The gal done good ! - volvoman
Regulars here may know that I\'m giving the lovely Mrs V. some driving lessons prior to her starting to pay for the privilege with a pro in a couple of weeks.

Well after just 3 \'lessons\' lasting less that 2 hours in total, she appears to have got the hang of the clutch and can pull away smoothly forward and in reverse, controlling the handbrake herself and without having to look down at the pedals or gear stick. It was a long time ago that I learned to drive but I don\'t think I picked up this aspect as quickly as her so all in all I thinks she\'s done very, very well so far. It\'s funny isn\'t it, how some people have a knack for certain things and I have to say she\'s very comfortable judging distances, gaps etc. so I\'m quite confident she\'ll do well and be a good safe driver.

(still gonna touch wood though !!)
The gal done good ! - hootie
Blimey VM, you're brave! :)

Apart from the fact that neither of our vehicles are suitable for The Princess to learn in (both automatic to say the least) I wouldn't have attempted to supervise a loved one, it's just got far too many possibilites for WW3. Mind you teenagers think they know everything don't they!

(saw a fridge magnet the other day something along the lines of
- sick of nagging parents etc. - then leave home, pay all your own bills, do whatever you like etc etc - WHILE YOU STILL KNOW IT ALL!) :)

We've done it the other way around, once her driving instructor has said ok, then I'll take her out in between lessons, although tbh I'd still rather have dual controls!!!

(her instuctor actually says she's good though, and has asked her to be the pupil he takes out when he gets graded on his teaching ability next month)

Hope Mrs V enjoys her lessons and does ok!
The gal done good ! - Tom Shaw
Ah Volvoman, the joy of teaching someone who picks the basics up quickly!

I spent an hour today with a lad who has been with me for eighteen months and still steers the wrong way when he is reversing and can't go round a roundabout without a full talk-through.

Wanna swop?
The gal done good ! - volvoman
Tom - I admire anyone who can teach! My late wife (lovely person though she was) had been driving regularly for 15 years or more and still couldn't get the hang of steering when reversing. Of the two available options she ALWAYS chose the wrong one. I used to tell her either "do the opposite of what you think you should do" or "if you see the car's starting to move in the wrong direction just turn the wheel the opposite way". Bless her, she just couldn't do it and it baffled me !
The gal done good ! - sean

Can I believe my eyes?

You're giving She Who Must Be Obeyed lessons?


Is there something she doesn't know?

Sorry, but I'm not fully normal yet (OK, never was, really) after the shock of the speed camera test link here this am. Take the test, it's very good:

It's just that my wife is never wrong, although sometimes she is not as right as she usually is.

Is that right Hootie and the other ladies here, please?
The gal done good ! - volvoman
Yes Sean at face value it could be a disaster but for the fact that Mrs V. has another very important quality - she knows I'm always right !!
The gal done good ! - sean

One owner, well used......
The gal done good ! - volvoman
Sean - Can you fax me down the service records before I decide ? :-)

What really worries me though is that Mrs V. read your post and asked where you live!!! As if I'd tell her - ignorance is bliss they say don't they!
The gal done good ! - hootie
She chose you Sean how can you quibble with the woman ?

- who believes that flattery will get you anywhere (I find it usually does) ;)

Q - where *are* the other ladies here?
How many lessons did you need ? (Mrs V.) - volvoman
Hi everyone! I am the one who puts up with the Volvoman and it is hard work I can tell you!
I am going to be having driving lessons soon and want to know how many I might need. I know everyone is different but how many lessons did you or your partner need?

So far I have just driven around the local car park a few times with V. This has been OK but I am worried about driving on the road. Is it better to continue practising as we have been until I start my proper lessons or should I ask V. to take me out on the road beforehand?

Thanks for your help :o)
How many lessons did you need ? (Mrs V.) - CM
Hi Mrs V

had a course of ten and managed to pass first time but that was a few years back before this new system they have.
How many lessons did you need ? (Mrs V.) - bugged {P}
hello mrs V,

I think I had about 15-20 and I passed first time,
the instructor took me down a little quiet back road so i could have a go first but you know how to do the gears and pedals and stuff so i bet you'll do fine!!!

Best of luck!!!

How many lessons did you need ? (Mrs V.) - hootie
Hello Mrs V, nice to meet you. Good luck with the driving.

As they boys here know, my daughter (19 next month) is learning to drive. She passed her theory test in May, but has only had some few and far between lessons, as she was living away at school, and I wanted her to learn where we live (and where she will be taking her test) She doesn't know yet whether she will take her test before the new third part of it comes in - which is going to be called something like "Show me, Tell me" - she hopes so.

We had a bad experience with her first driving instructor, and so wrote off that course of lessons (he didn't seem to actually teach her much at all)

The new instructor has given her a leaflet from the DSA, it's called "Safe Driving for Life" and in it, under "How will I know when I'm ready for my test?" it says:

"Learners who pass first time do so because they are well instructed and get plenty of practice......

The pass rate for the practical test is 43%....

Research has shown that, on average, people who take about 40 hours (YES - !!!! - I couldn't quite believe that myself, nice little earner at about £20 an hour!) professional training, combined with plenty of extra practice, stand the best chance of passing their test"

Our daughter has been hampered by not having a car in which to practice yet, and we really don't want her putting in for her test until she is completely ready. Her new instructor seems very nice. Before you choose one - if you haven't got a contact already, try and ask around. I know lots of people who've had to swap and change to get the right one!

At the end of the day it's a big thing to be allowed to go out on your own on the road. You need many more lessons today I think, than when I learnt, and the practical test is much more thorough (takes about 38 - 40 minutes on the road)

There's lots to see and read at

including a forum, and a listing of pass rates around the various test centres - this might be of interest to you.

Safe motoring to you :)

"Appearances can be Deceptive"
How many lessons did you need ? (Mrs V.) - RichardW
I have heard a rule of thumb that says the number of hours instruction required is about twice your age in years. Better of course if you can get lots of experience other than just driving lessons, as this give you better experience of more driving situations.


How many lessons did you need ? (Mrs V.) - volvoman
Hello CM, Bugged, Hootie and Richard. Thanks for the feedback and advice. I hope I don't need 54 hours of tuition to pass my test because that will cost a fortune!

I have found a female instructor who charges £140 for 10 1hr lessons and she has been recommended by a friend so I think I have been quite lucky because Volvoman charges more and hasn't been recommended by anyone! :o)
How many lessons did you need ? (Mrs V.) - Hugo {P}
Hi Mrs V

I found the best way to learn to drive is to have say on or two lessons P/W and get a pal who had passed his test to take you out a few times a week. My mum used to take me out as well but the problem is that she was extremely opinionated on the rights and wrongs on the road - and I'm afraid to say, she was usually wrong, which is no good for a learner.

Get Mr V (He who must obey you) to take you out to practice what the driving instructer (Not Mr V) has taught you. Sorry Volvoman but your thinking, like mine may not be entirely refreshed or up to date.

I think I took about 15 lessons but that is partly because I changed instructers. I passed My second test and am now an IAM member (achieved at 18yrs).

If you can handle the South East, then Paris should be a doddle :-)

Have you done your theory yet??

How many lessons did you need ? (Mrs V.) - volvoman
Hi Hugo - you're right about learning from the instructor so I'm being careful to avoid teaching Mrs V. any of my bad habits and making her aware that the test has changed a lot since I passed.

Anyway today we went to the park and it was full so we decided to try driving on the road. Bite the bullet time I suppose! Anyway, we found a couple of fairly quiet roads and I have to say she did very very well. Didn't take her too long to be able to balance the car on the clutch and pull away on a gentle incline. Eventually we found a nice 'circuit' which meant she could go round a number of times without us having to stop so that I could turn the car around for her. The circuit included a long straight but quite busy residential road, a quieter but narrower one and a short section of a fairly busy road incorporating the dreaded road humps. All in all she did very well with just a few nervy moments and stalling sequences when she panicked a little after stalling at junctions (all of which are to be expected). Although we came across quite a bit of traffic nearly all of the drivers we encountered were very courteous and understanding - either giving way or waiting patiently. There was one idiot on a motorbike who for some reason felt it necessary to toot his horn and add to her stress when my wife stalled at a junction he was approaching even though it made no real difference to him and he could see what had happened well in advance. Well there's always one idiot isn't there ?

So, in conclusion, I feel I have a natural on my hands. She seems to know pretty much where she is on the road and is able to master things quite quickly - she did a very good emergency stop at the first attempt after only the briefest explanation, was able to take all the junctions in gear (as opposed to going round in neutral) and was very attentive to her mirrors throughout, telling me each time she checked. Of course she still needs practice co-ordinating the clutch/accelerator/ handbrake/indicators etc, but after less than 4 hours tuition from me I'm amazed at her progress

I know I'm far from a perfect driver and that there'll be no substitute for proper lessons from an expert but I'd like to think that she'll be able to control the car properly in the not too distant future and then concentrate on the various other issues.
How many lessons did you need ? (Mrs V.) - volvoman
Hello everyone, Mrs V here. Thanks for the advice, it was very helpful and one reason why I decided to try driving on the roads today. I was very nervous, especially driving with Mr V! :o)
I drove for about 45 minutes and managed to use the first 3 gears. The most difficult thing was having to do so many things at the same time. I am going to sit in the car and practice using all of the controls so that next time I go out I don't panic and have to look at the gear stick etc.
Anyway although I was a bit nervous I enjoyed it so watch out if you are in the Orpington area because I will be on the road again soon!!!
How many lessons did you need ? (Mrs V.) - Hugo {P}
Sounds Like you're both doing very well.

Some good practice before she gets her lessons will be a good money saver.

As for the occasional prat - haven't they ever heard of L plates? Maybe Mrs V should have their licence and they should be the ones taking lessons!

Anyway, keep up the good work both of you. Soon Mrs V you'll be driving every day on your own wondering however you managed without a car!


How many lessons did you need ? (Mrs V.) - hootie
Well done you, Mrs V!

If you read the site that I gave you the link for, I can't help but think that it'll do your confidence no end of good.

The test pass rate is 43%, and just look at the competition!!!!

BTW - our new car (September) is coming from Badger's Mount is it? it was billed as the Sevenoaks garage, but it's on the way to Orpington (by pass) I would look out for you, but I think they're delivering it to us.

"Appearances can be Deceptive"
How many lessons did you need ? (Mrs V.) - HisHonour {P}
My wife learned to drive only 10 years ago (she is now 50) and she is probably a better driver than I am. She was incredibly nervous at first until I pointed out that anyone who can drive a sewing machine has the right eye/hand/foot coordination to drive a car. She saw the sense in this but did point out that while sewing she was not faced with various idiots on other sewing machines coming at her at 70 mph!
How many lessons did you need ? (Mrs V.) - volvoman
Thanks Hootie and Hugo etc. Have had a quick look at the site and it looks very interesting. Don't know how much I will use the car if/when I pass my test because I love walking and we don't need to drive that much anymore. We walk to the shops/school etc. and I am just about to go to the gym on foot so I can distract all those sad men who can't seem to resist tooting their horns at every woman they see. Bye for now and thanks again everyone.
How many lessons did you need ? (Mrs V.) - Baskerville
I don't know if my experience is any good to you but I was taught to drive, aged twenty-eight, by my wife, then had two lessons from an instructor before the test. Basically we did what you've done: learned the basic stuff off the road then when I had the hang of it I just drove everywhere we went, including a drive the full length of the A1, minus the A1M bits. In two months I drove several thousand miles. It worked a treat and I think may be a good way of teaching adults since they generally already have road sense, especially if they walk/cycle quite a bit, and a sense of mortality, which is probably even more important.

We practised reverse parks in a more or less empty carpark using a couple of discarded traffic cones instead of someone's car. It might be worth buying a couple of cheap cones to do this with. If you do have only a few official lessons make sure you are familiar with the intructor's car: I failed first time because I was too cautious, not being confident with the car after less than two hours driving it (it was so tight and new, and had five gears and an engine that didn't need nursing...). Cautious is not a word often applied to my driving, so it must have been bad. I had a clear run the second time in our car, even though the (cancellation) test was in a town I'd never even been to before, so I'd do the test in the car you're most familiar with.

By the way, my wife denies she taught me anything, saying that she simply allowed me to experience driving. She knows best.

Good luck.
How many lessons did you need ? (Mrs V.) - volvoman
BTW Hootie, Badgers Mount is just a couple of miles from here and since it's a bit quieter around there I might decide to practice driving there so watch out !!
How many lessons did you need ? (Mrs V.) - topaktas

"the instructor took me down a little quiet back road so I could have a go......."

The gal done good ! - volvoman
Just an update really for those who are interested. Mrs V. never ceases to amaze - after some 10 weeks with no driving whatsoever she gets back into her car yesterday and drives me around as if she'd been taking lessons all the time. Had her first 'proper' lesson today and the instructor was confident enough in her ability to take her on a dual carriageway - apparently she did 55mph. I must say I was expecting her to be a bit rusty and very anxious but she seems a natural really. In total now she's only had about 3 hours with me on the road and 1 hour with an instructor. I really am very proud of her :-)

Value my car