There’s a general assumption in our culture that the day you turn 17, you’ll have a provisional license in your hand, your first block of driving lessons booked, and your test day marked on the calendar. Though this works out for a lot of people, there’s a large percentage who leave the whole process for a later date, usually due to constraints with work, college and so on. If you’re in this latter group, and you still haven’t got around to learning to drive, here’s some advice you may find useful…
Am I Too Old to Learn?
Like a lot of people who share your issue, you might be worried that you’re simply too old to start learning, or that even if you’re not too old, there isn’t much point to starting lessons now that you’ve left it so late. Despite these fears, your average driving instructor will have taught many students older than you, and it’s far more common than a lot of people think. There’s really no need to be embarrassed! Older learners are often just as competent or more so than teenagers, though for different reasons.
The Pros and Cons
There’s some more good news here, in that there are more pros to learning to drive as a grown adult than cons. If you’re just getting behind the wheel for the first time, it may feel like a pretty daunting task, but it can be surprising how quickly you’ll take to it. Adult learners generally have more confidence when they start out, as you already have countless other learning experiences under your belt, and will be able to take to a new skill with a more automatic “can-do” attitude. Furthermore, even if you’ve never had any actual driver training, you will have had decades of experience as a passenger. This can give you a pretty good foundation in terms of road sense, and you’ll recognise developing hazards more easily. The only real con is that your reactions may not be as sharp as they were when you were younger, but this is usually a pretty negligible factor.
A Few Tips
The tips we can offer on actually learning to drive are pretty universal for any age group. Obviously, you should start by finding a driving instructor. Don’t be afraid to be picky here or go for taster after taster. It’s essential that you find an instructor you can feel comfortable with, whose teaching methods mesh well with your learning style. They should also make you feel motivated, and pick up on any errors you’re making. Finding an instructor that’s cost-effective and beneficial can take some doing, but the search is well worth it! Make sure you’re getting regular windows of driving, too, as long breaks from it can have a detrimental impact on your driving skills. Most of all, try to calm your nerves. Nervous drivers always take longer than more confident ones to pass their test. Being an inexperienced driver behind the wheel isn’t exactly soothing, but this is something you’ll need to get around if you want that license!