Learning to drive is a useful skill for sure, but millions of people manage to live their life without ever needing to drive. When you look at driving from this perspective, you could argue that being able to drive is really not important at all, but there are plenty of instances where you are going to find a car incredibly useful.
The Logistics of Learning to Drive
Nobody ever decides they want to learn to drive, gets in a car, and away they go. Driving is not easy. It takes most people weeks, if not months, to learn how to be a safe and competent driver. First you have to pass your driving theory test (you can get help with your driving theory on Toptests), followed by the practical one. The pass rate is only around 50% in many test centres in the UK, so don’t assume you are going to pass first time. Learning to drive and running a car is expensive, so consider whether you can afford to do one or both.
Commuting to Work
You don’t need a car to commute to work, but it can be useful if you work somewhere that is nowhere near a bus stop or railway station. If you work in a city location, it is usually easier to use public transport. Car parking is expensive and rush-hour can be a nightmare for drivers. If you work in the suburbs or your job requires that you travel to different locations, a car is essential.
One thing worth remembering is that some employers require that candidates have a driver’s licence. For example, if you are applying for a sales position, you will be expected to visit clients, so a driving licence is essential.
Living in a Rural Area
Living in a rural area is wonderful for many reasons, but without a car, it can be seriously restrictive. Rural bus services are often few and far between. Rail services are confined to small towns, as many rural stations closed down back in the 1960s. This gives you very few options if you need to visit the shops or travel after hours. For most people living in rural locations, a car is the only solution.
Having a Family
Starting a family is a life-changing experience and once kids come along your world will never be the same again. You don’t need to be able to drive to have children, but having a car makes it a lot easier to take your children to doctor’s appointments at short notice. It also makes it easier to do the grocery shop.
Most parents struggle with prams and buggies when using public transport. Buses are not designed to hold larger prams; there isn’t the room for them. It is also difficult to manage a baby in a pram with a toddler. At least with a car, you can go from door to door, at your own speed and in your own time.
Learning to drive may be expensive, but once you have gained a driving licence, you won’t regret it.