Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 16 July, 2024
biting point

The 11 stages of getting your driving licence

Can’t talk, I’m reversing round a corner.

HUGE PINK IRISH driving licences will eventually become a thing of the past after new rules came into effect today.

The old paper documents will be replaced by credit card-style licences meaning we’ll finally be able to fit them into our wallets and produce them abroad without being sniggered at.

Of course, getting a driving licence is an important rite of passage in anyone’s life, but what about the journey you have to take to get there?

It begins with….

1. Longing

After years of being driven around by your parents or siblings, or stranded out in the sticks, it feels like the freedom that comes with driving can’t come soon enough.


2. Cockiness

 3. Abject terror

Finally the day of your first lesson arrives. You sit in the driver’s seat for the first time at 2pm. By 3.15pm you have compiled this list:

Things to fear

  • The biting point
  • Not finding the biting point
  • The clutch
  • Turning right
  • Hills
  • Mirrors
  • Your own hands
  • Your instructor
  • Cyclists
  • Pedestrians
  • Third gear
  • Traffic lights
  • Everything

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4. Resignation

After cutting out 17 times during your first lesson and watching your instructor’s face turn from white to green and finally to puce, you insisted that you would never sit behind the wheel again.

However soon you become resigned to the fact that you must learn to drive. You must.

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5. Alienation

Your parents, your significant other, your siblings and your friends initially offered to help you with your reversing around corners and hill starts.

However, none of them are speaking to you any more and you have been banned from your Dad’s Renault Megane indefinitely.

6. Obsession

As your confidence grows, so does your inability to hold a conversation that isn’t driving-related.

You also insist in driving your parent/sibling/significant other to their every destination, meaning that a five minute trips to the shops becomes an hour-long mirror-checking, hillstart-failing, engine stalling nightmare.

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7. Dejection

If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll pass first time. However, it’s entirely likely that you’ll fail the first time.

You are not alone, I am here with you etc…

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8. Renewed hope

After another 64 hours of reversing around corners and giving yourself whiplash with your frantic mirror checking, you think you might be ready.

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9. Joy


Rip off those L plates! Look upon lowly learners with pity. YOU ARE A MASTER OF THE ROADS!

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10. Horror

After the joy you come crashing back to earth as you attempt to secure a decent passport photo to affix to your licence.

Inevitably they all look like this:

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11. Rage

Congratulations. You are now a fully fledged driver.

Welcome to decades of road rage. DECADES.

Read: The 9 stages of driving in the rain in Ireland>

More: The 11 most annoying drivers on Irish roads>

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