Donate SIGN UP

How Soon Do You Lose Driving Skills If You Haven’t Driven For A While?

Avatar Image
bluefortress | 10:22 Tue 13th Feb 2024 | Motoring
7 Answers

Say you sell your car and don't drive for a set period of time, how fast do you lose your driving skills? 

For example is it possible to go 2 years without driving then suddenly get in a car and it all comes back (bit like riding a bike) 

Or are skills and confidence lost in just months?



1 to 7 of 7rss feed

Best Answer

No best answer has yet been selected by bluefortress. Once a best answer has been selected, it will be shown here.

For more on marking an answer as the "Best Answer", please visit our FAQ.

I definately suffered during Covid. Took a while after to get in the proper swing.

I think a lot of it is age dependant.

For example when living in London I did not have a car for 5 years - but bought one and started driving with no issues (I was 29.

Fast forward and I find it more 'difficult' to drive my car (but not his) if I have not been in it for a month or 2.

I didn't drive for around 5 years due to a balance problem.  I started driving again after wife had bad fall though it was only for very short distances to start with like to supermarket etc.  It comes back but just be careful not to try to much to quickly.  

Due to an injury I didn't drive for almost a year, but when I got behind the wheel again it was as though I'd never been away.  Like riding a bike - as 'they' say.

Due to a number of reasons we sold my car and I didn't drive for six years. Then due to a change in circumstances I decided I needed to start driving again so we bought me another car.

The mechanics of driving wasn't a problem, it was the confidence which I'd lost which was, and still is to an extent, the problem and I do get quite anxious just before I have to get in the car to drive myself somewhere. Got to be done though.

I would suggest it depends on how long you have been driving in the first place. Certainly some can pick up a few bad habits if away from the wheel.

I was very fortunate to be taught ,at 17, by an off duty Advanced Class 1 Police driver. I did his gardening for payment. When I took my test the examiner remarked I was driving 'to the system'.

The system is a method or drill which can be taken in order when driving. It involves a system or pattern to be considered in manoevering your car. Mirror, signal brake,gear,signal,horn,aceleration point 1 and acceleration point 2 etc etc. I attended the police driving school on many courses from panda driver,van driver,automatic conversion,4WD, intermediate driver and finished as a Class1 Advanced driver just like my first driving instructor. Once you have a method or system drummed into you so many times you never forget it and use it always.

The system of driving is described in 'Roadcraft' The police driver's bible and a H.O. publication for car and motorcycle riders. The senior IAM examiner,was Dick Clements, also taught the system.

My mother held a driving licence from the 1940s that required renewing otherwise it lapsed - unlike today’s licence that is valid until age 70.

Having let her licence lapse and taken a long hiatus from driving, she completely forgot how to drive – and at age of 45 took many lessons (failing the test once) before getting her licence back.


I taught Mrs Hymie to drive, knowing exactly what the test involved and what the examiner was looking for (she passed first time, driving my manual Ford Granada).  But having stopped driving (that was part of her work some 20 years ago), she would now be a menace on the road, and would stand no chance of passing the test she took 30 years ago – despite holding a valid driving licence.

1 to 7 of 7rss feed

Do you know the answer?

How Soon Do You Lose Driving Skills If You Haven’t Driven For A While?

Answer Question >>

Related Questions

Sorry, we can't find any related questions. Try using the search bar at the top of the page to search for some keywords, or choose a topic and submit your own question.