Becoming a driving instructor was never part of my career plan when I left school. But fast forward 20-plus years and throw in a tribe of four teen boys with licenses and I might just have clocked up enough experience for a genuine side hustle.
Teaching kids to drive, particularly the first time, is such a momentous mind blow. It was just yesterday that we were teaching them to read and tie their shoelaces, and now they are behind the wheel of a car with completely ridiculous amounts of horsepower at their fingertips.
There’s nothing quite like the look of delight when a 16-year-old passes their L’s. They grow about a foot taller, develop a "swagger" and can’t wipe the smile off their faces. When I accompanied my first son to the Motor Registry, and he passed the test, I was thrilled for him.
'Wonderful, darling! Yes – so proud!'
But as soon as we started 'lessons' – in a deserted carpark on a Sunday afternoon – the reality set in. How the actual hell was I going to do this?
Watch: Andrew Daddo is teaching his daughter to drive. Post continues below.
If you’ve ever taught a teen to drive, then I bet you’ve had at least a few of these thoughts while bracing yourself in the passenger seat. Here’s how my internal thought process has played out each time.
120 hours is crazy. It should be at least 200.
15 minutes into the first lesson and I’m convinced that 120 hours of driving experience will never be enough. And don’t think for a minute I’ll be rounding up any time in the logbook. NO WAY. How will you ever be safe in 120 hours?
Did you even study for the test?
Did you really pass? Are you sure it wasn’t your doppelganger? Have you read the handbook? Are you sure? Yes, you need a blinker every time you turn and please don’t forget that red lights mean stop oh my god.