The film tells the story of a group of learner drivers. One of them, Beverly (Jessica Hynes), is a housewife who works as a cleaner at the police station and has failed her driving exams eight times, mainly due to the driving lessons of her impatient husband Ian (Shaun Dingwall). She decides to take driving lessons from Chris (David Tennant), a devout Christian driving instructor at Gear Change, with whom she falls in love. Chris however is in love with Fiona (Sarah Hadland), his boss, who is having an affair with Beverly's colleague, policeman Gerry.
Beverly is trying to raise cash for her driving lessons, as Ian has spent all their money on a pair of owls, hoping to sell their offspring for a profit. She ends up looting her daughter's savings for university. During her ninth, secret, driving test, she runs into Ian on the street and as a result fails again. To make matters worse, Chris is leaving Gear Change because of Fiona's affair with Gerry, leaving all learner drivers without their favourite teacher. However, Chris returns when Fiona breaks up with Gerry (despite finding herself pregnant by him).
When one of the owls gets sick, threatening the life of the eggs, Beverly is forced to drive to the vet's herself. She runs into Gerry on the motorway who escorts her to the vet. The owl and eggs are saved, reuniting the family and giving Beverly enough confidence to try her test again, which this time she finally passes.
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