I have a new car – and why I haven’t driven in 14 years

I have a New Car!

I have a new car! In collaboration with Partsales.

The reason this news is particularly exciting to me is that I haven’t had my own car in 14 years!

To cut a very long story short, I was in a car accident in 2002 when driving on the motorway in the UK. A car tried to pull into my lane, the driver hadn’t seen me, and I had to swiftly pull over to avoid a collision. Another car was in the way on that side and after some frantic manoeuvring to avoid hitting either car, I instead went into the central reservation. In rush hour traffic. Yikes.

It was scary but I was ok and my lovely little Yaris, survived to drive another day. Unfortunately, not so much by me.

I was really affected by the accident. I was so confident in my own driving ability but I lost all faith in the damage other drivers can do. The other driver in this accident wasn’t a terrible driver, she just made a mistake. I was in her blind spot.

She was found at fault but the case dragged on for a couple of years and, after getting back behind the wheel quickly at first, one day I just decided to stop driving. I gave up. I became the passenger instead.

I didn’t give up without a fight though! I saw a psychologist to talk about it all and I underwent cognitive behavioural therapy but it just didn’t really work out. I kept trying to drive and did sometimes but one day, I sat behind the wheel of my Yaris, on my driveway, and I just cried. And that was that.

I didn’t drive again for another 12 years and I didn’t even try to. I knew I would one day but it had to be when I was ready.

So for 12 years I’ve had to be the passenger, or take public transport – which is actually fine for those of you who drive everywhere! I’ve endured people telling me I’m lazy and stupid for not driving. That it’s about time I ‘learned’ to drive, that it’s selfish and unfair on my kids and husband. Honestly, the crap people say. Idiots.

My friends and family have been amazingly supportive though and they knew, as I did, that one day I would drive again.

So 2 years ago, I decided I was ready. I was still nervous but I was ready to start again. I made it one of my New Year’s resolutions to start to drive again.

I had a couple of refresher driving lessons with a lovely instructor and it really was like ‘riding a bike’ in that it all came back to me like second nature. Of course I had some anxiety and had to spend some time re-learning the “highway code” but even as a passenger for so many years, I knew all this anyway. My anxiety of being in a car means that I rarely switch off, I’m always trying to anticipate what other cars might do next and so I’m always very aware of my surroundings.

It’s different though when you’re the driver and you are responsible for a vehicle.

The two lessons went really well, so much so that the instructor told me he didn’t want to see me again because I was doing so well!

So out I went on my own, in my husband’s ginormous four wheel drive! Well, when I say ‘on my own’ I mean with him in the car too. This was when we were in the UK 2 years ago and we’ve since moved back to Australia.

It was always my intention to get my own car and drive over here – I’d never driven in Aus before but at least it’s the same side of the road! Then I got breast cancer and had a slight set back but now that’s all out of the way, I’ve finally got my own car again.

I have a new car! lovefrommim.com Refresher Driving Lessons Getting back on the Road Partsales Finding Car Parts Black Toyota Yaris Ascent

After doing a lot of research online, I finally decided to get the same beloved Yaris that I’d had 14 years ago. They’re renowned for safety, easy to drive and have plenty of room for my little family.

I’ve had my new Yaris for a couple of weeks now and I’ve been out practicing at every opportunity.

While I was researching online for cars, I discovered Partsales. It’s a new online marketplace that allows customers to conveniently find car parts and accessories they require.

I have a new car! lovefrommim.com Refresher Driving Lessons Getting back on the Road Partsales Finding Car PartsI have a new car! lovefrommim.com Refresher Driving Lessons Getting back on the Road Partsales Finding Car Parts

For someone like me who knows nothing about cars but is an expert at online shopping (!), this website is perfect. You can search by vehicle or the part you’re looking for and it comes up with a list of results – easy! So when I need new parts or accessories, I can find them easily myself which only adds to me feeling more independent.

I LOVE my new car, I love that it’s all mine. I love that it’s a safe car and this time I got an Automatic so it’s very easy to drive. There are fewer things for me to worry about so I can relax more about enjoying driving.

I still have some anxiety but I know in time, with a lot more practice, that will fade and I’ll get back to being the confident driver I once was.

It took me a long time to get to this point but I always knew I’d get here and it would be when I was ready. I’m so happy to be driving again and can’t wait to share the adventures I get up to in my new little car!

Do you have any tips for gaining more confidence with driving?

I have a new car! lovefrommim.com Refresher Driving Lessons Getting back on the Road Partsales Finding Car Parts Black Toyota Yaris Ascent

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  1. Laureneve
    13th September 2016 / 3:06 pm

    I can relate to you Mim, I had a bad experience driving when I first got my licence and have also had my fair share of people making negative comments.

    This year I said I would start driving and I have. I’m still driving the same route at the moment but I’m going to branch out in a couple of weeks and try something different.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one out there who found it tough.

    • 13th September 2016 / 3:28 pm

      Oh you’re doing brilliantly! You know it takes a lot, it’s even harder in some ways that when I first learned. We’ll get there though and our confidence will grow x

  2. 15th September 2016 / 3:53 pm

    I can totally relate, I had a bad car accident which really damaged my back. I couldn’t drive for a while due to panic attacks but thankfully that’s all behind me now. So glad your back behind the wheel and feeling more confident xx

    • 16th September 2016 / 12:52 pm

      Thank you lovely and thank you for understanding. I’m glad you’ve past it now too x x

  3. 16th September 2016 / 12:56 am

    I totally get your anxiety, I have been in a few accidents and unfortunatly 3/4 of the accidents I have been in have been as a passenger… yeh thats right four accidents!
    I am now terrified of being a passenger and much prefer to drive as I feel more in control and somehow safer…
    It’s taken years to rebuild my confidence in cars, my husband has been incredibly patient with me driving as slowly as I wish him to or listening to my back seat driving… he was fab x

    • 16th September 2016 / 12:45 pm

      Wow 4 – that’s touch :( That’s so awesome that your husband is so supportive, mine too. It takes such a lot of time to rebuild that confidence x

  4. Alison Matthews
    16th September 2016 / 12:59 am

    I remember that accident well… And my heart was in my mouth when I was told. Thank god you were okay.

    Go you Mim!! I hadn’t gone through what you had… But I was a super anxious driver. Having many a meltdown. However, slowly but surely I have built up my confidence. The only thing I won’t do is drive on motorways at peak times. It will come I am sure… But for now am happy with the level I am at.

    • 16th September 2016 / 12:44 pm

      Aww thank you beautiful! Sometimes it feels like yesterday! x x

  5. melanie
    16th September 2016 / 12:18 pm

    Ive never learned to drive, was almost killed by a truck at 16 as a passenger while on side of the road
    I cant sit on driver side of a car without panic attacks and flashbacks
    Even on thw bus i sit a certain side

    Ive heard and still hear how selfish i am from people cos only my partner drives, yet even he agrees i wouldnt be safe behind the wheel

    • 16th September 2016 / 12:41 pm

      Gosh I’m not surprised, that does sound scary x you have to do what feels right for you and ignore the others x

  6. Ravi Roshan Jaiswal
    17th September 2016 / 5:06 pm

    Hi Mem,

    Nice looking car! I had also a great fear from driving a bike because I have met an accident which was very dangerous and I was unconscious for a while. It tooks long time to recover myself in driving bike. It was scary, but now I have a confidence to drive bike easily.

    This car looks great and seems like comes with an amazing features which a people need to fulfill their need. I worry about my life which has been saved due to someone and therefore, I greet him whenever I meet.

    Hope you have built confidence in yourself. Enjoy the driving new car. Glad to hear about Partsales, really it’s the perfect destination to get the car accessories.

    – Ravi.

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