People who don’t pass first time make the best drivers, right? Well, that’s what I was always told.
Maybe it had something to do with the fact I didn’t pass first time and my parents were just trying to reassure me? But still, I’m sticking with it.
So, by that standard, this guy must be up there with Lewis Hamilton by now.
Christian Whiteley-Mason, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, has had 33 attempts at passing his driving test, going through 14 different instructors and having 85 lessons spanning 25 years, the Mirror reports.
Finally, however, it seems 33rd time is a charm.
Christian, a care-home manager, said:
I can’t believe I’ve actually finally passed after all these years, I’m still in shock!
Christian’s husband Darren thought the day would never come, jokingly saying Darren was ‘an accident waiting to happen’.
There was this one examiner at the Barnsley test centre who I used to pray I didn’t get. She was notoriously tough and she failed me every time.
I had 56 lessons with my first instructor and eventually he told me to just give up as I would never pass.
Which is almost what he did.
Christian had taken his test 32 times by 2003, and had conceded defeat against ever being able to get behind the wheel.
I’d just had enough, I just thought I’m never going to get it.
However, after celebrating his 40th birthday, he decided to give it another go. Which, at first, didn’t go down well as he ‘just couldn’t see the point’.
But as Christian was being required to travel more and more for work, it was getting too difficult to get by without driving.
I had to either get taxis or rely on other people and it was costing me a fortune. So in January that was it, I just decided I was going to go for it.
Everyone laughed at me and said I’d never do it, I’d get bored again. But I was absolutely determined I was going to show everyone.
As for the notorious examiner at the Barnsley centre – Christian said:
There must be a God because I prayed every night that I wouldn’t get that same examiner who’d kept failing me, and I didn’t.
And it worked. Not only did he pass but Christian only got marked down for three minor errors.
You might say I passed first time this time. It was so hard. There’s a lot more to it now then when I first started.
There’s the independent driving tests, the theory tests, the hazard perception test.
I’m so proud of myself. It’s changed my life to be honest. I felt like I’d achieved everything I really wanted to achieve, this was the one thing left I had to do.
Good on you Christian, enjoy the freedom of the open road and always being pestered for lifts by your mates now you’re the one with a car!
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.