I’ve spent the last four to five years wanting to learn to drive – I turned 17 and was so excited about being on of the first of my friends to be old enough to learn to drive and I never got round to it. I wasn’t ready five years ago – I’d just flunked my AS levels and I needed to focus to be able to even have a chance of going to uni. And I did that, so I don’t regret not learning then.
But then I didn’t learn in first year, or second year, or during my my third year, and here I am beginning my first year not going back to education and I’m finally starting! I had my first lesson a few days before my birthday and just last week I passed my theory test (which was a miracle might I add).
Most people I know learnt to drive when they were 17. I’m now 22. I don’t regret it but I do feel like I’m getting to the party three hours after everyone else and they’re already drunk.
So I thought I’d talk about a few of the advantages and disadvantages, for anyone my age who’s not sure, for anyone who’s just turned 17 and is considering waiting or anyone in between and beyond!
- I can’t drive yet lol
- A lot of people will try to give you advice about learning, tips on how you should drive and how many times it took them to pass
- Instructors are so used to teaching 17 year olds that sometimes they forget you’re not one (luckily my instructor is lovely, but a couple of people I know who’ve learnt later have said they had really patronising instructors)
- I can afford it more – it’s situational obviously and my finances are either stable or rock bottom with no in between but I have been able to bulk book a bunch of lessons whereas when I was a teenager my parents wouldn’t pay for my lessons, so now I’m in a position where I can actually afford it
- I have more time, I’m not at school six hours a day so I can have lessons when I may not have been able to before and, in theory, have lessons more frequently
- Because of these things I will (potentially/hopefully) learn faster and have fewer lessons saving both time and money
Also I know loads of people who can accompany me as a learner in the car.
The conclusion I’m trying to make is, it doesn’t matter – if you feel like you missed the boat then that’s definitely not the case and it’s definitely a car not a boat. Everyone’s journey is so different and everyone learns things at different stages that are best for them – when I took my theory test there were genuinely people of all ages there. Learning to drive isn’t exclusive to teenagers – it’s one of the most freeing and valuable life skills so you learn and earn that license in your own time and when you are ready.
My original draft just ended with the words “have fun friends broom broom beep beep” and I think that’s a pretty solid ending.
Thank you for reading,