Meet the South Yorkshire man who needed 33 ATTEMPTS and 25 YEARS to pass his driving test

Christian Whiteley-Mason
Christian Whiteley-Mason
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A determined South Yorkshire motorist has FINALLY passed his driving test spending more than £10,000 on lessons.

Christian Whiteley-Mason thought that he was destined never to be able to drive after failing his test an incredible 33 times.

Christian with his husband Darren and his new car (s)

Christian with his husband Darren and his new car (s)

After taking, and failing his first test at the age of 17, the Barnsley man would never have thought it would be another 25 years before he would be able to ditch his learner plates.

However, the 42-year-old's luck behind the wheel showed no signs of improving as he switched between 14 different instructors.

Even his husband Darren doubted his ability to pass, telling him that he was an "accident waiting to happen".

Christian said: "I was learning in a manual car and that that was the problem. I started to panic, my legs were shaking and I was a nervous wreck.

"On my first test, I reversed round a corner, mounted a pavement and hit a car. I also came to a stop sign and didn't see it and went straight through it.

"There was a female examiner in Barnsley and, as soon as she saw me, I knew it would be 40 minutes of silence and that made it even more stressful.

"I had 56 lessons with my first instructor and he said it's never going to happen and you are going to cause an accident."

By 2003, Christian had almost given up on the idea of learning to drive but decided to give it one last go in January this year.

After taking up a job at Thornhill House Care Home, Christian found himself needing to drive more often and was heavily relying on his husband.

Christian explained that the owner of the care home suggested he learn in an automatic car to "take the stress away" of dealing with changing gears.

He said: "I booked a test and it was like driving a go kart. There was no stress and it was a totally different experience.

"My instructor said he will get me through in 10 lessons and I thought that was optimistic.

"There was one tough moment on my test when I came to a junction. As I was approaching, a car came down doing 80 mph and I had to do an emergency stop and I thought 'I'm going to fail again'.

"We got back to the test centre and she just said right, I'm going to do the paper work now. She never said congratulations you have passed.

"I had to ask her what it was when she gave me the certificate and she said that I seemed surprised. I couldn't believe I'd passed and I gave her the biggest hug."

Christian said that his friends are "gobsmacked" that he's finally passed but added that he "never stopped believing" that his dream would come true.

"It's brought me so much independence and I have proven a lot of people wrong," Christian said.

"It's cost me around £8-£10,000 but I've finally got my little smart car that I've always wanted so it all seems worth while in the end."