Gransnet forums

Chat

refresher driving lessons

(19 Posts)
ineedamum Mon 29-Jul-19 13:30:04

I have just had refresher driving lessons and I'm still shaking- will I ever get the hang of driving?

I passed my test 10 years ago and hired a car for a week. 1o years ago I drove hundreds of miles, different types of roads in new towns etc but on my last day I stalled. I stalled in peak hour, on a busy road doing a right turn and blocked six lanes of traffic! Cars and buses were beeping and beeping!

Today I still have that fear and the roads have got busier.
A two hour refresher lesson wasn't enough so I have another two hours. The instructor said I was doubting myself all the time and lacked confidence.

I hated it!

shysal Mon 29-Jul-19 14:24:54

Would you be able to change your car to an automatic? You will never stall it or find yourself in the wrong gear. They are very easy to get used to . I took to my first as soon as I drove off the salesroom forecourt. I would never go back to a manual car!
Good luck for your future driving, I know it is scary! flowers

ineedamum Mon 29-Jul-19 14:37:08

Thanks shysal. Are automatic cars more expensive to buy and run?

tanith Mon 29-Jul-19 15:12:36

I agree try an automatic, I don’t like them personally but I know from my sons experience that they can make the difference between driving and giving up completely. He’d given up till a friend let him try a little Smart car, he said it was like a light went on and he never looked back.

His partner (the family driver) was ecstatic that he’d done it at last.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Mon 29-Jul-19 15:17:47

Why not try a semi-automatic? You get the best of both worlds. Mine's a little Smart car and it's great. If possible you could avoid peak times so you won't feel harassed. Best of luck.

ineedamum Mon 29-Jul-19 15:40:22

What about the cost?

NotSpaghetti Mon 29-Jul-19 15:44:49

My mother in law drives an automatic very happily. She moved from gears about 30 years ago (in her 60s!).

NotSpaghetti Mon 29-Jul-19 15:45:24

Yes, a bit more expensive but are you intending to drive thousands of miles?

NotSpaghetti Mon 29-Jul-19 15:52:18

The Honda Jazz (in a big dealership near me) is £8,900 manual and £10,200 automatic for nearly new similar vehicles.

shysal Mon 29-Jul-19 16:48:26

I think the difference in price is probably that automatic transmission is not usually available in the lower spec. range of a particular model. I would say they could be cheaper to run as they are always using the correct gear. My Honda Jazz shows a light on the dashboard when I am driving economically, which is a lot of the time.

Nortsat46 Mon 29-Jul-19 17:38:41

Our experience is that automatic cars are about £1,000 to £1,500 more expensive, when we bought our current car. We went from auto back to manual and in retrospect, we wish we had paid the bit extra for another automatic.

Sorry to hear about your challenging experience at the refresher session, well done for booking a second one. Good luck ... update us all on your progress. 🚗🚕🚙

TwiceAsNice Mon 29-Jul-19 17:57:07

Well done keep going! I have a small automatic and have had automatic cars for the past 20 years and would never go back to a manual. Much easier to drive and really economical on petrol and it only costs me £20 a year in road tax. I have had a Golf, a small Mercedes ( although didn’t really like that) and now have a Skoda Citigo. Try an automatic if you can it will really make a difference for you

ineedamum Mon 29-Jul-19 20:41:50

Part of the reason I haven't driven for so long is cost, so an automatic may be too expensive. I will also regret it if I dont master the gears- changing them is ok, but moving from stop in traffic I panic!

Tangerine Mon 29-Jul-19 21:02:44

Try and persevere. You can have more refresher lessons until you are confident although I know it costs money.

If you really find it hard, try an automatic car. Other people on this forum and in real life think they are great and they may well help with your particular problem.

When you go out on your own, try going out at the weekend as there is less traffic then.

shysal Tue 30-Jul-19 07:41:07

All the problems you describe would be eliminated in an automatic. Would it be worth buying a slightly older car if it means you could afford one? You would be able to move off smoothly from stationary with no kangaroo hops or stalling. Perhaps take a lesson in an auto to see the difference. I do hope you persevere and gain confidence.

Iam64 Tue 30-Jul-19 08:36:35

I'm not convinced that simply changing to an automatic car will solve the problem of lacking confidence. You say the roads are busier, which is true, they're busier, cars go faster and I don't think I'm alone in finding levels of irritability and temper in drivers are also higher.

Do you need a car? Using taxi's along with trains/coaches for longer journeys may be easier on your temperament and your purse.

Missfoodlove Tue 30-Jul-19 09:16:51

As you can clearly drive but have this fear then try hypnosis.
There isn’t a driver on the road that hasn’t had a cringe moment that comes back to haunt them!

crazyH Tue 30-Jul-19 09:28:46

I failed 4 times in a manual, just couldn't co-ordinate the brakes and gears. So instructor advised to move to Automatic, passed, and so happy I did. The freedom to jump into your car and go wherever and whenever is so liberating. I had depended a lot on my husband and then we divorced. So it was great timing.
With an automatic, you are able to concentrate more on the road, especially if you are an older driver.
Yes, Automatic cars are slightly more expensive. I have a 2 year old Kia Rio. Love it .
All the best !

Tea and cake Sat 03-Aug-19 15:29:35

I'm with you all the way. I would rather go to the dentist than drive. I also have had refresher lessons recently and they decreased my confidence! I didn't realise I was quite so bad (was quite confident years ago but haven't driven for ages). My gears were ok but the other cars seemed so close...I'm a marvellous back seat driver too! Am steeling myself to go out on my own as I live between two very busy dual carriageways...😮 I know I need practice but it's getting it that's the problem!