Wednesday, 1 April 2015

What is it like learning to drive in a new Renault Clio?

I used to like Tuesdays. Tuesday was always a good day to go shopping, or get things done as it seems to be the only day my friends and I ever seem to get off work together. But in recent months Tuesdays have brought on dread and worry, because my driving lesson slot slipped into my previously nice Tuesday mornings.

I've been having one to two hour lessons a week for just over two months now and it's time to really crack on and get my theory done as I only have two 'driving' basics left to cover! Once those last bits are out the way, it's practice, practice, practice, until I am ready to take my test. Eeep!

Yesterdays lesson was a little of what I can expect over the next few months now, as I had a 'practice' lesson. A chance to drive around and practice what i've already learned so far and our drive included a small portion of the test route. I even passed someone out and about on their test! I hope they did well.

I quite enjoyed the drive as we headed out to a little town just outside of the city I live in, somewhere I often go with mum, so I had a rough idea of where I was going and where the crazy sharp hidden bends were. I also didn't feel like I did awful on the round-a-bouts, but I can't be sure if I'm getting better or was just winging it today.

So as i'm close to covering all the basics and starting to feel that i'm getting a bit better at this driving malarky, I thought i'd tell you a little bit about the car i'm learning in as it's a much bigger vehicle than I ever thought i'd be able to drive, and it's an absolute dream. Presenting, the newer style Renault Clio!

My mum used to drive a Renault Clio, back when they were teeny tiny little cars and I was a long way off having to worry about driving one myself. The newer models of Renault Clio are what I would call a 'medium' car. I was really nervous about learning to drive and had convinced myself that I just wouldn't be able to control a car this size. But, the independent instructor i'm learning with was also my brothers instructor. After a chat with a bunch of people who reassured me that the size of the car wouldn't matter and i'd be just fine I decided to just go ahead and give it a go.

So far, i've found the size hasn't really impacted on learning to drive, I still need to adjust to having the extra space on my left hand side, but i'd have that with any other car. Personally, I think it's a really nice looking car, especially the red one. (I'm learning in a red one!) The engine is too big for me to able to afford the insurance on it, so it is pretty unlikely i'm going to get one of these for myself any time soon, but I think it is rather nice to drive and really wouldn't mind having one.

The inside and the dash has all sorts of doohickeys, half of which I have no idea what they do as of yet, but I don't need to right now. The dash is really clear and easy to understand and I love the fact that it tells me how fast i'm going in big shiny numbers, as i'm not distracting myself by reading the speed on a dial.

Something I never understood was the clutch. I heard phrases like "you can feel the bite" or "the car tells you". What is all that about!? Well with the Clio, there are a few things on the dash which help figuring it out. I don't tend to look at these, as I find that the engine sounds are pretty good indicators of when to change so I listen for that instead. Aside from that, as i've been driving around I've noticed a pattern of which gears to use and when, so it's not as mind-boggling as I expected it to be.

So if you're thinking about starting driving lessons, go ahead and jump right in! Persevere with it because it does get easier and will take time. There is a hell of a lot to think about and process, but i've learnt anything from watching my friend drive, it's that with practice it will become second nature! Good luck!

Are you learning to drive, or already zipping about on the roads? What did you learn to drive in? Did you hate round-a-bouts too!? Let me know in the comments, i'd love to know more about your experiences!

Catch you later!

Catch up with me;

1 comment:

  1. I've been driving for 5 years now and learnt in a new Mini. I didn't like roundabouts and struggled with the clutch at first for a bit, so much so I thought I'd have to get an automatic! I didn't realise for ages you could use two pedals at once, then it all clicked. It was my theory that took a few attempts(!) Good luck :)
    x GNAR MOSH x