The Long – But Worth it – Road to Owning and Driving Your Own Car

I’ve wanted to be on the road since I started college back in 2016. Little did I know how much of a waiting game it truly is to become a fully licensed driver with a fully taxed, NCT’d and insured car. It’s a long process but certainly worth it so here are the steps towards it.

The dreaded theory test

This is the first step to getting your learner permit. You can apply and pay for this test online. You will need an acceptable form of identification such as a passport or Public Service card (which is no longer compulsory to have to take this test). Make sure you have read and learned the necessary material in order to be able to answer the questions. Take the mock tests over and over again until you are passing every time.

Get your permit and start those lessons

So, you’ve passed your theory test. Congrats! Now, head your local NDLS and apply for your permit. Once you have received your permit you can now start your driving lessons. You need to have possessed your permit for 6 months and have 12 Essential Driver Training (EDT) lessons completed before applying for your driving test.

Personally, I would highly recommend the Aviva driving school. With Aviva, I received a deal in which I was insured on my parents’ car for six months and also received 12 lessons with the driving school for 500 quid. This deal worked out so well for me personally as it allowed me to practice driving (with my parent accompanying me) and also complete my EDT lessons.

Apply and take your test!

Even if you think you need a little bit more practice, don’t put off applying for your test as it could be months before you receive a date. Remember you can always cancel and reschedule.

Leading up to your test: I would recommend you save one lesson for the day of your test. Ask your instructor to bring you on any possible routes they might take you on. Ask about the theory questions you may be asked and how to open your bonnet and know about its contents. And practice practice practice!!!

On the day of your test: arrive a half hour before your designated time (I was called in 10 minutes early). Park the car you will be driving facing outwards, ready to be simply driven out of the test centre, no unnecessary reversing. Don’t forget- relax! It’s not as bad as it seems.

Buying and driving your own car

So you’ve passed your test and now have your full license. Hurray! There are things to consider when buying a car such as age, mileage, fuel, and door quantity, so decide what you want and search accordingly.

Once you have a car shop around for insurance companies. All insurance companies charge different prices so find what’s best for you. You will need to make sure the car has an up to date NCT and road tax and that the car is fit for the road.

It is a long road to finally owning and driving your own car but speaking from experience trust me, it is so worth it. Happy motoring!