Woman who spent £11,000 to learn how to drive, passes test after 960 attempts

A woman who spent £11,000 to learn to drive, and made 960 attempts to get her driver’s license has become well-known again, almost 15 years after her story made headlines around the world.

Cha Sa-soon’s story has been retold on Reddit, where it has gotten a lot of attention because of how hard she worked to get her license.

In April 2005, she tried to pass the written test for the first time, but she failed. However, that didn’t stop the South Korean woman from trying until she passed. She took the test every day, five days a week, for three years, until she did.

She then cut back to just twice a week until, on her 860th attempt, she finally passed the written test.

Once she passed that, she moved on to the practical test, which was also going to be hard.

Cha Sa-soon had to take that test 10 times, which brought the total number of written and driving tests she had to take to 960.

Reports say that this cost her about €12,500 (£11,000). She didn’t give up, though, because she needed to be able to drive for her vegetable-selling business.

Cha Sa-soon’s driving instructor said that when she finally passed, it was “a huge burden off [their] backs.”

At Jeonbuk Driving School, the teacher said:

When she finally got her licence, we all went out cheering and hugged her, giving her flowers.


It felt like a huge burden falling off our backs. We hadn’t had the guts to tell her to quit because she kept showing up.

Because Cha Sa-soon was so determined, her story made headlines all over the world. This made her a national celebrity.

Hyundai, a South Korean car company, even gave her a brand-new car worth €13,000 (£11,640).

Her story has recently come up again on Reddit, which has led people to talk about how safe they think she is to drive.

One Redditor wrote:

I believe if you take a test nearly 1,000 times, you might have the whole thing committed to memory at that point.

A further commentator wrote:

But now that she passed a very specific driving situation under ideal circumstances, surely she’s fully capable of driving a death machine under all types of conditions, right?

And another wrote:

960 times? That sounds like a systemic failure. It wastes everyone’s time if you don’t have a mandatory 1-month or 1-week wait period. Otherwise you just have people coming back and trying to shotgun the test over and over instead of study.

But a forum user who was more sympathetic said they felt a little sad because they thought Cha Sa-soon didn’t have anyone to help her study for the test. They wrote:

Fall 959 times, get up 960. But seriously this kinda makes me sad, did she not have anyone help her study?

And another added:

If at first you don’t succeed….

Woman who spent £11,000 to learn how to drive, passes test after 960 attempts