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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ellie Fry

Man drives son 500 miles to take driving test - only for it to get cancelled on arrival

A man has been branded a 'fantastic dad' after going to extreme lengths to help his son pass his driving test, as they travelled 500 miles to find a place that had a slot.

Paul Miller, from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, has left people in tears over his heartwarming dedication as he was determined to help his son Fin finally get on the road after two failed tests. The adventure proved even more difficult than it sounds, however, as the father and son duo faced last minute cancellations from hotels and the DVSA - after they'd set off on their mammoth mission.

Fin Miller with his Ford KA (@NewMillPaul/Twitter)
Paul Miller was surprised to find out just how far out the Scottish driving test location was (@NewMillPaul/Twitter)

Paul told The Mirror that his 18-year-old son had already failed two tests this year, and after landing his first job doing shift work, he needed his driving licence quickly. When he couldn't find a local test until 2023, he decided to look further afield.

In a now-viral Twitter thread recalling the epic journey, Paul explained: "I went through the DVLA's list of places, desperately trying to find something close. There was nothing.

"Then I started looking further afield. Yorkshire? No. Lancashire? No. Cities were ruled out. I got to the letter G. There was a test on the 24th November available."

After thinking he'd struck gold, Paul scrutinised the DVLA website to decipher where the mystery location beginning with G was - and it turned out to be eye-wateringly far away from his home in Yorkshire - 464 miles to be precise.

"It was in a place called Gairloch," the dad explained. "If I'm being honest, I'd never heard of it. It sounded Scottish though".

After doing some more digging on Google maps, Paul realised just how far out this tiny village was, as it's nestled in the North West Highlands of Scotland.

Paul ended up driving nearly 1,000 miles to help his son take his driving test (@NewMillPaul/Twitter)

But he still had a spring in his step, particularly after discovering that Gairloch has a significantly higher pass rate than other cities in the UK, and booked the test straight away.

Then came even more issues, as the dad tried to arrange accommodation for the trip. He said: "In the depths of late Autumn, hotels and cottages were scarce. Actually they were non existent. Thankfully I tracked one down on Airbnb and started making plans.

"Alnwick in Northumberland was just the 2 1/2 drive. However... Half way up, at 20:15, we had a phone call.

"The owner of the one and only cottage told us that they were cancelling. Their boiler had broken. Sh*t. Now what?!?"

After admitting defeat, Paul and Fin set out again the next morning, determined to make the driving test.

"I had to concede defeat and book a hotel in Inverness. A 90 minute drive from here [Inverness] to Gairloch, but feasible. So we set off. Next stop Scotland.

Things were finally looking optimistic, until Paul received terrible news: "Crossing the border and nearing Perth, I received another call. It was from the driving instructor in Gairloch I'd arranged. The DVLA [DVSA] had cancelled the test and rearranged it for February."

Fin Miller went on the epic journey with his dad to try and pass his driving test on his third go (@NewMillPaul/Twitter)
The father and son duo were devastated to find out the driving test was cancelled last minute (@NewMillPaul/Twitter)

Despite desperate pleas, the only destination the DVSA could offer as a same-day replacement was Inverness - a place neither Paul or Fin had driven round before - but they still went ahead and re-booked.

"We arrived in the hotel and I hastily tried to get him another instructor to show him the roads. I managed to track one down and booked him for the next day".

During the practice run, Fin and was met with a nightmare roundabout that he simply couldn't get his head around ahead of the test.

Paul explained: "My son didn't sleep last night and was sick this morning. We went out, and drove around Inverness for 3 hours. We went round and round that roundabout, and I still couldn't figure it out. No one else could either. We took respite just before the test."

"We then went to the test centre. He met with his test examiner and off her went. I paced about like an expectant father. Then he arrived back.

"I tried to read his body language, but couldn't. Walking over I could see he was still talking to the instructor. F***kity f**k. Then he smiled. He'd f****ing passed!"

Fin was elated to finally pass his driving test (@NewMillPaul/Twitter)
The story has warmed the hearts of many on social media (@NewMillPaul/Twitter)

After a round-trip of 965 miles, and 22 hours, 18 minutes, Fin finally returned home to take his Ford KA for its first spin.

Paul concluded his thread with a picture of his son beaming with pride, after finally passing his test following a rocky trip. The heartwarming story has since gone viral on Twitter, with more than 17,000 likes on the platform.

Sharing the post, one person person wrote: "This has cheered up a cr*ppy day. The pantheon of dad tales. Glorious".

Another said "why has this made me cry?" while a third added "an utterly lovely and absurd story about the daft amount we love our kids".

The dad told The Mirror that the response to his post has been "overwhelming" but that Fin is "elated" that he's finally passed.

"He's just gone out for his first solo drive, so I'm awaiting another twist to this story".

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