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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 29 March, 2020

We asked you to share your driving test nightmares, and here are the most toe-curling ones

You told us how you stayed as cool as a cucumber during your driving test.

THIS MONTH, IN association with Sprite Cucumber, we’re celebrating all the times you stayed as cool as a cucumber. No matter what was happening around you. We want to hear your most amusing disaster stories – and we’ll be sharing the best ones.

Driving test; two words guaranteed to strike fear in the hearts of many.

driving test

It didn’t matter how many Novenas your mother might have done in anticipation of the big day because – when it came to the crunch – it was just you, one Miraculous Medal and two excessively sweaty hands.

Oh, and your tester, of course.

Christ, the stress of it would be enough to knock you sideways, and that’s when it’s going well, so managing to keep your cool when it’s rapidly going downhill takes some serious composure.

So, painful and all as it was for you to re-live your test and toe-curling as it was for us to hear about it, sharing the experience really was for the greater good, we promise.

Without further ado, here are the most godawful driving test experiences we’ve ever heard of.

1. When your mind is on contractions, not three-point turns.

I had a heavily pregnant driving tester who upon returning to the office commented that I was a tad overcautious during the test. I had a two fold reply, one – well I was driving a heavily pregnant person and two – I darn near crapped myself when you directed me to drive towards the hospital. She didn’t cite me for my over cautious driving and passed me.
2. When you just presume you’ve failed from the get-go.
Got in the car, drove off, realised I was doing about 39 miles an hour and immediately thought I’d failed for exceeding the speed limit. Totally relaxed me as I just assumed I was buggered. Passed the test so I went back and checked the road. It has a 40 mile an hour limit.

3. There’s stressful and then there’s this.

I was feeling pretty confident until the clutch fell out of the car I was due to take my test in, as I was driving in to the centre. In a mad stroke of luck another friend living nearby was home and kindly lent me her car. The problem was that it was a much smaller engine size to the car I’d been practising in and I wasn’t experienced enough to figure out how to get the clutch/accelerator action right. Flash forward to me cutting out at least fifty times during the test, and also racing through two orange lights in a bid to try and get the car into third gear to show the examiner I knew how to actually use it. I have never sweated or sworn so much in such a short space of time. I think I may also have nearly knocked down a small child. By the time we got back to the centre I was a vibrating ball of panic and as the examiner uttered those infamous words “I’m afraid it’s not good news” I was so stressed out I started weeping uncontrollably, so hard so that he kindly let me out the fire escape door so I wouldn’t have to walk out past the other unfortunate souls waiting for their tests in the lobby.
4.When you start spiralling.
I was driving on a cobbled street and started seriously panicking because I thought there was something wrong with the car.

5. The left, always the left in Ireland.

Got in the car, and as I’m pulling out of the test centre I try to calm my nerves by thinking ‘Just stay on the right side of the road, you’ll be grand.’ So, I did. Unfortunately, we drive on the left in Ireland. Got back to the test centre no more than five minutes later having not done any of the trick moves and the instructor says ‘We’ll go inside and I’ll let you know your results’. The suspense!
6. Failed within the first three seconds.
I failed my test pulling out of the test centre. I was aware that I was taking a lot of time to pull out but I was making sure it was safe to do so. But just as I pulled out a high powered silver Mercedes (which was speeding) appeared from nowhere. They had to jam on their brakes and the driver then blew his horn at me. Rest of test was great but the tester said I failed for not seeing the Mercedes.

7. When you have to push your car to your test.

Morning of my test, my car dies as I drive into the test centre. Just stops in the middle of the entrance to the parking area. Panicking, I get out and start to push the car, in the rain. Got it going again and thankfully nobody saw. So headed off on the test. Midway through car dies again. I’m thinking straight fail for unroadworthy vehicle but make sure I check my mirrors, indicate and roll safely off the road out of the traffic. And feign innocence. Car starts again, tester is very nice and we return to the centre… where I passed. I think he was just so happy to get back, plus my nifty mirror checks did the trick.

8. When everything is against you.

Pre test lesson I was told in no uncertain terms I would fail. Morning of the test (which was at 8.45am on a December morning) I fell coming out the front door of my house and was black and blue and had a very stiff neck. I ploughed ahead to go with the test. Tester was very surprised to see me, between my bruised state and the fact it had started to snow. He cancelled the rest of the the days tests but said we would go ahead as I was there. Everything was going grand till I broke a red light. Then to make matters worse for my reversing around a corner the examiner got very hot and decided to turn down the heat as I reached to change gears- I left a massive scrape the full length of his arm. The examiner then decided as we are in no hurry to go around a second route before eventually going back to the Center. As we sat down he said “Congrats you’ve passed!” I laughed and go: “No really, how bad was it?” He said in all the circumstances, since the snow increased stopping distance I wouldn’t have been able to stop for the red light and I hadn’t made any further mistakes, and he was scared I’d injure him further (jokingly). Delighted was not the word, I really had passed.

Alright, now that that stress-fest is behind us, it’s take to spill the deets on the worst thing a co-worker has done on the job. Go!

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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