I was 21 when I passed my driving test. With 17 being the legal age for driving here, that was later than many of my peers. With an epilepsy diagnosis though I had to jump a few extra hoops and be seizure free for a set amount of time before I could learn to drive, so it wasn’t really a priority for me at first.
When it came to learning, I was living in East Anglia. That part of the UK is very, very flat and where I lived there were lots of small towns and villages just connected by national speed limit roads. This meant that most of my learning was done at either 30mph, or 60! Quite different to how it would have been if I’d learnt in a big city, I think.
I finally passed my test on the second attempt, with the whole process taking eleven months. That included having lessons, taking and failing a test, sulking and giving up, seeing sense and trying again, and finally passing!
I took and passed my test on Christmas Eve, in the snow. My driving examiner was wearing flashing Christmas earrings, which was completely distracting, and we got stuck in a traffic jam. Eventually I had to do a three point turn to get out of the jam and drive back to the test centre so she wouldn’t be late for her next booking. Not your average test!
I was gifted an old car by someone after I passed, but I really wanted to choose and buy one for myself. I didn’t have a huge budget but I didn’t really need one – I think I paid around £800 for my very own Kia Pride. It was purple too – my favourite colour! How I wish I had a photograph of it now. It looked something like this…
I think if I were to pass now I’d buy something a little sturdier! I’m not sure what, I’d probably have a good look around local dealerships and websites like cars.com, then make a shortlist and compare insurance premiums for each car I liked, before making an informed decision. As it was though, I was 21 and wanted a purple car – so I had one.
What was your first car?