Toot! Toot! ARGHHHHH! Beep! Beep!

Train fares going up.  Tickets being ruined by the very machines designed to read them and let you through the barriers.  Commuting hell.

The time has come, my friends, for me to learn to drive.

I’ve applied for my provisional driving licence (albeit the DVLA web site kept throwing up multiple technical errors and I had to redo the application twice), and once that’s done, I’ll be seeking to learn to drive an automatic motor vehicle.

Why automatic?  Why not learn on a manual?  Well, two reasons.  As technology improves, the humble motor car is fast becoming a computer on wheels.  We’re almost, but not quite, at the stage of driverless cars.  I’d imagine that even a reasonable cheap and cheerful automatic car has enough gubbins to work out an efficient way of managing fuel and other whatnots associated with getting the driver from A to B.

Plus, while I’m sure most experienced drivers do not have to even think about the clutch and what gear they’re in – I’d rather get up to speed quickly and just concentrate avoiding idiot drivers and getting to my destination in the quickest and easiest way possible without having to worry about what gear I’m in, or the dreaded clutch pedal.

Let’s just hope I fare better than this:

Or encounter road rage:

  • Richy B

    I’d encourage you to try and get a manual licence instead. Automatics cost more initially, more in fuel, and repairs (and possibly more on insurance) – and only about 20% of UK cars are automatic so the second-car market may be a lot more restricted (source: http://www.moneysupermarket.com/car-insurance/blog/which-is-best-manual-vs-automatic/ ).

    However, if you get a manual licence, at least you then have the option of whether to get an automatic or manual car: and if you ever need to rent a vehicle (such as a van or even a “hire car” whilst yours is undergoing maintenance), you actually have a choice of vehicles. Oh, and quite a few modern manual cars will “prompt” you to change gears when necessary.

    Admittedly, manuals are harder to learn (but once you’ve got the hang of balancing the accelerator and clutch, it’s astonishingly easy), but I think they are worth it.

    • Some very good points to think about there. But I am still convinced – despite the extra cost involved – that automatics are the future. I think they will improve in terms of fuel efficiency (or electric efficiency – I would dearly love a hybrid or an all electric vehicle one day). Doing a bit of research shows I can get a decent second hand first car for around £3-4,000 (which is what I’d expect to pay).

      That said, there is still time to change my mind! But definitely good points to think about.