Christian Whiteley-Mason used 14 instructors and spent £10,000 over 25 years to get his licence
Determined Christian Whiteley-Mason has used 14 different instructors, taken 85 lessons and spent £10,000 over 25 years to get the licence.
After finally being given the all clear to get out on the roads by himself, the care home manager said: “I can’t believe I’ve actually finally passed after all these years. I’m still in shock!”
Mr Whiteley-Mason, 42, from Barnsley, first took his test in 1992 in the days before the driving theory test was introduced but quickly racked up a succession of test fails.
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He said: “There was this one examiner at the Barnsley test centre who I used to pray I didn’t get. She was notoriously tough and she failed me every time.
I had 56 lessons with my first instructor and eventually he told me to just give up as I would never pass
Christian Whiteley-Mason – New driver
“I had 56 lessons with my first instructor and eventually he told me to just give up as I would never pass.”
By 2003 after Mr Whiteley-Mason had failed his test a monumental 32 times, he admitted defeat and finally decided he simply not cut out to sit behind a wheel.
Even when he turned 40 and decided to give it another go, he had a few lessons before realising it wasn’t for him and choosing not to take another test.
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'I’m so proud of myself. It’s changed my life to be honest', says Christian Whiteley-Mason
But after finding an increasing need to travel for work he was struggling to get by day-to-day using public transport.
He added: “I had to either get taxis or rely on other people and it was costing me a fortune.
“So in January that was it, I just decided I was going to go for it.
“Everyone laughed at me and said I’d never do it, I’d get bored again. But I was absolutely determined I was going to show everyone.”
And not only did he pass the test he did so with flying colours having only got marked down for three minor errors.
Mr Whiteley-Mason first took his test in 1992 in the days before there was a driving theory test
He joked: “There must be a God because I prayed every night that I wouldn’t get that same examiner who’d kept failing me, and I didn’t.
“I’m so proud of myself. It’s changed my life to be honest. I felt like I’d achieved everything I really wanted to achieve, this was the one thing left I had to do.
“My motto was always been don’t stop believing.”
Having thrown away his L plates, Mr Whiteley-Mason has now splashed out on a second hand Smart Car named Percy and is even giving his husband Darren lifts around town.