Scotland: Dad drives 470 miles for son’s driving test that’s canceled
A dad who went to desperate lengths to help his son take his driving test has shared their epic story.
Paul Miller, from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, set out to drive 470 miles to Gairloch, a tiny village nestled in the Scottish Highlands, to help his son, Fin, 18, see success.
The pair faced chaos along the way when the test was canceled halfway through their mammoth journey and AirBnb scrapped their accommodation booking.
Amazingly, their story still has a happy ending – with proud dad Paul saying it’s a ‘little part of my life I’ll never forget’ in a Twitter thread that has picked up more than 20,000 likes.
Recalling the wild tale, Paul said Fin was ‘really upset’ after failing his driving test for the second time and needed to drive to do shift work at his first job.
‘Trying to be a good dad, I tried to make it better’, he said.
As he trawled through the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency website to book another test, none appeared to be available – until he stumbled upon one in the remote spot of Gairloch on November 24.
‘It wasn’t until I scrolled further out [on Google Maps] that I realized just quite how far it was’, Paul said.
‘But it WAS doable… sort of. I booked it quickly, then I would worry about it later.’
Fueled with hope after finding a study that said Gairloch has the highest rate of driving test passes in the country, Paul’s next job was to look for somewhere to stay when they got there.
Accommodation was nearly ‘non-existent’, but the dad managed to track down ‘the one and only cottage’ in the area, before booking annual leave from his job and setting off with Fin.
Trouble brewed halfway through their journey when the cottage owner cancelled, citing a broken boiler.
They were forced to book a hotel in Inverness – a 90 minute drive from Gairloch.
But more drama followed just after they crossed the Scottish border and were near Perth – Fin’s driving test was canceled and rearranged for February.
After a stressful phone call with the DVLA, Paul booked the only replacement test – in Inverness, a 100 minute drive from Gairloch.
Once they arrived, they booked Fin a local driving instructor so he could try out the roads – but this only worsened his nerves as the instructor told him he had got three majors in a fake test due to a nightmare roundabout.
‘My son didn’t sleep last [that] night and was sick this morning’, Paul said.
‘We went out, and drove around Inverness for 3 hours. We went round and round that round about, and I still couldn’t figure it out. No one else could either.’
As Fin set off for his real test, Paul said he was ‘pacing around like an expectant father’ waiting for him to return – but good news was on its way.
‘I tried to read his body language, but couldn’t’, Paul said. ‘Walking over I could see he was still talking to the instructor. F***ity f**k. Then he smiled. He’d f***ing passed!’
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, Paul joked: ‘It was worth the trip not to have to get up at those times to take him.
‘We’re onto the next saga now. Panicking about him driving by himself.’
People on Twitter loved the father and son’s story, saying they were ‘glad it has a happy ending’.
‘Best dad award goes to you. Well done and to your son’, one person said.
‘Brilliant story. It’s so worth getting our offspring through the driving test’, another Twitter user wrote.
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