Learning to drive at university is possible…meaning you can graduate with a driving license AND a degree!

Completing your A levels and applying for university are achievements in themselves when you’re 17 to 19 years old. So how come the added pressure of learning to drive is put on us too?

While some people are lucky enough to be bought driving lessons, taught to drive by their parents, or even treated to their own car from the age of 17, the option of facing the wheel so early on isn’t available to everyone.

I, for one, despite having a part-time job, had neither the time, money nor confidence to set foot in the driver’s seat during sixth form. I therefore waited until joining university before doing the dreaded deed.

My decision to learn to drive at university was motivated by four things:

  • I had a lot of spare time during my first year of university and wanted to fill it with something productive.
  • The prospect of having a loan excited me and I wanted to spend it on something worthwhile rather than clothes.
  • I (for some reason) felt I was letting my parents down by having not passed my test before university and wanted to surprise them by learning away from home.
  • I dreaded the thought of graduating and having to find time alongside a graduate job to learn.

At first, I was stuck with knowing where to look for a driving instructor in Reading. I didn’t know the area, my new friends had either learnt how to drive already or didn’t know any companies to recommend in the area, and I wasn’t part of any Reading community Facebook pages.

Consequently, I used Yell to search for instructors for nervous learners and found the perfect answer.

My lessons cost £28 per hour (I had one a week) and started and finished from my university accommodation. My driving instructor was extremely flexible with timings and worked with me to fit my lessons around my studies.

Driving around Reading was at first terrifying, with my driving instructor reassuring(?) me that if I “can drive around Reading, you can drive anywhere”. However, my instructor’s patient guidance and confidence-building agenda got me well on my way to becoming a safe driver.

It took me until the start of my third year at university to pass my test, factoring in holidays and time at home, however learning to drive at university is something I’ll never regret.

Why give yourself the pressure of learning to drive in just over a year during sixth form when you have three years+ to build your confidence on the road at university?

Written by Taz Usher

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