After an unexpectedly hectic November I am finally back to write another wonderful post & this time I am back with AHHH Mazing News!! So if you have guessed from the title of today’s post, I’ve passed my full drivers licence!! Drivers Be Aware….!
Little bit of background story…
I passed my Theory Test on Friday the 13th of September 2013. I got a job that required me to drive to, so my licence, job & new car all happened within one week. Whirlwind isn’t even the word.
My first time alone going down the N7 reminded me of Cameron Diaz driving a car in the movie “The Holiday” – an utter sheer and panic.
Once I got over the initial fear of rolling backwards and the embarrassment of cutting out while trying to do an uphill start, I got the hang of the road. (Mind you, prior to this I drove in the US for almost a year in an automatic transmission – this allowed me to get the sense of space and size of the car)
I continued to drive on Provisional Licence for the next 4 years in Ireland on manual transmission until I decided I won’t let the insurance company rip me off once more & I decided to apply for my full licence.
How To Apply
You can apply for your Full Licence Test on http://www.rsa.ie – Their website is full of valuable information with regards to what you will need before & after you apply. The test costs €80.00. During the booking process it will allow you to put in any dates you are unavailable to take the test i.e. for example I work Monday – Friday therefore I could only do my test on a Saturday. You will not receive a test date until all 12 lessons are completed & logged online by your instructor.
If you recently got your Provisional Licence you must wait minimum of 6 months before you can apply to do your full licence, as this is the guideline time to let you get comfortable on the road.
In order to receive a test date you must also complete a 12 driving lessons, it’s called Essential Driver Training (EDT) by Approved Driving Instructor (ADI). You can find your nearby ADI on the RSA Website also.
After each lesson the ADI will fill out your logbook (you will receive this book during your first lesson) sign it and then proceed to log it into the online database. Once the 12th lesson has been logged by the ADI online your Test Date will be emailed to you.
The test is very straight forward. It lasts for approximately 40 minutes – between the verbal & driving part. At the beginning of the test the Instructor will ask you about some rules of the road and road signs; He will then proceed to bring you outside and ask you to show him under the bonnet of the car and the signal lights in your car as well as secondary signals inside the car (such as how to de-fog your back window, your hazard lights etc.).
You will then proceed with the test, apart from your regular driving you will be required to do a 3 point turn & reverse the car around the corner.
Whatever you do stay calm, collected and do your thing. What they are actually looking for is not perfection, it is to simply follow the rules of the road they have set out. Concentrate on the road, not on the examiner and whatever you do is think safety – i.e. if I do this maneuver will this be a safe road practice? Can I stop here? Will I have enough time to stop etc. It is really that simple.
Clane Driving Academy
I found my driving instructor James via the ADI section on RSA Website. Turns out James is a good family friend and gave my husband few lessons back in the day so it was a perfect match! I have previously done 3 lessons with another instructor when I first started driving in Ireland, so I only needed 9 to complete the training and be able to do the exam.
James was super friendly and patient, even when I asked stupid questions. I’m not going to lie, there were few blonde moments! Before each lesson James discussed what area we will cover and what’s expected of me as a driver. For someone who doesn’t use indicators very much and has a major road range (I’m talking about myself here) James was able to tame me and calm me down a little haha.
Once my lessons were completed & logged online I got my test date – 25th of November! I thought I was going to vomit with the nerves. Something you should know about me – I have never ever failed any test or exam in my life, nor have I had to sit a repeat therefore my “good name” was at stake here and cheating wasn’t an option. (And the fact that I HAD to prove to my husband I was a good driver haha!)
I rang James and he immediately booked me in for an hour before my test to go through everything one last time.
I won’t dwell on it much more, safe to say I have passed the test and I am 100% sure I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for James. He was friendly, we had the chats – he treated me as a friend not as a client and that really put me at ease of asking questions and making mistakes. James also recently got an award for a Driving Instructor of the Year which really proves he’s the best at what he does.
I’d highly recommend his services – for a one man show he has an amazing reputation. You can find out more on his Facebook Page.
Thinking about it now, I have no idea as to why I waited so long to do my full test. I guess some people are mentally “ready” before, however I was happy with the way things were. If I can give one final piece of advise is not to wait too long to do your test, otherwise you will inherit a lot of bad driving habits like me and it will make it that much harder to pass your test.
This is not a sponsored post, I’m very happy to simply recommend James’ services for other learner drivers out there.