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My first lessons were with my dad in his mk1 Mondeo Verona company car, shortly afterwards he left that job and didn't want to put me on his insurance now he had to pay for it.

Had a few lessons with a chap called Brian in a Corsa B but lost interest

Started again with a workmate known as Pugsley who was learning to be an instructor with a Corsa C and occasionally his dads Corsa B

Moved away and gave up for a bit

Bought a F reg Tipo and was vaguely taught by then girlfriend but didn't need to pay much attention to her, never quite got around to booking test.

Eventually passed in a P reg Clio 1.2 just before my 24th birthday.

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My instructor was a Fireman who taught driving part time. He taught my sister who passed first time then me who passed second time in his mk3 fiesta.
My dad had also been teaching us in minis he had bought us, my sister had a white mini 850 HUF404V she drove it for a year and a half before upgrading to a metro. I got a bright yellow mini 850 with bright blue flowered heavily perfumed household carpet stuck in.
About a month after passing my test I swapped into 'HUF' as she was known and my sister traded in the yellow mini for the metro. Sis had lost faith in HUF as she was always in a huff and breaking down randomly and then the gearbox went and a new engine was stuck in, a 1 litre from a metro van which at first had the small issues you get with an engine install, bad earths, leaking exhaust etc at which point she bailed on it and I took it over.


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My instructor was a Fireman who taught driving part time. He taught my sister who passed first time then me who passed second time in his mk3 fiesta.
My dad had also been teaching us in minis he had bought us, my sister had a white mini 850 HUF404V she drove it for a year and a half before upgrading to a metro. I got a bright yellow mini 850 with bright blue flowered heavily perfumed household carpet stuck in.
About a month after passing my test I swapped into 'HUF' as she was known and my sister traded in the yellow mini for the metro. Sis had lost faith in HUF as she was always in a huff and breaking down randomly and then the gearbox went and a new engine was stuck in, a 1 litre from a metro van which at first had the small issues you get with an engine install, bad earths, leaking exhaust etc at which point she bailed on it and I took it over.


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1979 / 80 

My dad had a Cortina 1973 2.0 XL in daytona yellow which I had a few drives in. Mainly I learnt in BSM's 1300 Dolomites. I understand they had a special version with a heavy flywheel as well as the dual controls. I remember making the tyres squeal as I turned right to get through before the lights turned red - my instructor said I was ready for my test but I think she was really ready to stop teaching me. 

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My mum’s red Bx 1.9 TGD that looked very like the one in the AS logo above. This was in 1999 and whilst less than 10 years old then was very much chod.    It kept getting blocked sun roof drains and would fill with water, this was “solved” by taking the tubes for the drains and routing them into two coke bottles in the boot. The fuel cut off solenoid also failed and for a time and wouldn’t stop on the ignition so you had to stall it to cut the engine.

It ended up doing over 250,000 miles before it got flogged to a bloke with a horse box who wanted an occasional tow car. I believe it died soon afterwards

Many fond memories of bombing about in the thing in my late teens

I actually passed in my Instructors mk4 fiesta ghia with lots of tasteful* plastic wood.

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The first car I remember actually driving would have been Fatha_Sterling's AE92 Corolla hatch like this one:

1990_Toyota_Corolla_(AE92)_CS_Limited_5-door_hatchback_(2015-06-15)_01.thumb.jpg.c36c77f96fa2de95ec1ce04aedbfb088.jpg

1990_Toyota_Corolla_(AE92)_CS_Limited_5-door_hatchback_(2015-06-15)_02.thumb.jpg.9e032ea8dc2f10f01fba2a14b6b32634.jpg

My uncle had a company Chrysler Neon, highest spec with leather etc...

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I remember thinking it'd be a perfect car for me ?

In the meantime, Fatha_Sterling ended up with a 1988 Honda Integra auto like this one:

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As it was an auto, I drove it quite a few times thus getting used to the roads in Brussels.

During my learning years; my first proper set of lessons paid for by Ma_Sterling started with an instructors K11 Micra exactly like this;

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How ironic.

Life got in the way and we ended up back in Telford for a while, I also briefly spent a bit if time back in Brussels.

I finally arrived back in England and resumed living with Ma_Sterling. Ma then offered me some driving lessons, I was about 20 at the time and loved cars, my first resumed lessons were with a brummy instructor called Ceri in a Fiesta similar to this:

2003-Ford-Fiesta-14Tdci-Zetec-5Dr-Met-Blue.jpg.e0fe58f8d535508a5c6789380ee9a7f7.jpg

Just as I was getting used to the Fiesta, my instructor Ceri then went and bought a then-new Fiat Punto which I had to get used to again and eventually I passed my test on the first try:

Used_Fiat_Punto_2003_Blue_Hatchback_Petrol_Manual_for_Sale_in_West_Yorkshire_UK.jpg.3b8f78782c2e9e778532d4a1848ef701.jpg

Upon passing, the first car I drove was Ma_Sterling's infamous Blue K11 Micra which is still with us today;

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First trip I ever did in it on my own was from Selly Oak to Halesowen and back! Not very far but I remember it like it was yesterday. 

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I learned in a blue Peugeot 206.  Passed back when I was 18 in 2006 with a chap called Basil Johnson.  Fantastic instructor and I believe he's still teaching.  He put up with me and I was a properly crap learner.  Dad took me out in the Ka, which was my brother's car having been passed to him from Dad and subsequently became my first car.

My Dad learned in London in about 81.  He was a junior doctor at the time and failed his second test by falling asleep on the wheel of the Metro at a set of traffic lights after a 72-hour shift (that is now illegal...).  He was asked politely to drive back to the test centre by the somewhat nonplussed examiner, apparently.

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I learned to drive in a second gen Hyundai Accent 1.3. Instructor was very good but the car pretty crap. I remember third gear being particularly tired and the car was particularly boaty. Doesn't really matter though. I passed first time. I don't quite know why the instructor kept saying he needed to get the clutch cable adjusted to fix the dodgy gearshift. I think he was trying to convince himself above all. I still see him around sometime. He has upgraded to much newer Hyundais.

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1 hour ago, GrumpiusMaximus said:

I learned in a blue Peugeot 206.  Passed back when I was 18 in 2006 with a chap called Basil Johnson.  Fantastic instructor and I believe he's still teaching.  He put up with me and I was a properly crap learner.  Dad took me out in the Ka, which was my brother's car having been passed to him from Dad and subsequently became my first car.

My Dad learned in London in about 81.  He was a junior doctor at the time and failed his second test by falling asleep on the wheel of the Metro at a set of traffic lights after a 72-hour shift (that is now illegal...).  He was asked politely to drive back to the test centre by the somewhat nonplussed examiner, apparently.

+1 recommend Basil johnson for anyone in Gravesend/dartford area wanting to drive. He was my second tutor

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At 14 my Saturday job was working in the local garage.Never allowed to move cars about however, on Sundays I helped out at a chicken farm. Used to mow the grass and generally tidy the place . There was a big barn with bales of woodchip flakes that I would spread on the floors of the chicken sheds. A really battered Mini-van with no rear doors was used around the farm to transport these bales. One day the farmer chucked me the keys saying something like "there you go,boy, fetch some bales for shed five will yer" Did that for about a year trundling around the farm every Sunday never getting out of second gear. My mum learned clutch control and spacial awareness in a Moggy traveller in our orchard. As a latch-key kid I did too when nobody was home.

Learnt to drive proper in a driving school Fiesta Mk1 . My instructor put me in for my test early as I already knew the basics. Failed first attempt but when I got the date for my second test the instructor had a brand spanking new A.reg  Fiesta Mk2 popular plus in dark brown. Had two more lessons then one right before the test. The instructor was great he told me I knew how to pass the test so now he was going to teach me how to drive. We ended up racing a Hillman Imp with three lads in it half an hour before my test. In a learner car !!! 

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Only just passed the driving test in February so everything’s very recent:

Probably my first experience was one of those off roading sessions in a Range Rover Evoque when I was 14. It was automatic so no clutch to worry about and I don’t think I ever got to go over 20mph in it. Still cool though.

I then did a few young driver experience things that Admiral do. Two hour long sessions in Skoda Citigos. Really fun to drive little things, although I did scare my instructor by almost taking the wing mirror off when overtaking a parked car. For my final session they moved over to Vauxhall Corsas. Perfectly adequate but nothing special to drive. The instructor I had for that session kept on telling me how he preferred Fords and how his driving school used Fiesta STs and that, not that I was in the area to learn with him sadly.

When I turned 17 I learned to drive initially in a 2016 Ford Focus. It was the instructors daily car that he did lessons in. He said he wanted to replace it with the new Focus but they were too expensive with the dual controls in. He eventually did replace it with a 2018 Volkswagen Golf which was a joy to drive, although probably only because it was brand new. The instructor was the kind of guy who said he’d never grab the steering wheel... and proceeds to always slam on the brakes. He was a nice guy but I didn’t like his teachings style and soon moved over to another instructor.

She had a 2017 Citroen DS3 (probably one of the last Citroen branded ones) and it was a pretty nice car to drive. I also learned quite a bit in my very own 2011 Citroen C1 with my grandad so in comparison the DS3 felt huge and much more advanced... but I still preferred driving my car. Did the test in the DS3 and everything went ok (god knows how). Afterwards, she asked me where we went on it so she knew the route and I was so busy concentrating on what I was doing I had absolutely no idea where we went! 

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  • 1 year later...
On 20/10/2019 at 08:56, MiniMort said:

Afterwards, she asked me where we went on it so she knew the route and I was so busy concentrating on what I was doing I had absolutely no idea where we went! 

im glad thats not just me then! its like that for most lessons for me LOL

I really dont recommend learning to drive (or living!) in Central(ish) London

ah well, hopefully at some point before the world ends I can pass and get my licence finally!

can very much say the FoD driving experiences really do help tho :) 

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First car I drove and indeed the first after passing my test was my Dad’s Princess 1.7HL HSP30W. He also took me out in a borrowed Mk3 Escort 1.3GL in which I bloody nearly had my first accident. 
My instructor Eddie Lyall had a new W plate Mk3 Escort 1.1L. 

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On my 17th birthday I drove the 7 miles to school in Dad’s Riley 1.5. Handily, his commute went past my school gate. Getting to school nearly an hour early didn’t seem to matter. After a few weeks the Riley started pinking badly: it had run out of water, the head gasket failed. It was fixed* by finding out which cylinder had the leak (by looking at the sparking plugs) and removing the pushrods for that cylinder. This stopped cylinder pressure from blowing coolant out and learning continued on 3 cylinders.

Mum had a Mk1 Transit and I got to do lots of miles, driving her around for her businesss, whilst she dozed and I learned.

After a few months the1.5’s  mot was gone without hope and £25 worth of (Farina) Riley 4/72 ( which felt very soggy and vague) got my L plates. This was the car I eventually took my test in. But before the test I had half a dozen lessons with “Dirty Dougie” in his decrepit blue/gray (what was that colour called?) Mk1 Escort1100. This foetid old geezer never stopped smoking, never stopped talking about his young female students and “ how they paid for their lessons” and just let me drive around without comment or advice.

Anyway, I passed the test first go, driving the Riley 4/72. A fuse blew stopping the wipers and indicators from working and  then I got quite a bit sideways during the emergency stop. 
I got a lot more sideways later that day, taking a couple of mates for a celebratory “spin”. There is a lot to be said for cross-ply remoulds, these dramas happen at such low speeds...

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On my 17th Birthday I drove a 1 year old base model 1.6 Sierra estate in beige with dangly mirrors from L37 (Mersey side) to Coniston.  Where the family climbed the Old Man and my old man drove home.  It was the first time I'd driven a car, but not the first time with an vehicle. 

I had ridden a moped, there up the A6 the previous summer on my own, so u knew the way.  It was alot quicker. I'd already passed my moped test about 10 months previously.  And my parents just assumed I would be fine.  I was bloody knackered by the time we got there.  

 

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Bit convoluted

I learnt how to drive aged about 12 on a small tractor in the walled garden next to my house (my dad was the head gardener). I used to mow the lawns at the big house on the estate on it so I had been driving for years by the time I was 17. 

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Around the age of 16 I acquired the Land Rover I have now (my dads old one). Me and all my college mates used to 'learn' in it in the orchard and field next to my house. By learn I mean piss about doing wheel spins, donuts etc, and eventually land rover surfing and using it to tow tyres attached to ropes for us to sit in, like you might do in the sea on holiday only with more nettles, thistles and sheep shit.

I learnt to drive in my instructors then state of the art 1993 Nissan Micra. Unfortunately the thing shat its gearbox the day of my test so I had to do the test in my Mum and Dad's 1.3 Vauxhall Astra Estate. I remember the instructor asking me if it was a diesel (it wasn't) it just had a knackered camshaft. I passed my test, despite hitting a kerb.

 My motorcycle test was just as chaotic. I had an extended lesson about an hour before the test and lost my instructor in Shrewsbury town centre. I then had to make my own way to the test centre which I found by working my way out to the bypass and riding around it until I saw the sign. My instructor was very relieved to see me and the CB 500 in one piece (and not one big flat piece either). In the test I lost my instructor on the bypass so he probably only witnessed about 15 or 20 minutes of my piss poor riding. Again I passed first time. 

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Bit like me! My secondary school in Kent had a Car Club, where we built our own car based on a scrapped Morris 8. So a group of us had been driving around the schools playing field for 3-4 years before going on the road. It was a big advantage knowing the car, then learning  "roadcraft" separately.  Passed my test at 17 years 1 month :grin:

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10 minutes ago, bobdisk said:

Bit like me! My secondary school in Kent had a Car Club, where we built our own car based on a scrapped Morris 8. So a group of us had been driving around the schools playing field for 3-4 years before going on the road. It was a big advantage knowing the car, then learning  "roadcraft" separately.  Passed my test at 17 years 1 month :grin:

I can't imagine being allowed to do stuff like that these days. Someone would do a risk assessment and (justifiably) shit a lung at the prospect of letting a load of teenagers loose on the school field. 

Mind you back in the day (1990ish) our school minibus had a knackered back door so the last student in had to hold it shut with a piece of baler twine when we used to go anywhere. 

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Five  lessons when I was 17 with a chap called Graham from BSM. He had Corsa D 1.2 and wouldn’t let me set off using the throttle, just the clutch. This might work with some diesels but it sure as heck didn’t work with a N/A 1.2 petrol in a (by this generation) very, very heavy hatchback! 
 

Uphill entries onto main roads were a nightmare, even with some modicum of clutch control already (thanks to my Uncle, his field, and his L200), but he said “no, can’t teach you with the throttle, it’s not economical, and there’s an eco section to the practical test that you need to pass”. Overall he just wasn’t an encouraging guy, put me off, and his methods didn’t make sense - I.E a steep old road near my house (Red Lane, south of Warrington, if anyone cares) which I knew full well was a 2nd or possibly 3rd gear descent on a 20mph limit, and he forced me to drive down it in 4th. No engine braking effect at all, and an unsafe thing to teach a learner who might not know any better. Luckily being a petrolhead and having a dad who drove ‘properly’ going down the gears and suchlike, I knew I didn’t want to be taught like this and binned him off once I’d used up the lessons I had (regrettably) paid in advance. 
 

Did the rest of Sixth form, and the day after my final exam my dad took me out in his Seicento (bought 2 months earlier from our mechanic after the family Corsa C exploded) and proceeded to teach/supervise me twice a week in the evenings, bombing around the town and up and down the A49 to Weaverham and back once a week. Did that for about six weeks and then we went for the annual camping trip to the Lakes - dad decided that I’d drive the entire week, he gave me the keys and except for one episode with a DAF LF box van on a backroad (requiring a record breaking 1 mile reverse by my dad) I drove the whole time. Knackered by the end of it, mind, but my hill starts were flawless afterwards! The little Fiat did well considering the abuse we gave it, although I did have to wear soft shoes for the first 2 weeks due to the weird throttle placement - imagine a position somewhere near your left kneecap and you won’t be far wrong.
 

Passed first time after a total of 6 months of learning like that, ended up taking the test in Macclesfield (where I’d never even visited before) because the waiting list was 2 weeks instead of the 3 months I’d have to wait at my local. Best bit was, got the refund on the remaining 6 months of cover for me on the insurance so it only cost £70+whatever all the petrol cost! 

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A Seat Malaga 1.2 hatchback. I had completely forgotten about it being the hatchback variant, or indeed the hatchback variant existing at all, until last year. It was a while ago now...

do remember stepping on a dog turd as I was getting into the car once, and getting it on the carpet. Instructor wasn't too impressed with that... 😳

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Learnt in an early 00’s Bini, was fine. No complaints - can’t remember much about learning bar my first lesson where the instructor couldn’t understand how I was so good at clutch control.. I never told anyone I used to take the keys for the B reg Sierra Ghia we used to have and take myself for a run up the cul-de-sac when I was about 14! 

First car was an L reg Citroen AX in a weird Matt brown/red colour. Paid £120 for it from a chap on camp at RAF Marham. One driveshaft was absolutely shot and the crank seal was shagged. Main thing I remember about the first day or two of driving was how ever was I going to be able to change cassette whilst driving, I kept missing the hole as I couldn’t take my eyes off the road. 😂
 

Ran it for probably 2 months then upgraded to a 1.4 Mk3 Astra, I couldn’t believe I had an electric retractable aerial. 

 

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