WIBU to tell DS he can't drive this journey?

(105 Posts)
velvetspoon Tue 08-Nov-16 18:52:20

DS is 18, passed his test just over 2 months ago. He is a very too confident driver, although so far he has only driven locally (about a 10 mile radius of our house, though this does include some dual carriageway driving. Mostly though as we are in London, well the outskirts, it's just local, very busy roads).

This weekend he wants to go and see one of his friends who is away at Uni. The uni is about 50 miles from here. He wants to drive himself and 3 friends there in my car (we share it).

I have said no.

I think it's too far, and he is too inexperienced (the drive is mostly motorway, he hasn't driven on a motorway yet). Also the car is tiny, old, and in the 18m since i bought it, it's only been driven over 60 a couple of times (it doesn't like it!) and never for more than 20 miles.

So I have said I'll drive him to the nearest station, where he can get a direct train to the uni town, taking about an hour. Train will cost about £20 (which I've also said I'll contribute towards).

He is very keen to drive, and is now sad-facing me.

Should I stick to my guns?

Dailymaildailyfail Tue 08-Nov-16 18:54:19

What has to change between now and him eventually driving a journey like this? Is it just experience or the actual car? You need to indicate you trust him, citing he is just inexperienced is probably going to frustrate him even more.

OnionKnight Tue 08-Nov-16 18:54:32

What is the point of him learning to drive and passing the test if you won't let him drive?

DonkeyOaty Tue 08-Nov-16 18:54:38

Yes stick to your guns. Offer to book him some motorway driving lessons for experience?

Hassled Tue 08-Nov-16 18:55:02

Yes, stick to your guns. You're right, especially about the motorway driving experience. He'll hate you for a day and then get over it.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Tue 08-Nov-16 18:55:27

i would let him but NO (or maybe ONE) chum, and a jolly good talking to about what a privilege being able to drive is and how easy it is to ruin lives in an instant with nonsense in cars
...also know as The Fear of God talk
there's not much point getting him through the test and keeping him grounded.

welshweasel Tue 08-Nov-16 18:55:51

I'd want him to drive supervised on a motorway first and wouldn't be keen on him taking 3 mates.

pinkyredrose Tue 08-Nov-16 18:58:22

I'd be more worried about his over confident driving. Young people are often over confident until they cause an accident. Can he not save up for his own car?

TheFairyCaravan Tue 08-Nov-16 18:58:43

You should have taken him on a motorway before now.

Why is he insured to drive a car if there's going to be restrictions on when/where he can go? No wonder he's fed up!

BertrandRussell Tue 08-Nov-16 18:58:45

18, just passed his test, super confident, unreliable car and 4 mates? That would be a no from me, I'm afraid!

velvetspoon Tue 08-Nov-16 19:00:27

It's the car as much as his inexperience. He drives the car regularly now but doesn't have motorway experience (neither do I really, as I only passed my test in the summer).

I've also double checked the route and train. Train is 75 mins. By road it's 65 mins. So he only saves 10mins by driving.

HarrietVane99 Tue 08-Nov-16 19:01:10

I think having three friends in the car with him is a concern for an inexperienced driver on his first longer distance journey. Too much chance of distraction.

MariposaUno Tue 08-Nov-16 19:01:54

You know your ds best but if you were to let him then as a pp said have a scary talk followed by motorway accident videos from YouTube. Even if you don't let him this time they will come handy for the future.

I was driving in torrential weather in darkness along a major motor for 60 odd miles within a month of driving. It was scary and even 6 months into driving I made the odd mistakes not on motorways and that's with being over confident or not enough.

Allthebestnamesareused Tue 08-Nov-16 19:02:33

Try saying but surely the purpose of visiting uni mate is to go out on the lash! He would still be over the limit to drive home after a weekend of drinking. Also he may be designated driver all weekend and I bet he'd not see a penny of pettol money before we even go into not having motorway experience!

JohnLapsleyParlabane Tue 08-Nov-16 19:02:52

YANBU It's the multiple friends as passengers mixed with no motorway experience that would make me say no. I would however offer to help him get the motorway experience soon and plan a future journey.

throwingpebbles Tue 08-Nov-16 19:05:10

Please please make him do the motorway driving lesson before he goes on the motorway! There are different skills to driving on the motorway and it is worth every penny

Also based on my experience as a teenager in cars, I wouldn't let him have any friends in the car yet.
It's a massive hazard and distraction.

Lost too many friends and acquaintances to the killing machine that is the car sad

The80sweregreat Tue 08-Nov-16 19:06:16

Point out that the train equals no parking costs in town ( or worrying where to park) and he can have a drink and not then have to worry about the drive back, just rock up to the station to come home! No petrol costs either.
If you are paying the fare and taking them to the station, he has it made! ( also point out that if the car did break down thats potential for hassle)
I agree he needs the driving experience, but with friends in the car on a motorway isnt ideal. Worth a try!

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 08-Nov-16 19:06:35

He needs motorway experience first, can he book some lessons if you can't take him out?

It would be a no from me especially with a group of mates.

buttermecup Tue 08-Nov-16 19:06:39

I'm with you. Not about the distance but about the friends in the car.
We said no more than 1 mate for the first 3 months, it's too distracting.

Could you get some motorway experience in before he goes? I think some driving instructors offer it.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Tue 08-Nov-16 19:08:01

He needs more real-life motorway practice before contemplating a "big" drive like this. The friends in the car concern me the most. After dark possibly too.

Why not tell him it's "no" for now, then he and you get out on the motorway for a couple of hours each weekend to practice. If you do that I think he'd be in a position to make that sort of drive within a month or so.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Tue 08-Nov-16 19:08:42

I wrote off my first car in similar circumstances - second time on a motorway in two days. I wished I'd done motorway driving lessons before I went on a motorway for the first time. Maybe that would help?

velvetspoon Tue 08-Nov-16 19:09:42

He has driven a lot locally with his friends but I don't think he appreciates how different it is on a motorway.

I can't teach him motorway driving as I feel I'm too inexperienced myself.

I will suggest he saves up for lessons; at the moment he isn't working so is short of money, but is hoping to start something soon (he's free of course to save up for his own car but as he would need £2k plus to buy one, tax and insure it, it isn't likely to be something he can do anytime soon).

Whatsername17 Tue 08-Nov-16 19:10:41

I'd stick to your guns and also arrange some motorway driving lessons do that he can be ready to make that type of trip once he buys his own car. Most instructors do them for newly passed drivers. Motorway driving is different. He needs more experience. The fact that he is sad facing you proves that he is more excited about the road trip than the destination. He wants to show off.

Evariste Tue 08-Nov-16 19:19:07

I had this with DS1.
My number one rule for DC was NO passengers until they had some months experience. Equally I wouldn't let DC take lifts from new drivers.

Distraction from passengers is the biggest danger in this scenario IMO.

As far as motorway is concerned I took him out myself and arranged for an instructor led motorway lesson. One two hour lesson with a proper instructor was well worth the money.

PurpleCrazyHorse Tue 08-Nov-16 19:19:20

I would say he (and possibly you too if you're not confident on the motorway either) should have some motorway lessons. Does Pass Plus still exist?

I'd also not let him take passengers long distance. It's really easy to get distracted or start taking risks when you have someone in the car. If your car genuinely isn't great on the motorway, then it shouldn't be driven on it and that's just unfortunate for your DS until he can afford his own car or you upgrade yours. It's no fun driving an older, underpowered car on the motorway, not that you need to speed at all, but it is good to have some power to change lanes and match speeds quickly.

In Australia they have limits on learner drivers for up to three years after passing their test which puts restrictions on how fast they can go and how many passengers they can carry. I don't think it's a bad thing, it only takes one error to kill yourself or a friend, as scary as that sounds and it's more likely a younger driver is going to have an accident.

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