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Learning to drive at 17?

(73 Posts)
lunas Mon 10-Mar-14 14:06:35

Is it commonplace now to give driving lessons, provisional licence etc for their 17th birthday when they are students? My DD says all her friends are learning but I didn't start til I had a job, neither did my DH. It's expensive, especially the insurance even as a named driver.

3nationsfamily Mon 10-Mar-14 14:12:40

Yes it is commonplace, but often they are expected use money from a Saturday job/ babysitting etc to pay for the lessons.

chocoluvva Mon 10-Mar-14 14:29:12

Very common. My 17 yo is funding lessons even though we can't afford to insure her on our car.

lunas Mon 10-Mar-14 14:34:56

ok. she does have a saturday job but wouldn't be able to cover the insurance so is there any point in learning now? what will yours do chocoluvva if you, like us, can't afford the insurance.

chocoluvva Mon 10-Mar-14 14:44:41

Nothing. I think it's a bit of a waste of her money TBH, especially as she's going to be studying and living in our local city from September.

She's desperate to drive, all her friends are having lessons and she's quite young for her age. It's her money.....

saidnooneever Mon 10-Mar-14 14:49:38

DH and I had agreed to pay for a certain amount of driving lessons for dd when she turns 17. I was thinking about £200 worth. She stated yesterday that dh had offered to pay for insuring her on my car confused . There's no way I'm paying for that as well.

lunas Mon 10-Mar-14 15:03:50

It seems a waste to me too, she wants the licence for her birthday -£50.It will be expensive to put her as a named driver.

eurochick Mon 10-Mar-14 15:04:53

I did, but had to pay half the cost of driving lessons from my Saturday job.

BirthdayMuppet Mon 10-Mar-14 15:12:59

It was pretty common even when I was 17, over 20 years ago. But much less so amongst those of us whose families couldn't afford it. And similar to other posters, you were expected to get a part time job and contribute in most families.

However it's the one thing I'd scrimp and save and make big sacrifices for now, tbh - I think it's a critcical life skill and one I deeply, deeply regret not having.

bigTillyMint Mon 10-Mar-14 15:15:06

I did but we are not planning to for the DC - living in London, there is really no need. We barely drive our car anyway - just to take them to/from sports clubs!

ajandjjmum Mon 10-Mar-14 15:15:53

I agree - it's a really important life skill, and even if someone just has the lessons and passes their test, it's out of the way. I realise that they'd probably need a few refresher lessons if they didn't then drive for ages, but at least they won't have the test to stress about.

Nocomet Mon 10-Mar-14 15:27:01

We all had driving lessons for our 17th birthday's.

Many of us had our own cars by 18-19, buses don't exist in rural Wales.

They don't exist here either, both my DDs will want lessons and cars too I expect.

As for Saturday jobs, until you can drive it's impossible to get there unkess your parents act as taxi.

chocoluvva Mon 10-Mar-14 15:29:30

The thought of all those 17YOs driving is utterly terrifying. Traffic accidents are the biggest cause of death in teenagers.

ChoudeBruxelles Mon 10-Mar-14 15:33:50

Yes. Nearly Everyone I know my age (nearly 40) had driving lessons for their 17th birthday so not anew thing

CrazyOldCatLady Mon 10-Mar-14 15:37:31

I'm only learning now at 34 and I bitterly regret not doing it a lot sooner. Not being able to drive has made a huge impact on my life.

I don't want my kids to have that regret, or to miss out on things or be unnecessarily dependant on other people.

It's on our list of life skills that we want them to have by the time they leave home, so starting at 17 seems reasonable.

They won't be going anywhere unaccompanied in my car till they're 30 though

lunas Mon 10-Mar-14 15:40:50

good point choco, the roads are so busy as it is. wil have to give it alot of thought.

chocoluvva Mon 10-Mar-14 15:42:28

It's a very expensive way of acquiring a life skill though. Just waiting a few years will save thousands on insurance. Apparently after the age of @25 people need more lessons, but the cheaper insurance would hugely outweigh the cost.

17leftfeet Mon 10-Mar-14 15:45:28

I think if they can learn before uni then they should, regardless of whether they can afford a car/insurance or not

I know people that have missed out on promotions etc because they have no licence and so can't get to different locations etc

Also statistically they younger you are the less lessons you need to pass your test so it's cheaper in the long run

I got my licence when I was 17 and my first car at 21 -I just had a couple of refresher lessons

lunas Mon 10-Mar-14 15:46:26

that's very true.

truelymadlysleepy Mon 10-Mar-14 15:49:51

I really think it depends where you live. We're in a rural area with no public transport so parents are much more likely to sub lessons & insurance because it's in our interests too.
Nearly every 17 year old I know is having driving lessons.

If we lived in a city I'd be inclined to wait.

MrsFionaCharming Mon 10-Mar-14 16:03:18

I just graduated, and I've been registering with lots of employment agencies. The first thing any of them ask, before even looking at my qualifications/CV is whether I can drive.
I'm very grateful to my parents for teaching me and buying me a car.

BackforGood Mon 10-Mar-14 16:17:42

What 17leftfeet said.
My ds knew he was going to be 17, and had put little bits away from his Saturday job when he was 16, and had also asked for driving lesson money for the Christmas before his birthday and for his 17th birthday. We gave him a 'voucher' for 10 lessons, and between grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and his savings, (and more intense saving now he is 17) he's getting there.
I think the earlier you do it the better - opens up all sorts of possibilities when applying for jobs.
He won't be able to afford the insurance when he passes, but he's got the qualification for life.

chocoluvva Mon 10-Mar-14 16:19:56

Even with the need for more lessons when you're a bit older - it's not cheaper - the insurance in the meantime will be £1000s.

That's because 20% of teenage drivers have a crash.

lunas Mon 10-Mar-14 17:11:10

you are right choco it's £2500 for her own insurance. I'm looking into how much it will cost to put her as a named driver on mine. They said it would be £100 from her birthday until my renewal which is 3 weeks, then they would do an annual quote. I thought of teaching her myself to save money on lessons but I would have to insure her from the first lesson so that would end up being more expensive!

madeofkent Mon 10-Mar-14 17:13:16

Very common - firstly, they learn while they are young and pick it up faster, and secondly, to get it out of the way before A levels and going off to Uni, if they don't pass first time. Family seem to think of it as a good way to buy birthday and xmas presents, too. My son is in a city and has nowhere to keep a car even if he could afford to run one, but when he can, he will have a few refresher lessons. Also, the theory is far harder than it used to be and takes a while to learn. Quite a few of them have to take it twice. I just thought of it as one of those things you have to sort out for them before they leave home, like having nice teeth. A bit of a pain at a time and horribly expensive, but you then feel you have done your bit.

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