Since moving to Ramsgate and experiencing the transport down here, being a Londoner you start to miss TFL. It may be expensive and be the centre of arguments and strikes, but TFL is a great transport network that has everything you need to get you from A to B in the busy capital. I’ll have been here in Ramsgate a year on the 5th of June and in that time I’ve grown a love/hate relationship with the buses around here. They’re just a joke. And to top it off most of the young families down here don’t drive, so to transport their endless brood they get the bus and as space is limited that stops most families getting on a bus.
Thanet has a good bus network if you’re a single traveller, but as a parent I struggle with the limited space available for my buggy, recently having to opt for the car seat in frame to transport Emily around. That annoys me. So many pram manufacturers these days build their prams like spaceships and with that comes the army of mothers fighting over bus parking space. Because of this, amongst a lot of other things, I’ve decided to do my driving lessons. About bloody time too! I’m 31 and really I should have learnt to drive years ago. It’s something everyone should just, learn. It’s a skill that’s needed especially when you have a family. Maybe not so much in London because the transport links are so good but in places like here in Ramsgate, it’s vital.
According to Confused.com, the cost of learning to drive stands at roughly £774. But that’s on the basis of doing 22 lessons, 2 theory tests and 2 practical tests. Each person is different and pass time can be less or more.
According to the Safer Driving for Life website, here’s a quick checklist to see if you can learn to drive a car:
- You must be 17 years old.*
- You must hold a provisional licence for Great Britain or Northern Ireland.
- You must be able to read a new-style number plate from 20 metres away (with glasses or contact lenses if you need them, as long as you always wear them when you’re driving).
- You must make sure any vehicle you drive is roadworthy and properly taxed and insured.
- Make sure you display L plates; you must display L plates on the front and rear of the vehicle where they can be clearly seen when you’re driving (L or D plates in Wales).
- You must be accompanied by a qualified driver who is over 21 and has held (still holds) a full car driving licence for at least three years – we’d recommend you have most of your lessons with an approved driving instructor.
*16 if you receive disability living allowance at the higher rate.
It’s important to have a good instructor and a great relationship with them. My instructor Jim was a referred to me through a friend and he’s excellent. We get on really well, which helps. Our relationship succeeds over the horror stories I’ve heard from friends with their instructors. It’s very important to find a good instructor and practice makes perfect, so if you find a good deal but something doesn’t feel right, don’t just settle, find the right person, it will make all the difference. If you’re in Ramsgate and looking for a driver, check out Jim Cole, he’s really quite something. I love doing my lessons, I’m on my 5th tomorrow and really look forward to every lesson every week. I can’t wait to drive. All those nerves I had before are something of the past, something that didn’t need to happen ever and stop me from wanting to do my lessons.
Learning to drive can take a minimum of 30 hours and is expensive to do and it’s really important to find a great instructor.
- Always go with recommendations or look online and check out other peoples reviews.
- Find an instructor that fits your needs.
- Don’t settle for cheap because they’re cheap, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good.
- Most instructors offer the first lesson or 5 lessons for a great deal before booking an entire course with them.
- Your first lesson with whoever you learn to drive with will be daunting but it’s good to know that each instructor has a different specialist teaching technique that will differ to others.