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AIBU not to drive?

(90 Posts)
Albatross26 Wed 25-Jan-17 15:01:01

background - learned to drive at 17/18, failed four tests mainly due to extreme nerves and not being very good at manoeuvres. I lived in the sticks then so it seemed more important

Am now 30 and still don't drive but live somewhere where everything is accessible. Not hugely bothered by it, happy to cycle etc. DP has really been making a thing of me not driving, saying why wont I take a test as it would make things much easier. I kind of see his point in that he drives everywhere but I don't ask for lifts, we have no dc to ferry around etc. Feel like I'm being pressured to do it just for his benefit. The tests I did do I found horribly traumatic and I doubt I'd ever be able to pass a test anyway, they must be much harder now! AIBU and should I try it or just stay as I am?

CripsSandwiches Wed 25-Jan-17 15:06:11

You clearly won't be able to "just take a test". I was similar learned at 17 never got round to taking a test, learned again at 25 never got round to taking a test and have now just passed at 33. Each time I almost had to start from scratch and needed lots of lessons. The test is also getting more difficult to pass.

You'll need to take your theory, have driving lessons and take a test (or two or three or four). All of which would be expensive.

If you think you might need to drive at some point in the future (new job, have kids, DH is unable to drive for whatever reason) then it might be worth the expense and stress of the test (try beta blockers) but it's definitely going to be more work than your DH is implying.

Ifailed Wed 25-Jan-17 15:09:28

Be prepared to be flamed and told driving is an Important Life Skill. Clearly it is if one chooses to live their life around their car, as you know there are alternatives.
You are also not alone, the number of young drivers taking their tests are falling, especially in areas where there's decent public transport, like London.

Imamouseduh Wed 25-Jan-17 15:09:33

YABU. My other half doesn't drive and it really gets annoying sometimes. He never asks for a lift but whenever we do something together I have to drive. So I'm always the designated driver by default, have to do all the holiday driving, no matter if I'm tired or sick. It's unfair. Sometimes I'd just like to sit there, relax and look out the window! It's selfish.

picklemepopcorn Wed 25-Jan-17 15:11:59

Talk it through with DP. Is he prepared for the time and money it will take, and is there money for another car? As you can't practice with the children in the car you will need more lessons.

Consider driving an automatic. It's much easier, although it does restrict the vehicles you can drive in future.

I resent my DH not driving. I never get a drink when we are out, if there was an emergency he wouldn't be able to take them to the doctor or a&e. I have stayed home when they are poorly as I think he would put off getting them seen because he can't drive. I worry that if I hurt myself on holiday, we won't be able to get home. I have driven with a bad back, with sciatica, in pain, because no one else could. It is hugely restricting when it comes to errands. If I'm halfway through a big task and need supplies (paint) I can't just send him as it would take forever by public transport.

Mrsemcgregor Wed 25-Jan-17 15:13:39

I am 35 and have tried and tried to learn to drive. Put hundreds (possibly thousands) of pounds into it, failed multiple tests and am still not really any better than when I started. I also tried in an automatic. I ended up on anti-anxiety meds it got so bad.

I have just excepted it's not for me, not everyone can drive.

Mumsnet is a bit weird about it though, especially if you have kids. Don't get put down by comments that are sure to come.

Before I am retired there will be driverless cars anyway wink

Albatross26 Wed 25-Jan-17 15:13:47

I see that point, but then isn't it selfish to try and make someone do something for your benefit? As I said it has very little impact on dp, I never ask to be driven anywhere I always cycle or use buses. As Crips said the expense would be substantial and I'm not sure I can afford lessons, test, then car insurance, mot, tax etc if by some miracle I passed!

FacelikeaBagofHammers Wed 25-Jan-17 15:13:47

Do it.

You might be managing now, but what happens in 10, 15, 20 years time. Are you going to be happy relying on other people for lifts for the rest of your life? What happens if your DH breaks his leg, his arm, collar bone? You won't be able to drive him anywhere. You might not have children now, but you may do in future, and it's going to be a lot easier to learn now than later.

My mother passed her test at 55 and there is no stopping her now. The newly found independence is life changing.

Do it, don't think about it. Just do it. Book a set of lessons and give yourself a deadline for your test. You might not get it first, time, or second time, or even third time but persist! You'll be thankful you did.

Albatross26 Wed 25-Jan-17 15:15:03

Just to clarify, no kids

Mrsemcgregor Wed 25-Jan-17 15:15:08

*accepted even

PurpleDaisies Wed 25-Jan-17 15:16:15

Whole you might not ask him to drive you places, what happens when you go on holiday or out for the evening? Does he always have to drive?

It's totally up to you, but having a car is so freeing and if you've got time and finances to do it I'd definitely recommend it.

Albatross26 Wed 25-Jan-17 15:19:04

Where we live is right in town, everything is close enough that we never have to drive to go out - restaurants, cinema etc all walkable, plus good transport to nearby cities. I totally get it would be very freeing I just think it's a lot of stress and expense for something I don't really want

glenthebattleostrich Wed 25-Jan-17 15:23:14

I can't drive. I've spent thousands on lessons and am terrible. It is safer for the world for me not to be on the road. DH does drive and he does complain until I point out that:

I never ask for lifts. I'm a big girl and very capable of using public transport, walking amd calling a cab.

I pay for taxis when we go out so he doesn't have to be designated driver.

I like getting trains etc.

On holidays I deliberately choose places with lots to do within walking distance.

Being asthmatic I need to exercise and keep healthy. Walking is good for me.

I do sometimes feel rude when people insist I need lifts places. For example at the weekend DD and I were meeting friends at a museum. They organised lifts for us between them (then informed me of plans) but didn't realise or understand that we love getting the train as it is half an hour for us just to be together and chat, something increasingly rare as DD gets older.

picklemepopcorn Wed 25-Jan-17 15:52:18

I have to live in houses with good public transport in the area, though I grew up in the countryside and hate having so many near neighbours.

It is a restriction. My DH is waiting for self driving cars, too.

he would also say he never asks for a lift etc. It has impacted us so many times, though.

My first baby was a home birth because the idea of getting to hospital was awful. My second, he took hours to get to the hospital. When I had an operation recently, he didn't come and visit because the hospital wasn't on public transport routes. I couldn't drive for six weeks, so I didn't get to go anywhere. He did some errands, but was out all day doing it which left me feeling a bit isolated.

It would be nice for there to be a choice sometimes, that is all.

Nocabbageinmyeye Wed 25-Jan-17 16:03:05

I suppose it's a case of something being more to one person than another.

I ended a relationship not just because he didn't drive but it had a lot to do with it and I would never get in a relationship with a non driver. I begged my ex to learn to drive when I was pregnant, we lived a three hour drive from home amd it was always me that drove, he didn't learn out of laziness and when I was driving myself down the motorway devastated as I was miscarrying and he was sitting in the passenger seat I remember hating him and I never forgave him. I find it a total turn off not being able to drive. That said I am not on the UK and our public transport is pathetic so not driving would massively restrict us. So I see your oh's point, it is annoying always being the driver

DeathStare Wed 25-Jan-17 16:04:00

It seems to be a thing on MN that everyone should drive and it's considered lacking some basic skill to not be able to do it.

I disagree (and I'm a driver). The last thing the world needs environmentally is more drivers. If you can live your life without requiring other people to drive you places (or to take responsibility for tasks that should be your responsibility but you can't do because you don't drive) then I really don't see any problem at all.

NerrSnerr Wed 25-Jan-17 16:08:23

If you're 30 what if you want to move elsewhere in the next 50 odd years? Do you want to be restricted to places with good public transport? Do all your friends and family live in accessible places? If not, how do you visit? I know when I lived rurally taxis were stupidly expensive.

user1478860582 Wed 25-Jan-17 16:18:02

I passed my car and motorbike test at 17. I'm now 45 and for various reasons reviewing my life (not least that I'm very seriously ill) and my whole life has been going somewhere. In a rush thinking about the destination.

If I had my time again, I wouldn't of taken my tests. I'd of enjoyed the journeys more.

NavyandWhite Wed 25-Jan-17 16:24:25

I'm confused to why he wants you to drive. You've no DC, don't ask him for lifts, can get around easily without a car.

Is he thinking for the future? I would say if you have DC at some point driving is pretty handy. I wouldn't be able to get mine around to school, clubs, parties etc if I didn't drive.

MaxPepsi Wed 25-Jan-17 16:27:13

Is he prepared to help both financially and practically?

I was in a similar position to you. My DH (boyfriend at the time) just came home one day with a 2nd hand car and said here, it's about time you sorted your driving out.

I wasn't happy about it but knew deep down that he was completely right.

The L plates went on and I drove everywhere. We'd go out for tea. I drove, he still had to remain sober. I'd drive to work then he'd drive the remaining miles to his work. I'd then drive home etc etc. We paid for all the costs jointly.

After 6 months I sat my practical. Only after passing it did I get 'proper' lessons. About 6 of them in total and I passed 'first' time.

Best thing he did for me. But that's the crux.he did it for me not himself.

ElspethFlashman Wed 25-Jan-17 16:38:12

The thing is (that my best friend is now discovering) that once you actually have a baby, you will pretty much never ever have the spare cash or time to learn.

She lives centrally but she still finds it a struggle. It's a 15 min walk to the Tube which is fine in the summer but shit in the winter with a moaning toddler. The bus stop is a bit of a shlep too. Her partner cycles to work and the car is outside all day but it's useless to her, even if there was an emergency.

So now she has a kid she's finally seeing the advantage of driving but it's just way too hard now to manage it all.

So IMO, put it off all you like.....but learn before kids.

user1485342611 Wed 25-Jan-17 16:40:28

I have a close family member who can't drive. It's a PITA at times to be honest. It's not so much looking for lifts, as not being able to give a hand with an elderly parent who needs ferrying around, and things like that. I do think it's important nowadays to try and get yourself driving. Even if it's a skill you don't need now, you may in the future.

Albatross26 Wed 25-Jan-17 16:41:12

Exactly Navy if it was really inconvenient to him fair enough but it isn't. If he was single he'd still drive to do a big shop etc so what difference does it make. I get that in the future I may live somewhere else or have dc but I'd deal with that when it came to it.
If I'd had a more positive earlier experience I might want to do it now, but I absolutely went to pieces in the tests, even thinking about having to do it again makes my heart race! Ridiculous really I know as an otherwise competent adult

LittleMissUpset Wed 25-Jan-17 16:44:42

I've passed my test but don't drive, it took me 5 attempts and I'm so anxious about driving it's not worth it.

I live in a town where we can walk to most things. I have OCD, anxiety, depression and am autistic, and driving just isn't for me, I have trouble judging spaces and my coordination is terrible, and I'm jittery, and panic easily, so not everyone is cut out for driving.

elelfrance Wed 25-Jan-17 16:47:10

I think its important to think about later years too - my MIL doesn't drive, and when PIL was unwell it cost them a fortune and was a huuuge hassle to figure out lifts/taxis etc to all his various appointments.
Now yes, it is doing it for someone else, and not yourself, but I think that's part of the give & take of marriage

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