learning to drive at 28

learning to drive at 28

A big change has happened in our family. Sam has passed his driving test.

It’s quite a momentous change for me, actually. I’ve spent the last five years being the sole family chauffeur, which is interesting when you are the one in labour, when you are the one driving long distance after being up all night with a breastfeeding baby, when a trip to the supermarket has to be a whole family affair.

We hadn’t been able to afford the ridiculously inflated insurance costs to add Sam as a named driver (the words ‘young driver’ and ‘croydon’ automatically generate hefty price tag), but 28 appears to be the magic number – insurance quotes suddenly became a whole lot more reasonable. And so he booked in some lessons and a few months later he became the proud owner of a pass certificate.

It’s really odd to be a passenger in our car for the first time ever. And it’s really odd that Sam can now take the children to events and activities only reachable by car – a task that previously would have automatically fallen to me.

It’s also great to have someone who can top up the oil, the air in the tyres, and all those other jobs that I have never bothered to learn how to do properly.

In recent years, Arlo has come to his own assumption that there are “men who can drive and men who can’t drive”, and I feel like this has been a good example to show him that if you want to achieve something, you can practice and learn and then you will be able to do it.

Watching Sam go through the learning to drive process has been a bit of a revision course for me. I passed my test a good twelve years ago, and there are certainly things I’ve forgotten along the way, or things I maybe never learned in the first place – for example, how many of these questions on this What’s that Blinking Light test from The Co-op can you get right?

Despite my many years of driving wisdom, I’m trying not to do too much backseat driving as it’s probably incredibly frustrating, but I have made sure to pass on to Sam my top three bits of advice:

1. Assume EVERYONE else on the road is a complete idiot who cannot be relied on to obey the rules of the road.

2. That little arrow by the petrol sign on your dashboard tells you which side of the car your fuel tank is on.

3. When going somewhere with the children, make sure the children are in the car.

 Learning to drive – another item ticked off the list of ‘things we never got round to before we became grown ups and had children’.

How about you – Do you drive? Does your partner? Did you learn before or after kids? How does being able to drive help in your day-to-day life?


Thank You to The Co-op for partnering with Sorry About The Mess. 


  1. I’m in the reverse situation to you, being the one who has just begun driving again ( I passed my test a scary 18 years ago, but lost my licence 15 years ago on medical grounds and have only just had the confidence to get it back). It’s odd for me to suddenly be able to do things so easily that previously took immense planning to make work with public transport or lifts, and even Thomas has found it odd that we now drive together without Daddy – which has actually led to a few meltdownsbecause he wants to walk instead! Ian is your situation, however, finding it strange to suddenly be a passenger after being the only driver for so long. We’re still enjoying the “who will drive” debate when we go out together and the novelty of being able to split it on long journeys. Before I got my licence back I used to roll my eyes when people said they couldn’t live without a car, because it *is* totally do-able, even outiside London – it just takes more effort and involves some compromise and sacrifice. Now I have my licence again, however, I really see exactly *why* people say it, because it has simplified life immeasurably! Enjoy being chauffeured around now that you can!

  2. Wowee HUGE congrats Sam and amazing news for you Chloe. Such a milestone for your family and definitely a life changing one! I never knew there was an arrow next to the petrol thingy and I’ve been driving 11 years! I’ll be looking for that in the car tomorrow x

  3. I now have to go out to my car to see whether it has a little arrow next to the fuel light – I’ve been driving 17 years and I never knew that, I have to remember by thinking about which child I chat to through the window!

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