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17th birthday present

(20 Posts)
DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Mon 16-Apr-18 16:10:49

DSS turns 17 soon. He doesn’t really have anything he wants.

I want to get him driving lessons. He lives about 30 miles away from us, near a train station but not really anywhere walkable, he gets the bus to college and town etc. (Not really relevant about distance from ours as I don’t expect him to pass soon!).

DSS is fairly apathetic about it. He’s been driven round his whole life and only recently started getting the bus.

It was kind of a rite of passage for me and my friends to have driving lessons for our birthdays, even if we didn’t get a car right away. The freedom it gave was brilliant.

DSS is studying catering at college and I can’t help but think how grateful he’ll be when he’s a bit older and needs a job and can take that one that’s a bit further away but pays more.

For context, DH doesn’t drive so doesn’t really get it - we also live city centre so it’s not a great hardship for him!).

I’m going to call his mum tonight I think and ask what she thinks, but wondering what Mumsnet think? Am I being ridiculous? Or is this kind of normal for 17 year olds?

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Mon 16-Apr-18 16:11:25

Just to clarify, it would be from us not just me!

OdileDeCaray Mon 16-Apr-18 16:13:26

Who will buy the car, tax and insure it when he passes his test?

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Mon 16-Apr-18 16:21:30

Likely shared between us and his mum and stepdad with DSS contribution.

Do you not think it’s a useful skill to have even if you don’t get a car immediately?

BrieAndChilli Mon 16-Apr-18 16:25:50

I think it’s beneficial to get a roving license as soon as possible, the longer you have your licence the cheaper your insurance gets. So even if he doesn’t drive for 5 years after he will still be able to state he’s had his licence for 5 years. (They won’t know if he has been driving on someone’s else’s insurance /company insurance etc or not driving at all.

NameyMcChangeRae Mon 16-Apr-18 16:27:58

It’s a brilliant idea!
Learning when your a teenager is sooooo useful

thequeenofsandwich Mon 16-Apr-18 16:28:55

Kind of a family tradition with us. All 3 of mine got provisional and first few lessons for their 17th.
Both my eldest now have jobs they couldn't do without driving and even if they passed and then couldn't afford a car for years it's useful to have the expense of lessons out of the way.

Lichtie Mon 16-Apr-18 16:31:36

It's only worth it if he's going to keep it up and do his test, otherwise it's a waste of time and money.
But I would encourage him, everyone should learn to drive regardless of they need a car right now, saves the hassle when (if) you do.

troodiedoo Mon 16-Apr-18 16:31:44

If he's not keen then it'll be a waste of time and money. I would get his provisional and a couple of lessons, then discuss further.

badg3r Mon 16-Apr-18 16:38:16

Depends too if he will have a car to practice in. Would he go in your insurance? Also, I'm not sure if the rules anymore but will he have to do the theory before he can start the lessons? In which case he has to sit an exam to be able to use his present wink
But I totally see what you mean, I passed and then had no car for 5 years but I'm still glad I did it then.

Groovee Mon 16-Apr-18 16:39:26

My Dd is 18 and won't learn to drive. The offer is always there but unless the person wants to learn to drive don't push it x

SianRunner Mon 16-Apr-18 16:41:00

My two had no interest at all in driving lessons at 17, probably because we live in a place where they use public transport easily, and driving is a nightmare, there's no parking, and they knew they'd never be able to afford the insurance at 17/18 anyway.

His dad (ExH) kind of pressured him into a few lessons which he hated, and it caused arguments.

DS fancies an intensive course in the summer, now he's 19. I think he'll do better because it's his choice.

I guess everyone's different.

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Mon 16-Apr-18 16:42:38

Good point @troodiedoo.

Not sure if he’d have a car to practice in, both his mum and I drive mum buses grin but in any case I didn’t and still passed. You just need the provisional licence to have lessons the theory you need to pass before you can take the practical.

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Mon 16-Apr-18 16:44:15

@SianRunner yes this is why DH never learned! Why bother when transport is so readily available?!

It’s not where DSS lives but maybe he likes walking everywhere? unlikely

MrsJayy Mon 16-Apr-18 17:30:13

We got our 2 lessons it is really worth it Dd1 now drives as part of her job and dd2 drives to college and work. Your son might not need to drive now but it is worth it Imo, offer him lessons see what he says

Leeds2 Mon 16-Apr-18 18:09:10

I think it is an invaluable life skill, to be learnt as soon as possible! I didn't, and I think I have sometimes "suffered" as a result. I would therefore encourage driving lessons and they are, I think, a great 17th birthday present.
My DD (now 20) had several friends who weren't interested in learning to drive and I think, for most of them, it was because 1) they couldn't afford to buy and run a car even if they passed the test and 2) they were planning on going away to uni where they didn't think it would be practical to have a car, and the wasted costs of it being parked on the drive at home whilst they were away.

mando12345 Mon 16-Apr-18 18:16:21

I think it is a good skill to have definitely.
However from a safety point of view I would rather they had the opportunity to do a fair bit of driving after they passed their tests to consolidate their learning. I would worry if they left it a couple of years till they got a car they would be a bit out of practice. But I may be wrong on this viewpoint!

snewname Mon 16-Apr-18 18:17:41

Its a great idea - if he wants it.

Monkeymonstermum Mon 16-Apr-18 18:23:27

I passed my test at 17, drove for about the next year but then didn’t drive for 3 years whilst at Uni as couldn’t afford a car. It was like riding a bike! I was fine within half an hour in a car after those 3 years. I’m a fairly coordinated person so maybe some would find it harder but most would be fine I think but I’m SO glad I learnt when I did. I think it’s a great skill to have and the younger you learn the better. I guess I was lucky that my parents got a car I could learn in and kept until I went to uni though so consolidated that learning I guess.

MrsJayy Mon 16-Apr-18 18:23:29

I failed in my late 20s never went back to it really regret it we wanted our Dc to at least have their licence.

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