XXL Plates! Female sumo wrestler says she can’t pass her driving test – because she’s too fat to fit in her instructor’s cars
A 32-stone woman has spent 30 years trying to learn to drive – but claims she can’t pass her test because she’s too FAT to fit in an instructor’s cars.
Professional Sumo wrestler Sharran Alexander, from London, has had 10 instructors turn her away because she couldn’t squeeze her hefty frame behind the wheels of their tiny cars – and has spent £9000 attempting to pass her test.
The smallest car she can squeeze her spare tyres into is a Ford Focus – and even when she’s found instructors with cars that she can fit into, she’s STILL failed her test five times.
Sharran said: “I’m 6ft tall and the cars people learn to drive in are just too small.
“When I book a lesson with a new instructor I always tell them ‘I’m as big as sumo wrestler’ but I don’t think they take me literally!
“In the last few years I’m sure they’ve even got smaller.
“Even when I try and warn instructors on the phone by saying that I’m a big person and there needs to be room for two giants it has gone wrong.
“I once went all the way to Eastbourne in the hope of an instructor who would fit me in but when I arrived the seatbelt didn’t go round me and I had to buy a seatbelt extender.
“Ten instructors have just flat out said no. They’re never rude, they always try and help but I’ve been told if the steering wheel doesn’t turn freely in front of me it’s just not safe for me to drive.
“And more than once I’ve turned up and, even though I’ve fit into the car, the instructor hasn’t been able to get in after me.
“It makes me nervous that I’m not cut out to drive and I really suffer with nerves – it’s just so difficult under pressure.
“Whether I’ve been doing the most recent set of lessons for six months or six years I still have the same nerve problems
“When it comes to the test I just go to pieces.
“But I was spending hundreds on taxis every week and I realised that if I had a car things would be so much easier so I started trying to learn again without much luck.”
Even when she has made it inside a car, Sharran has struggled to make it out of first gear and has failed her test five times
Despite spending a year taking classes with the AA costing £1700,doing three at intensive courses at £750 a pop and having lessons with another six private instructors over the years, Sharran still manages to clock up both majors and minors when it comes to the crunch.
But when both her parents – who live separately on opposite sides of London – both became ill and she needed to care for them she realised she £100 a day on cabs to ferry her from one house to the next wasn’t sustainable.
Sharran signed up for an intervention from ITV’s Undriveables super instructor Ursula Young from Leicester.
“Desperate times called for desperate measures and I knew I needed professional help so I signed up for the show.
“Ursula has given me the confidence and brought me faith in myself to believe that when I finally get to take the test – I’ll be ready.
“I fell down the stairs during filming and ended up on crutches so I couldn’t take the test before the show ended.
“But Ursula is still in touch and helping me get back in the car – that’s just the kind of person she is. She wants to see me succeed.
“It’s crazy thinking about it. I’ve had hundreds of lessons and spent thousands of pounds and I’m still waiting to pass.”