Nicola Hamilton27 September 2013

TG learns to drive – the theory test

Our intrepid staffer is learning to drive – quickly – and has just taken her theory test…

So the basics are done - I've taken my theory test - and the good news is...

I passed. Which sounds simple, but considering the amount of pressure I felt, is nothing short of extraordinary. 

It's all coming together mind you: I know when I'm allowed to toot my horn. I know the difference between a 'clearway' and an 'urban clearway' (it's disappointingly dull). And, I know triangles are warnings, circles are orders and playing Ruzzle when driving is BAD. Pretty simple when you've done the revision.

However, I fear my perception of hazards may differ from others. I was very trigger-happy with my mouse on the Hazard Perception Test - I clicked when I saw a bird take flight - and I nearly failed the whole thing because of it. What will I be like on the mean streets of London? In an actual real-life car? Have you seen the pigeons in this city?

It's not all scary stuff though. I was reassured by the ages of my fellow candidates in the icy cold examination room because, as it turned out, there was a pretty good mix. On my left sat a terrified young man who, I hope, is at the beginning of quite a long learning period. 

On my right was a middle-aged lady dressed to kill. Some sort of examination power-dressing. To my relief, I wasn't the eldest person in the room; what felt like a whole century older than the youngest, but I definitely was not the oldest. It stands to reason: learning to drive is time consuming, not to mention expensive, so it's hardly surprising that life gets in the way for many people. The benefit of age means that I have been a passenger in more vehicles than a pubescent though, so surely this gives me an advantage...

So what's next? Well, obviously, it's training, and then The Big One. So I'll book my practical test and put all this theory to good use. I'm hoping the waiting lists aren't too long.

By the way, do you know the difference between a Toucan and a Pelican crossing? A few of the Top Gear team have been trying the online mock tests, with some interesting results...

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