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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:
Bunbaker · 19/04/2013 16:40

"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."

I disagree. When we holidayed in France we stayed in a small hamlet off the beaten track. Without a car we wouldn't have been able to visit half the places we did. But, then without a car we wouldn't have stayed where we did. We chose to stay where we did because we wanted to be off the beaten track and immerse ourselves in French life without another English tourist in sight. We drove to Avignon for the day, Orange for the day, the Pont du Gard, Baux de Provence, drove down the Ardeche Gorge, along the Gorges du Tarn, visited Uzes went to some wine producers, had Sunday lunch at a ferme auberge. We couldn't have acheived that without a car.

arabesque · 19/04/2013 17:09

Here in Dublin public transport is not great and the links up are very bad so you could end up taking half a day to get anywhere that isn't on one direct bus or train route from where you live. From what I've experienced in London public transport is in a different league and I can imagine that even with small children it would be doable. In Ireland though I think you're better off to learn to drive unless you live somewhere very central.

Squitten · 19/04/2013 17:13

I'm in an almost identical boat to you OP! Also 30, also pregnant with DC3 but my other two are a bit younger than yours. We live a bit further into London than you and chose our area because of it's brilliant transportation links. I can't drive, we don't have a car and have very little reason to use one - I get shopping delivered and we have a fabulous local high street, school is walking distance, etc. My eldest also has a train obsession :)

My MIL is always digging at us that we should get a car. She keeps saying that we'll need it but has yet to convince me of why. I think it's really about ease for her. She wants us to be able to get across London whenever it suits her, she hates where we live because she's an utter snob and doesn't want to have to come here and she wants to be able to give up her car so that she doesn't have to drive anymore but can still have all of the above.

Thankfully, DH is an avid cyclist and doesn't want a car so there's no argument to be had there. He does, however, have a driver's license so that we can hire cars for holidays, etc. Because he is the only driver, we never plan driving holidays or too many long trips in a year because it's not fair on him but it is really handy to have a driver.

If we ever do decide to get a car in the future, I will learn to drive but, considering we have the kids in the car with us, we both prefer to have one driver who is good and keeps in practise a few times a year rather than two rusty drivers!

Bunbaker · 19/04/2013 19:19

I didn't learn to drive until I moved away from London. There was very little point. I worked in the west end and caught the train and tube to work every day. I would have used a car for about half an hour a week.

I live in a rural area and a car is essential - taking DD to doctor/hospital appointments/Guides/youth group/swimming/parties/friends houses etc. I need a car to get to work - it takes half an hour to drive to work and 1.5 - 2 hours by public transport. But I chose to live here because I can drive.

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