THE mantra “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again” has proved true for this new driver who has finally passed his driving test at the 33rd attempt.
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.
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
“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.
'I’m so proud of myself. It’s changed my life to be honest', says Christian
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.