Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


To not learn to drive/get a car.

54 replies

sillyoldfool · 19/04/2013 13:37

Expecting dc3 in October, I've never learnt to drive, dh drove years ago but hasn't done since before we met. We've never owned a car. We live on the very outskirts of London-zone five, so like living in a small town, but with excellent transport links- the tubes 5 min walk away and there's loads of buses.
Both our families think that as we're having another dc I should learn to drive before its born ( which would be no mean feat given I've not ever had a single lesson!) and we should get a car. Aside from the huge amount of money that would cost, which with 3dc could be spent on something far more worthwhile (imo) I just really don't want to drive.
I like walking everywhere/chatting to people on the bus/living a slightly slower paced life because it takes us a little longer to get places.
Our older dc will be 6&3 in October.
Aibu to tell our family that I have no plans to drive, which seems to them to equal total madness?

OP posts:

ClearlyDad · 19/04/2013 14:25

I think you're being totally rational. Cars ARE expensive, and you do have excellent public transport where you live (not to mention, you can even get toilet paper delivered these days).

My one caveat to that is there is a difference to "not having a car" and "not being able to drive". I've had a licence for a decade, and it does mean that if I want/need a vehicle (hire car for holiday) I can get one.


Chocotrekkie · 19/04/2013 14:28

Next time they ask say "great idea.. If you can make your cheque out to xx driving school and what times would it be best for you to babysit while I have my lesson"


daftdame · 19/04/2013 14:32

It is your choice. You are the ones who live with the consequences - which you are enjoying at the moment. You can change your mind later on if you want to.

They really shouldn't be creating stress for you, tell them what you want, whether that is 'No', 'I don't want any extra stress (blood pressure) whilst I'm pregnant,' 'We're thinking about it,' (change the subject - do this often enough and they'll give up!). Grin

I've had this over a few issues - they do give up eventually! Wink


MaxPepsi · 19/04/2013 14:34

What ClearlyDad said.


SofaKing · 19/04/2013 14:37

Neither me nor dh drive, and we get this a lot from driving friends.

I think when you are used to driving public transport is a major hassle, whereas if you are used to using it, it is all familiar and fine.

Just repeatedly state with a smile that you cannot afford a car and lessons right now. If they offer to contribute maybe you should consider it :-)


littleducks · 19/04/2013 14:39

I don't think having a third dc will make much difference, if you manage happily with two, seems an odd timing. We live in a similar area (and im also pg with dc 3!) and enjoy having a car for things like trips to the seaside, but don't have one right now.

Unless you are asking friends and family for lots of lifts I don't think that they have the right to an opinion on the matter.


claig · 19/04/2013 14:43

I think it is a very good idea to learn to drive.
It gets harder to do it the older you get. So it is better to start early.

In an emergency, a car is very useful. You won't need to wait for buses or taxis.


ChunkyPickle · 19/04/2013 14:43

I'm with ClearlyDad.

I've sometimes had a car, sometimes not, but being able to drive is always useful.


sillyoldfool · 19/04/2013 14:44

Yes you're right clearly dad about the difference between not driving/not having a car.
So far we've always gone away by train/bus, which is doable these days-you can find all the local bus info online for everywhere!
I have thought on odd occasions when going to a wedding or something that it would be lovely to just stick the kids in a car and have them fall asleep on the way home, but that's only been a small number of times in the past 6 years.
I (probably) will learn to drive one day, bit just don't see it's an urgent thing, ESP as with 3 dc we'd need a tank to fit in all the car seats!
Dh can drive, so if we really needed to be somewhere then we could hire a car, though he's v rusty so would probably need a refresher course.
I'm just really sick of them nagging me about it, my mum suggested that we should have waited to be able to drive before ttc and were being irresponsible by doing otherwise!

OP posts:

LapsedPacifist · 19/04/2013 14:46

Completely the right thing to do. I lived in North London for 25 years and never felt the need to drive. We moved to the West Country 4 years ago and I realised how appalling public transport is outside London Shock so I finally threw in the towel, learned to drive and passed my test at the grand old age of 51!


sillyoldfool · 19/04/2013 14:47

Oh and claig, despite my username I'm 'only' 30 so hopefully have a while before my age becomes a barrier!!!

OP posts:

FryOneFatManic · 19/04/2013 14:49

I can see why you don't want to drive/have a car. I envy you your transport links Smile. I live in a rural town so a car is really necessary, although I try to walk as much as possible.

ClearlyDad - My one caveat to that is there is a difference to "not having a car" and "not being able to drive". I've had a licence for a decade, and it does mean that if I want/need a vehicle (hire car for holiday) I can get one.

I think that this comment is worth considering. Having a licence is useful if you do have occasional need for a car.


MadBusLady · 19/04/2013 14:50

I'm in the same position, and while I'd hate to go everywhere by car I am going to learn soon. I can't imagine it'll change my habits one bit (the supermarket is 4 mins by train, 10 by car!) but I'd like to know I could drive in an emergency. Even more so if I had DC.


everlong · 19/04/2013 14:52

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BackforGood · 19/04/2013 14:52

In your situation, YANBU - it's just not a priority for you.
Personally, I would hate to not be able to drive, it would have just meant missing out on so many things both for me and for my dc, but it seems you are fine without a car, so of course, at 30, you should be totally free to make whatever choices you want to!


MadBusLady · 19/04/2013 14:54

I do know exactly what you mean about preferring to be out in the world though. My parents still do this thing where they go on holiday to France every year in their car. And spend a lot of each day driving around to places, getting out and walking around for a couple of hours, and then driving off somewhere else. I can understand it with children but it seems so crazy to me that they still do it. A car shuts you off from so much.


sillyoldfool · 19/04/2013 14:55

What sort of emergency are you thinking of?
If it was life or death, then whether you could drive or not you'd call an ambulance wouldn't you? I can't think of anything else that couldn't be dealt with by the tube/a taxi.
One day, when my parents are old and might need assistance then driving will be more important, but they're in their early 60s and fitter than me atm!

OP posts:

forevergreek · 19/04/2013 14:56

I would say its not essential but like others said, at some point it might be useful to be able to. I would maybe learn after baby is born ( So in a year or so)

We both drive, but also live in London (zone 1). We don't have a car here as its pointless. We do however hire a car occasionally such as for weddings to random remote places/ or to visit relatives for a long weekend. It's much cheaper as a 4 day hire for example is only around £120. So x2/3 times a year it's much cheaper than buying/ maintaining/ insurance etc for our own.

Being able to drive also means we can hire a car abroad if needed ( but depends on how confident, we both drove for 5 ish years before moving to London)


sillyoldfool · 19/04/2013 14:58

Absolutely madbuslady! I love a trip on a London bus! All the world is there!
The kids enjoy going on trains etc too, we can sit and do colouring and cutting a sticking and have a little picnic and point out the sights going past... I love train journeysSmile

OP posts:

daftdame · 19/04/2013 14:59

However useful a licence maybe I still don't think it is right that anybody puts pressure on you to do something which is clearly your choice.

As you have said you are young yet! If the idea of learning to drive right now makes you feel uncomfortable don't do it. You will have plenty to be getting on with, with your 2dc and another one on the way. If you just needed a nudge, I think you'd be booking your lessons!


sillyoldfool · 19/04/2013 15:01

Yes, I conceed that one day learning to drive will be a good thing to do, but right now? It just seems madness to me, and finding the time to do it would be hopeless, in between both of us working and the kids and ours eldest's social life!

OP posts:

sillyoldfool · 19/04/2013 15:02

It's just one of the many little things that have made us realise people aren't nearly as thrilled about dc3 as they were about dc1/2 Hmm

OP posts:

claig · 19/04/2013 15:04

When the kids get older, they will miss the last bus or train home and will ring to be picked up.

Sometimes you will want to drive to events out in the country for sporting shows etc.

Public transport late at night can mean coming into contact with drunks and yobs etc.

Cars are safer and give more privacy.


ClearlyDad · 19/04/2013 15:05

I can only imagine pregnancy... but as an experienced driver (military/worldwide... everything from Artic to desert conditions) I'd say the last thing you want whilst learning is someone kicking you from the inside!

Make learning to drive part of your 5 year plan, and politely but firmly let people know that you're quite busy enough without learning to operate what is (effectively) heavy machinery.


MadBusLady · 19/04/2013 15:12

Re: "drunks and yobs" public transport in London is a bit different for that IME. Everyone uses it, so you nearly always have a cross-section of people at most times of day or night. I've had less good experiences elsewhere where public transport is seen as the "second class citizen" option.

I'd be very surprised if cars were statistically safer than buses, tubes and trains. And you can MN on a bus. Smile

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?