'Older' learner driver

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Le Mouse
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'Older' learner driver

Post by Le Mouse » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:43 pm

Evening all!

I'm making plans to learn to drive once I've finished my OU study in January. 4 years after returning home from 16 years living in London, I realise now that I was spoiled by TfL. I'm finding public transport where I live increasingly frustrating - it's expensive and unreliable. My Mum lives over the the other side of town and while it's one bus ride away, it's an hour journey because the route goes through the centre of town. My brother has driven me home from Mum's and it takes 15-20 minutes at the very most in a car. With Mum being in sheltered housing and vulnerable, there'll be times when I need to get there quickly and the bus just won't cut it. I'm also thinking about moving to a more rural location in the (far) future and if I'm finding the bus service in a town rubbish, then further out, it's almost non-existent.

I'm aware that it takes a bit longer to learn when you're older (I'm 40 next year), and I was wondering if anyone else had experience of learning to drive as an older learner?

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Deeps
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Re: 'Older' learner driver

Post by Deeps » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:21 pm

Le Mouse wrote:Evening all!

I'm making plans to learn to drive once I've finished my OU study in January. 4 years after returning home from 16 years living in London, I realise now that I was spoiled by TfL. I'm finding public transport where I live increasingly frustrating - it's expensive and unreliable. My Mum lives over the the other side of town and while it's one bus ride away, it's an hour journey because the route goes through the centre of town. My brother has driven me home from Mum's and it takes 15-20 minutes at the very most in a car. With Mum being in sheltered housing and vulnerable, there'll be times when I need to get there quickly and the bus just won't cut it. I'm also thinking about moving to a more rural location in the (far) future and if I'm finding the bus service in a town rubbish, then further out, it's almost non-existent.

I'm aware that it takes a bit longer to learn when you're older (I'm 40 next year), and I was wondering if anyone else had experience of learning to drive as an older learner?
I see your 39 and raise you 49..... and still not driving. I've had a couple of cars with the intention of learning, even having the odd lesson and still have the intention of learning to drive. I'm lucky in having a 'chauffeur'. When I was living in Edinburgh it wasn't such an issue but like you I'm a bit more in the sticks and rely on buses more. For me the thing that will push me into driving is getting a caravan as the missus doesn't feel confident pulling one. I can see a crash course and jumping behind the wheel. Good luck with it and don't be put off by your age, in a lot of ways its in your favour, you have maturity on your side so should be more calm and collected. Use that wisdom to take a couple of breaths if required. If I'm being arrogant I'll probably pass first time (if I'm being less arrogant, second) and I'm 99% sure I wouldn't have when I first started learning at 19 due to being 19 mostly so look at it as an advantage.

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pseudonym
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Re: 'Older' learner driver

Post by pseudonym » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:25 pm

I did a crash course through the Military, all the lessons and test within the week. Past first time.

Definitely the way to go.
The roads are pretty bad and if you do end up getting stuck its hard to justify your reason for being on the roads as 'vegan mince for a feckin' princess'.

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Deeps
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Re: 'Older' learner driver

Post by Deeps » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:30 pm

pseudonym wrote:I did a crash course through the Military, all the lessons and test within the week. Past first time.

Definitely the way to go.
Yeah, I know loads of guys who did it through the pusser, everyone passed. Was almost tempted as I had 'justification' with my job but I'm not making excuses as to why I didn't, I'm just not one of life's drivers, I even managed to live 70 odd miles from Faslane and get regular lifts every day I was alongside. At some point though I'm going to have to 'man up' and learn to drive.

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ukpreppergrrl
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Re: 'Older' learner driver

Post by ukpreppergrrl » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:28 am

Whilst I didn't learn to drive as an oldster, I passed my test at the age of 19, I didn't actually have a car until my late 30s. So I hadn't driven for nearly 20 years. I was surprised that there was no requirement for me to retake a test or anything, I could just get into a car and drive away. I was quite nervous, so I bought some of those "P" plates and put them on the car to warn other drivers that I might be a bit of an erratic driver as per a new driver and please cut me some slack. I think as an older learner you may (not saying you personally will, just extrapolating from how I felt!) be more cautious than a teenage driver, which is no bad thing! Just accept you'll be a bit sweaty for a while :)

Assuming you have basic co-ordination technically it's not that difficult: in my experience it's all about the feet - the combination of clutch, accelerator and brake - steering is the easy part. A harder part is about understanding traffic flow and awareness. That said, having lived in London you will actually be more used to how traffic (including cycles and pedestrians) flows and works than you realise. My family live in a small town Up T'Middle and although they drive every day at home and have done so for 40 years, when they come to London they struggle with the traffic. Where it's coming from, where it's going to, how close it all is, they panic if there isn't an extant giant gap for them to move lanes. Even though I had never driven in London when I finally got my car, I was used to how the traffic works and understood it, just through having been a passenger in buses and taxis, so that aspect didn't bother me particularly. Far harder for me was the sudden and alarming realisation that my drive is on quite a slope and therefore required a hill start every time I used the car! :shock: Having learned to drive in a town that has only one "hill" (more accurately a road that sloped...slightly) I can safely say that hill starts were not my forte, but now I am the Queen of hill starts and holding the car on the clutch! :mrgreen: I'm just really glad that parking wasn't on the test when I took it, because I seriously suck at that! :oops:
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jansman
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Re: 'Older' learner driver

Post by jansman » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:28 pm

My brother passed his test at 30,after a 1 week course.My mother passed her test at 40 odd,and her MOTORBIKE test after that! You can do anything if you want to.My wife qualified as a teacher last year at 49.She started working life as a shoe maker.

When you are ready,go for it and take your test.Driving is liberating,at least til you are taxed or regulated off the road!
I am not grumpy. I just don’t waste words.

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Le Mouse
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Re: 'Older' learner driver

Post by Le Mouse » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:29 pm

Thank you for all your responses!
Deeps wrote:I see your 39 and raise you 49..... and still not driving.
I'm actually still 38... until next week! :mrgreen:
Deeps wrote:If I'm being arrogant I'll probably pass first time (if I'm being less arrogant, second) and I'm 99% sure I wouldn't have when I first started learning at 19 due to being 19 mostly so look at it as an advantage.
pseudonym wrote:I did a crash course through the Military, all the lessons and test within the week. Past first time.
I think I'd need more than a crash course and I don't expect to pass first time. I've looked into learning before and crash courses are *expensive*. I've found a fairly affordable driving instructor through word of mouth. According to his website he doesn't 'do' intensive courses because he doesn't believe the knowledge sticks in such a short time. I'm inclined to believe him. I'm going to take my time and not rush it.
ukpreppergrrl wrote:Assuming you have basic co-ordination technically it's not that difficult: in my experience it's all about the feet - the combination of clutch, accelerator and brake - steering is the easy part. A harder part is about understanding traffic flow and awareness. That said, having lived in London you will actually be more used to how traffic (including cycles and pedestrians) flows and works than you realise.
See it's this bit that I'm a bit nervous of. I want to learn in a manual, but it's the coordination that might fail me! You're right though that living in London gives a bit of an advantage with knowing about traffic flow. I used to cycle in London (very briefly!) so I had a crash course in traffic then! :lol:

I've been quite lucky. I sent a slightly throwaway text to my friend earlier asking how much it costs her to run her car. An hour or so later I was rewarded with a torrent of texts outlining how much tax and MOTs and all of that gubbins costs! I'll get a spreadsheet up and running shortly :D
jansman wrote:My mother passed her test at 40 odd,and her MOTORBIKE test after that! You can do anything if you want to.
My grandmother had a little 'putt-putt' hairdryer motorbike that she went *everywhere* on until she was really quite old. It was her bit of freedom. I agree that driving will be liberating. The costs however, will not be!

Yorkshire Andy
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Re: 'Older' learner driver

Post by Yorkshire Andy » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:30 pm

Get hold of the roadcraft book

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Roadcraft-driv ... 0117021687


And this
https://m.onbuy.com/gb/hinduism-books/t ... ioEALw_wcB


Now they give you MUCH MORE information between them than I ever learnt from the instructor who just teaches you to pass.... But knowing some "tricks" let's you as a learner "see more or better translate to what you see than you might be getting taught...


Eg you see a single street light in the distance on a unlit road...... Why?

You see a salt bin at the side of the road why?

Lots of paint on the road and signs ... Usually a bad / high accident rate biit of road

Sharp bends or roundabouts near a filling station are usually leathal after a shower of rain

Driving at night all of a sudden you notice far more centre line cats eyes... Why?



Green catseyes mean what?



Not trying to scare you ;) but the more swatting up will give you the edge...

single street light costs council money usually at a junction or sharp bend

Salt bins are often on ungritted urban routes either sharp bends or hilly junctions orvtoafs = reduced visibility

Big Slow warnings and bend warning signs and black and white chevron arrows allomg with double white centre lines usually = sharp bend


Overfilled diesel tanks usually leak at the bends due to fuel slopping about bin the tank = high risk of skids

Cats eyes that either appear where there were none prior or they double in quantity = hazard ahrad
green eyes = junction or layby
If your roughing it, Your doing it wrong ;)

Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine

Yorkshire Andy
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Re: 'Older' learner driver

Post by Yorkshire Andy » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:12 pm

Oh and my 35 year old cousin has just passed his test...... . And he suffers from Dispraxia if he can coordinate his hands and feet anyone can... It's almost cruel throwing ball at him as he has no chance of catching it
If your roughing it, Your doing it wrong ;)

Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine

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Le Mouse
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Re: 'Older' learner driver

Post by Le Mouse » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:42 pm

Thank you! I've put in a request to my brother for the first one for my birthday :D He'll approve - he's been badgering me to learn to drive for over 20 years, plus he's about to start police training :mrgreen:
Yorkshire Andy wrote:Oh and my 35 year old cousin has just passed his test...... . And he suffers from Dispraxia if he can coordinate his hands and feet anyone can... It's almost cruel throwing ball at him as he has no chance of catching it
Good for your cousin! I'll take his example as inspiration :idea:

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