Thursday, 14 April 2016

Five Reasons I'm Glad I Learnt To Drive*

I remember around the time I turned seventeen, a great deal of excitement on the part of most of my friends; they couldn't wait to learn to drive, they were thrilled to receive driving lessons for their birthdays, they were talking about parallel parking and clutch control... and I couldn't care less. I didn't have that thing that made me want to learn to drive - frankly, the idea terrified me, and I simply didn't want to do it. In fact, I didn't have my first lesson until three weeks before my 23rd birthday, and I finally passed my test just over a year ago. Looking back, I wish I'd done it much sooner; these are just a few reasons why becoming a car owner is one of the best things I could have done.
Five Reasons I'm Glad I Learnt To Drive
The Independence
This is a key one, really - I live in a really rural area; the "local" bus stop is well over a mile away, and the buses are so infrequent that it's generally not worth bothering. It's amazing having my own car and just being able to get in it and drive to wherever I want/need to be - without having to bargain with my parents to give me a lift or pick me up from somewhere. Does anyone else name their cars? Mine is Percy the Polo and I love him to bits, although he could do with a bit of a wash...
Reasons being able to drive is the best!
The Time Saved
Previously, I was spending four or more hours per day on public transport to get to and from work, and had to depend on my mum dropping me off and picking me up from the nearest town which is five miles from home; I couldn't get home at all on a Sunday as the buses didn't run late enough. Now, I spend not much more than an hour per day commuting! Those three extra hours per day have made such a difference for me - I've been able to spend more time working on my blog, for example, and I've been spending some of the extra time at the gym, too.
Job-Hunting Is Way Easier
It's unbelievable how many jobs I want to apply for require you to have a driving license and your own car. Obviously this hasn't helped me much yet as I still haven't got a full-time Psychology job, but it's definitely increased the ones I can apply for, which is a good start. I am actually driving for work in my part-time temp job, which I wouldn't have been able to accept if I didn't drive.
Music
I can make my own in-car music choices now! I have a CD-changer in my car (I swear it's witchcraft. I have no idea how it works) which has allowed me to resurrect a load of amazing albums from my teenage years. I'm now spending a good 80% of my driving time singing along to Good Charlotte, Marilyn Manson and Placebo circa 2006 and it is beautiful. I also have a bit of a thing for BBC Radio Cymru if I've had a stressful shift at work - I don't speak a word of Welsh but I find it so soothing... Just me?!
Gir
It Gives Gir Somewhere To Live
This is Gir. He was a gift. You might not be familiar with Gir; he's from the cartoon Invader Zim (click here to see him sing The Doom Song which is mostly why I love him!). This is the sort of gift that previously would have ended up in a box somewhere or gathering dust on a shelf. Now, though, I've been able to modify him with a bit of elastic and a suction cup, and he lives happily in my car, giving it a little bit of personality!
Bonus: An Excuse For Having No Money
This isn't really a benefit! Car ownership is an expensive enterprise, what with buying the car in the first place (I was lucky enough to borrow the money interest-free from my Dad, which I've almost finished paying back!) and insuring it, then filling it up with fuel, oil changes, various bulbs and bits and pieces, tax, MOTs, services... The costs stack up!
Point S Tyres
I have to admit, though, when it comes to knowing how to maintain my car, I'm not the best. I can successfully fill up my screenwash and dip my oil - but that's about it. If my oil is too low, I have to ask my Dad to help... I try not to think about getting a flat tyre because I'm pretty sure I'd have to Google how to fix it, and when it comes to replacing tyres I wouldn't know where to start - I tend to just ask my mechanic if they're okay whenever I pop to the garage for something else. It hadn't even occurred to me that different cars might need different tyres until I was introduced to Point S recently; I can just pop in my registration number and it tells me what kind of tyres I need, as well as suggesting some good options on various budgets. I can order through the website, which gives a price including fitting, new valves, disposal of the old tyres & VAT, and book into the nearest dealer. How handy is that!? I know this is the type of tool which would make it far easier for me to keep on top of my car maintenance.

Do you drive? Did you learn as soon as you could, or did you put it off for ages like me? I'd love to know how confident you are in maintaining your car! If you're an engine whiz or something please come teach me your ways...

xo
[*Collaborative post. Written by me.]

18 comments:

  1. ahhh learning to drive was the best thing I EVER did. I learnt to drive when I was 18 and passed the week of my 19th birthday... (where have those 6 years gone!?)

    Yes, it was expensive to learn, and it's still bloody expensive now but it's well well worth it! :) x

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    1. It is expensive! I wouldn't go back now, though! xo

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  2. I passed my driving theory test yesterday, I was so nervous! x

    Heather | Of Beauty & Nothingness x

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  3. I learnt pretty much as soon as I turned seventeen, my birthday is September so I was one of the first people to drive which meant it was still exciting for everybody! I'm the same as you, I live in the middle of nowhere, back then there was one bus a day, now theres none and the nearest shop is 2.5 miles away!

    And YES my car has a name, as does everyones I know! Mine is called vodKA because she's a Ford KA, and ya know, teenager drinking habits haha!
    xx

    www.melberryy.com

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    1. That's an ace name! I really wish I'd learnt when I was 17... xo

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  4. Not passing my test until I was 21 was the most frustrating thing ever! Guess who can change windshield wash though! X

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  5. hahaha percy the polo is a good one!! my parents lived 12km from the city and I got my first scooter when I was 15, motorcycles at 16 and 18 and car at 18 as well..independence is the key! I had really strict curfews but at least I could drive myself everywhere :)

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  6. Definitely some great bonus's hear....can't wait to get some full independence no more relying on the train. I have my test at the end of may x

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  7. OH I love Gir!!! :) glad to see I'm not the only one. I got a car and license as soon as I could for reason number 1! I love the independence and the freedom to go anywhere I want, when I want! Thanks for sharing xX

    kynialikethecountry.blogspot.com

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  8. I didn't pass till I was....24, i think. Like you, the thought of driving terrified me. It took me a further two years to brave the motorway alone. But learning to drive is actually one of my greatest achievements. I never really thought I'd be able to do it, and although I'm still not the most confident driver and it will never be my favourite thing to do....I'm so glad I learnt. Oh....and yeah I'm terrible at the car maintenance side of things! Haha.xx.

    A Small Note to Self 

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  9. It is one thing I still haven't done, mainly because of a massive phobia that I have x

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  10. i love driving everywhere especially on road trips with friends. singing our hearts out haha

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  11. I'm in a similar boat to where you were! I'm 22 and have never needed to drive before so didn't really bother when I was 17 - now I'm faced with the prospect of moving to the middle of nowhere in September, I'm going to have to prioritise it and accept there's never a 'good time' xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

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  12. I wish I could drive :/ I really should go and learn how to drive, specially now that I live middle of nowhere x

    Laura
    Pink Frenzy

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