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  #1  
Old 12th February 2011, 06:03
Medea Medea is offline
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Default How old is too old to learn to drive?

I'm not sure I ever will as being in a car with an instructor is pure hell for me. At regular intervals I make myself try again but it is always the same, I do perhaps 2 or 3 lessons and it all becomes to much. I want to be sick before the lesson and usually sleep fitfully the night before. I so wish I'd had the money to do it when I was 17 but my part time job barely paid for me to go the cinema once a week.

Anyway, I'm 30 now, which I know isn't that old, but when should I give up on my off again/on again desire to learn to drive? 40? 50? 60?
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  #2  
Old 12th February 2011, 09:23
LongerTripBackHome LongerTripBackHome is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

My gran learnt to drive in her 60s relatively easily, albeit only with an automatic licence.
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  #3  
Old 12th February 2011, 10:00
raul raul is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

You can learn at any age.I did mine a t 18 but definitely need refreshers (haven't driven for years).The age range at the driving school was somewhere between 18-50,so you are still a spring chicken .
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  #4  
Old 12th February 2011, 10:02
Only_human Only_human is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

I don't think you're ever to old to learn a new skill (and you're ONLY 30!). So obviously as long as you are legally allowed to drive then why not. I think it's important to go at your own pace and not worry about limits of ages or outsiders commenting just go in little steps so it doesn't get overwhelming. Although, I know this is easier said then done when those around us, including the instructors will want to keep pushing you as much as possible. Even if it takes you ten years to achieve it, you'll still achieve it in the end, and even if you don't pass, at least you can say you achieved by trying and therefore gained courage. I haven't started learning yet. I've just applied for my provisional and i'm dreading lessons. But I know it is something i'm going to have to do eventually for my independence because i'm so unconfident using public transport. However, i'm a realist so therefore know it will take me quite some time and i may not eventually even pass but i will try my hardest (even if it means only have lessons here and there at a slow pace and only on my high weeks) so i can say i've tried to achieve something that i fear so much. I probably wouldn't tell anyone as it's my goal not theres and wouldn't want unnecessary pressure.

I hope if you continue at your own pace, you pass and if you can't cope, do what's best for you. It's not something worth stressing about forever.
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  #5  
Old 12th February 2011, 10:17
Phool Phool is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

YaY Medea's first over 30s thread

I learnt in my 20s but didn't pass and gave up. I started again last year aged 36! I have a good instructor from the AA and am hoping to pass this year. I'm learning in am automatic as most cars are automatic these days! Just got my license back from the DVLA who held on to it for 6 months so will apply for my theory test soon.

My advice start now in an automatic and see how you go. Good Luck.
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  #6  
Old 12th February 2011, 10:27
marki marki is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

My advice is forget about the age thing i think it is irrelevant. Dont force yourself to take up lessons again when things are not good for you. Wait for a time when things might be going reasonably well and you have picked up some confidence.
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  #7  
Old 12th February 2011, 11:26
danielv danielv is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

would you feel more comfortable with a friend or family member teaching you in their car? Only thing is you'll have no dual control if you dont go with an instructor
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  #8  
Old 12th February 2011, 12:14
Saritor Saritor is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

I passed when I was 19 after 5 attempts, my hubby pass a few years ago at 34 it took him 3 times to pass.
I do believe it is getting harder in the uk anyway as there is so much more bits to pass and do, I know it is for safety etc.. but theirs just more bits, I can't image them taking any bits away so I guess its going to get harder, but you wouldn't know as you have never passed lol
Saritor
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  #9  
Old 12th February 2011, 12:23
W!llow W!llow is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

I would find it incredibly hard too with an instructor, though eventually I will need to have some lessons I have been learning with my husband as you know, I think once I've reached some basic confidence on the roads I will feel a bit more ready for some professional lessons (I hope ). Money-wise it costs a fortune too, doesn't it. Is there a friend or family member that would be prepared to take you to a quiet area to practise? Obviously someone patient (as some people change personality in a car ) and someone who can give clear instructions.

A couple of times recently I had a little drive all on my own around the school here out of hours because it is private grounds, I've stalled a few times but managed to talk myself through it and get going again, one week I did notice a couple of parked cars and someone was sat in theirs out of hours and so I drove up to the next car park to escape attention but it wasn't as big as I thought which meant I had to reverse out which I haven't really done a lot of, I started going the wrong way, then I stalled, so I went back into the space and worked it out and eventually I did it. Unfortunately I was spotted by the headmaster walking his dog, mid stall, at which point he gestured and asked 'are you o.k?', a bit embarrassing, I just said 'yes, just getting some practise in'. I thought 'I'm going to have to go and get my hubble telescope' a few times but because I was in a quiet place I was able to just talk myself through it and work it out for myself. That did give me a bit more confidence that at least I know even on my own I can work through things -eventually, obviously wouldn't be great on the road still.


How do you find the lessons once you are doing them? Do you feel pleased with yourself after? (I think that is what all that waffle was about - sorry! - despite even with my husband getting nervous about going on the roads I generally tend to feel good after I've done it.) I know I would be a lot more disadvantaged in a different situation because I would have nerves with the person and the driving to contend with.
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  #10  
Old 12th February 2011, 12:44
AxelFendersson AxelFendersson is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

I'm not sure at what age it stops being worth trying, but it's definitely a loooong way off yet. There isn't really a hard cut-off point, your ability to learn new things slowly worsens as you get older (from about 25 onwards) but it does so at different rates with different people.

Is there anyone you know that could teach you, rather than hiring an instructor? It'd be worth having a few professional lessons before your test to make sure you're up to scratch, but until then it would be better to learn with someone you're comfortable with so that you can concentrate on learning the basics of driving without additional sources of stress and anxiety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phool
I'm learning in am automatic as most cars are automatic these days!
When did that happen? I don't know anyone who's ever owned an automatic. I thought it was only in the US that they were prevalent.

Don't learn in an automatic. Learn and take your test in a manual. After that, you can drive automatics if you want, but they aren't nearly ubiquitous enough yet that it isn't worth having the choice.
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  #11  
Old 12th February 2011, 13:05
Mr_Bean Mr_Bean is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

there are people in their 50s that learn to drive and pass I'm told by my driving instructor. So wouldn't worry- just better late than never perhaps.
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  #12  
Old 12th February 2011, 17:21
Phool Phool is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AxelFendersson
When did that happen? I don't know anyone who's ever owned an automatic. I thought it was only in the US that they were prevalent.

Don't learn in an automatic. Learn and take your test in a manual. After that, you can drive automatics if you want, but they aren't nearly ubiquitous enough yet that it isn't worth having the choice.
all my family and friends have automatics. Manuals are really hard to learn in if you have no coordination, so everyone told me to try an automatic and it works for me. One of my best friends passed at 36 in an automatic and the other one who passed in her 20s but had never driven since passing last year took motorway lessons in an automatic and now drives around. Its her instructor that I'm using now.
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  #13  
Old 12th February 2011, 20:47
Cynic Cynic is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Medea
I'm 30 now, which I know isn't that old, but when should I give up on my off again/on again desire to learn to drive? 40? 50? 60?
Only you know the answer to that. There's no hard and fast IMO. Just do what you feel works.
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  #14  
Old 13th February 2011, 00:13
STRING3R STRING3R is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jocasta
A neighbour of mine learned to drive after her husband died. He had always driven and she was totally lost without him.

She passed her full test at the age of 72 and drove her husbands car until she died 11 years later.
That was quite heartwarming
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  #15  
Old 13th February 2011, 00:28
Peasie Peasie is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luco
My brother passed his test at 41only problem he started lessons when he was 30 so it cost him a few quid.
I was 42 when I passed my driving test in an automatic. This hasn't caused me any problems in the 3 years since. I've only driven 8487 miles in the 1250 days I've had my car though. I have put in 1254.18 litres of petrol at a cost of 1326.99.
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  #16  
Old 13th February 2011, 09:47
raul raul is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phool
YaY Medea's first over 30s thread

I learnt in my 20s but didn't pass and gave up. I started again last year aged 36! I have a good instructor from the AA and am hoping to pass this year. I'm learning in am automatic as most cars are automatic these days! Just got my license back from the DVLA who held on to it for 6 months so will apply for my theory test soon.

My advice start now in an automatic and see how you go. Good Luck.
The AA !! I also did it with the AA.I thought it was the best due to the name but changed my mind afterwards,albeit this was in a different country .The guys were "asking" for money(read bribe) so as the examiners would go easy on you if you failed.It was a very corrupt system and a lot of people used to buy their way through.The instructors would buy off the examiner(was actually a police inspector) and keep half the money but obviously never told you the latter.I told him that i would do it without paying out and would repeat if i failed.That was funny as i was only 18 and he about 50 and their i was stamping down my foot with authority He thought i was an easy target since light skin always translated to $$$$.I had paid for 30 lessons and was not about to part with bribes.I did the test and passed,and the police inspector even asked me to bail out 2 other guys that got stuck during the exam (was a bit scared i would fail if i was unable to sort out their mess) .Surprisingly,some guys who had paid up failed as they did not even bother with the theory,so the officer thought passing them would be a hazard to other road users hehe.

I miss those times .
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  #17  
Old 14th February 2011, 05:30
Medea Medea is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

Thanks for replying people! Unfortunately my husband is the only person I know who could take me out on the road and he finds it too anxiety inducing. My mum never learnt to drive and I think that's had a bit knock on effect on me. I'm off on holiday in a few hours, just wish it was me driving!
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  #18  
Old 14th February 2011, 08:30
W!llow W!llow is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

It is quite a responsibility and if you both suffer anxiety I can understand that. If you are getting any positive effects like feeling you have achieved something (bearing in mind some weeks will feel better than others) after I would try to stick with it Ren if there is part of you that wants to be able to drive, I know it must be incredibly tough.

Have a great holiday!
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  #19  
Old 17th February 2011, 21:51
Medea Medea is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

Thanks Willow, I had a lovely holiday, shame it had to end. As ever it would have helped had I been able to drive! Ah well.
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  #20  
Old 20th February 2011, 21:18
tortoiseshell tortoiseshell is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

I've booked for Advanced Driving Lessons after driving for 21 years. I'm doing it because i've always loved driving and its always been one of the things i'm not nervous about. But, i know that when i get in the car for the first lesson it will be like my first driving lesson all those years ago - nerve wrecking.
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  #21  
Old 20th February 2011, 21:39
mattty mattty is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by W!llow
It is quite a responsibility and if you both suffer anxiety I can understand that. If you are getting any positive effects like feeling you have achieved something (bearing in mind some weeks will feel better than others) after I would try to stick with it Ren if there is part of you that wants to be able to drive, I know it must be incredibly tough.

Have a great holiday!
Learning to drive when you have anxiety is hard, it takes time and perseverence. But the sense of achievement you get when you pass is worth it all.
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  #22  
Old 20th February 2011, 21:43
Cynic Cynic is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneM
I've booked for Advanced Driving Lessons
What exactly, are 'Advanced Driving Lessons', and what purpose would they serve?

Is it similar to the Pass Plus that people talk about?
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  #23  
Old 21st February 2011, 08:50
tortoiseshell tortoiseshell is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

I'm doing it to improve my parking skills, although i love driving on the roads when it comes to parking inbetween 2 parked cars i takes me a few times to get it right or i end up giving up because i might be keeping someone waiting so i want to overcome this. Also they teach you to be a much confident, safer driver. (I also might have a few bad habits that i've picked up that i want sorting).
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  #24  
Old 3rd January 2012, 19:45
neilm neilm is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

An ex girlfriend of mine passed her test when she was 30 and my mother didnt get a licence until she was 45ish so its not as unusual as people might think.

And Ime sure I read somewhere that actor Michael Caine didnt learn to drive until he was getting on for 50.
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  #25  
Old 3rd January 2012, 19:48
Cynic Cynic is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

Then there are those of us who passed our test at 20, but at almost 38 still haven't started driving so far.
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  #26  
Old 13th January 2012, 03:37
Shyman Shyman is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

I passed at 35, it was almost 2 years after that I got a car and have been driving just over a year now. It took a while to get used to just going out and getting in it but I love driving now and wish I'd got round to it sooner.
It was my mum that got me started with a BSM pack from tesco points, after the 6 hours from that I stopped for a while but when I started again I wanted to see it through and took 3 attempts to pass.
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  #27  
Old 13th January 2012, 06:40
beetlejuice beetlejuice is offline
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I passed at about age 27 I think. First time on both theory and test (although no idea how I managed that one!)
Couldn't be without driving now especially as I've moved from a small town (which u could walk to all the shops/train station etc) to a bigger town in which to get anywhere you need a car to make things easier.
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  #28  
Old 15th January 2012, 19:44
Lord Lucan Lord Lucan is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

My neighbour passed her test when in her late fifties. It's never too old.
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  #29  
Old 31st January 2012, 02:11
mhealer3 mhealer3 is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

don't give up!
i think you are doing it perfectly: a few lessons @ a time.
that's assuming u don't wait too long between lessons--(not more than a month or 2).
i mean, as long as you are retaining the info from each lesson,
you will eventually succeed in getting your license.

don't forget that as you get used to driving, it will be less & less scary.

my aunt learned at age 55, but she took her time because she was very anxious.

if you can, try some hypno-therapy.
also there are 'virtual driving' interactive things that are used here.
best wishes. i will pray 4 u.
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  #30  
Old 31st January 2012, 07:55
diplodocus diplodocus is offline
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Default Re: How old is too old to learn to drive?

As long as you are physically capable then I don't think there is an age limit as long as you have the motivation and desire.
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