without booking one i think? Worth having a look.

You can also pay companies to try and get cancellations for you too

Things to avoid imo:
Rush hour
School run
Times when it’ll be dark
Times when the sun will be low in the sky and might get in your eyes
Maybe lunch time

I took my test many times due to bad test anxiety and I think choosing a good time definitely helped me pass. I went for about 11am in the end.

However I have heard about people taking their test at rush hour, sitting in stationary traffic for 40 minutes, and having to be passed because they hadn’t made any mistakes, so there is that option if there’s a test centre near you with really terrible rush hour traffic.

Good luck!

10/11am is a decent time I think, less foot traffic about so less chance of having to slam on the brakes for something unexpected (which you obviously should be able to do but might shake you up a bit for the rest of the test).

Is there any way you can practice? I always wince at the idea of intensive courses as it comes across as a bit ‘cram to pass’ when driving is as much about experience and confidence and knowing what to do in certain situations that may not come up in the test. Really think it’s important to supplement the learning with practicing, but appreciate that it’s not always possible.

Definitely agree with switching to automatic. Don’t see much point in learning to drive a manual these days unless you’re desperate to be able to.

My brothers partner is in a similar situation and cancelled her test after doing an intensive cause as she didn’t feel at all confident.

You can but you need to have already booked in a test on the gov website. They’ll then use your booking reference and try to get you an earlier slot

To be honest my problem is with taking the test. After my last stint I was not that bad at driving outside of the pressured environment of the test where a normal everyday error can fail you (I failed my first test because I flicked the indicator the wrong way by accident while waiting at a junction) or you can get an absolutely horrible instructor who psychs you out before you even get in the car (she’s since been sacked as she was so unpleasant to so many drivers). I just need to get the test out of the way.

I’m not planning to buy a car in the near future and would almost certainly do some refresher lessons if I were to get one. This has just been hanging over me for so long that I don’t want to leave it any longer.

I don’t think I have anyone who would let me try driving in their car unfortunately. My parents always refused and in the £££ world we live in I can’t imagine my friends being keen.

(I think also if you’ve done 70+ hours over a decade and still can’t pass you probably just need something extra to push you over the hill)

Hmm yeah ok looks like I’ll probably be waiting until next spring to do this then as I don’t really want to take a test in the winter. Fuck’s sake. Never mind

My dad did and he crashed into a tree, my mum who is an experienced driver has advised me to go slow and steady, but my mum has also told me to learn manual, and people who learn automatic from what I’ve heard can learn faster as its easier so i guess it could be influenced by that?