Not learning to drive is the best decision you’ll ever make
I’ll give you some petrol money tomorrow
Many of us take the same route through our lives. Go to school, go to uni, get a job. Learning to drive often fits in there somewhere too – and that’s a mistake. Cars are good for drag racing and sun-soaked Route 66 road trips, but until you’re dropping the kids at school before heading onto the office you don’t need one.
At school it’s a status symbol. If you had a Yaris sat in the Sixth Form car park you got kudos from the guys in your year and blow jobs from the girls in the year below. But it’s a bloody expensive status symbol. Confused.com puts the cost of lessons and tests, practical and theory, at £1,320. Take into account a car, insurance, road tax an MOT and all the other trimmings it’s not unreasonable to settle on £5,000 as a final figure. Do you know how many pairs of Yeezys you could get with that? Probably not that many, but if you didn’t want to queue for Ye’s latest creps you were the one who always got the drinks in at the one pub that sold you pints. You had the extra cash and you usually got door to door service, plus the rounds weren’t that expensive after the first one. “Just one for me, I’m driving” – result.
Then comes university. The educational phenomenon which sees us carve out small enclaves made of Chicken Cottage and £2 pints in unbecoming towns and cities. Higher education’s beauty lies in its geographical density. We’re all in the same place, eating the same kebabs and vomitting on the same estate agents. Getting there and back isn’t an issue, your parents are happy to do it for the extra two and a half hours they get with you, even if it does mean going down the never ending 50mph stretch of the M1. Graduation comes and your dad will willingly help you stuff your possessions into the back of his five-door. Think again if you’ve got your own Corsa. Damn, they’ll probably suggest you make two trips.
If you did alright at uni you, and 60 per cent of your mates, will end up working in London where, unless you want to work for Uber, a car will get you as far as loose change in a City pub. It’s only when you settle in the Home Counties, safe from the congestion charge and red road markings, it makes any sense to look at an ex-demo Audi. There are the people who do drive cars in their twenties. They’re not like you and me – they’re estate agents, they’re bankers, they’re people who value cars for their ornamental worth over logistical efficiency. They’re too good for the tube – they don’t want to share a carriage with the rest of us and our germs. They want plush cream leather and the bassiest of R n’ B on repeat. They neglect the obviously excellent public transport in the capital.
At 17 there are better ways to spend your, or your parents’, money. At uni the only people with cars are the ones who stuff flyers through your letter box on a weekly basis. And in London well, it’s London.