Driving lessons can restart from 4 July – here are your funniest stories about learning to drive

driving lesson

From snapped handbrakes to stalling mishaps, TSR members share their most memorable driving lesson experiences

Learner drivers had to temporarily hang up their car keys when the UK went into lockdown at the end of March. As part of the government’s measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, all non-essential travel was banned and theory and practical tests were put on hold.

But now the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has said that, as of 4 July, learners will be able to dust off their L-plates and get back behind the wheel.

Theory tests will also be up and running again from 4 July, with social distancing measures in place. You’ll have a couple of weeks to wait before car driving tests restart on 22 July, though – perfect for brushing up on your steering skills and making sure that you’re definitely test-ready.

You can find the DVSA’s full list of when tests will start up again for all other vehicles here.

To celebrate getting back on the open road, we’ve rounded up some of the funniest experiences that TSR members have had during their driving lessons. You can definitely file these under don’t-try-this-at-home.

student getting a driving lesson

Instructor awkwardness

My driving instructor was quieter than usual one lesson. Halfway through, she launched into the story of how she had just found out her husband was cheating on her. Again. Awkward.


One time, I grabbed the instructor’s leg instead of the gear stick.


No joking matter

On my friend's test, he stopped to let an old lady cross a zebra crossing and because he was nervous he jokingly said "I'll get her next time". He got failed for road rage.

close up of hands on steering wheel

Beware of the dog

There are quite a few dog walkers in this particular area and I was driving along when a dog ran out in front of the car. Thankfully the dog wasn't hit and safely got to the other side.

My Instructor had a heated argument with the dog owner, which was quite funny to watch, actually.

Needless to say, I learned emergency stop the hard way that day.


… and the birds

On my first lesson, within 400m of driving for the first time on a road I hit a wood pigeon. Then in the three months before I passed my test I hit two more birds, one of which was a seagull.


Know your own strength

On my first driving lesson, the instructor asked me to pull up and stop and put the handbrake on. As I did so, I snapped the handbrake cable.

I was mortified at the time but I can look back on it fondly now.

student and driving instructor standing outside car

Spooky steering

On my driving test, I overtook a hearse. An actual funeral procession!

Funnily enough my sister had done a similar thing two months before me on her driving lesson.


Slow and steady doesn’t win the race

I got overtaken by a tractor once. 


Examiner embarrassment

My friend had his test cancelled because one of the examiners hit their car into the post on the way into the centre.

student having driving lesson

Terrible test

Just before I was about to go on my test, I was stood outside with my instructor. He looks over at someone who had just come back from a test and goes "they’ve failed".

I asked him how he knew, and he said, "they’re exchanging insurance details".

I looked at the back of the guys car, and the boot was totally crushed!


The wrong place at the wrong time

Once I stalled in exact middle of a busy junction. I’ve never heard so many horns beep at the same time (this was like four weeks into my lessons ).


On my first lesson, in a panic, I went round the wrong way on a roundabout. Luckily no cars were there or else I would have literally killed me and my instructor!

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