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Life After Driving

(30 Posts)
chungc25 Mon 09-Feb-15 01:54:48

Hi ya'll.
As we all know many older drivers stop driving at some point in life and consequently spend their end of life without the private car as a travel option. I am wondering how we feel after we have given up driving, the choices and adaptations you have made, and how this has impacted your life. smile

rubylady Mon 09-Feb-15 02:07:18

I'm only 50 and gave up driving some 8 years ago now due to being so badly depressed that I felt I would be a hindrance on the roads.

My health deteriorated quite badly at this time, plus we had an road accident whilst on a bus, leaving me with another life long heart condition to go with the two I already had.

It has impacted on my life to the point of thinking twice if I really need to go somewhere as I usually use taxis to take me direct and back again. Or I travel with my brother in his car. This is because I only have a certain amount of energy and so if I traveled on the bus, then my time where I was going would be very limited and I would have to go home again very soon. I now cannot travel to my DD even if I wanted to because it takes it out of me too much to travel there, stay for a couple of hours to see the children and then travel back. My legs swell and I am laid up then for days afterwards due to my heart conditions. So now I choose not to go.

I do go on holiday because I can go one way, rest for a few days and then travel back home. If going out at home, I am away from home only a couple of hours and then back and back into bed for a rest. I am waiting for a heart valve operation so it might make me feel better again when I have had this and recovered, who knows.

But I am here, and there are plenty worse, so I get on with it.

Leticia Mon 09-Feb-15 07:23:22

My mother found it very hard. We did the costings for her and it was much cheaper to have a taxi than run a car, but she still wouldn't call taxis!
I can see her point - you lose the independence and you still have to call a taxi and wait. However she had to give up about 8 yrs ago and has got used to it in that time. It is a big life change.

nannieroz111 Mon 09-Feb-15 07:37:53

Rubylady you are so brave flowers

Anya Mon 09-Feb-15 08:31:32

Well judging by where I live, we all take to rather dashing mobility scooters. I quite fancy the metallic British Racing Green myself. I don't know their range, perhaps 20 miles (?) but I'm sure some have been souped up.

Seriously though for short journeys into town why not?

annsixty Mon 09-Feb-15 08:38:21

I gave up driving in my late 50's during the menopause when I lost all self confidence for certain things.I was happy using public transport and of course DH was around for most of the time when he took early retirement. Now however he has had to give up driving (9 months ago) and we find life very challenging.We have a 25 min walk to the shops so walk there and get a taxi back once a week but other trips out are severely curtailed as the cost of taxis for every trip out would be very expensive.Yes it is a life changer for us and not for the best.

Leticia Mon 09-Feb-15 08:46:41

My mother has a mobility scooter- it gets her around locally.

Quiltinggran Mon 09-Feb-15 09:39:41

annsixty I can totally sympathise there with the feeling of it being a life changer and not one that's for the better. I worry that my next DVLA glaucoma test will result in my having to give up driving and I dread it.

Hunt Mon 09-Feb-15 09:51:03

It is cheaper to have taxis everywhere than it is to run a car. We have never had a car and always cycled or used public transport. Now we no longer cycle and public transport is somewhat difficult, we have an account with a local taxi firm and it all woks very well. You just have to get past the feeling that taxis are for emergencies.Cheaper to have taxis than run a car? Don't believe me? Do the sums and astonish yourselves!

Charleygirl Mon 09-Feb-15 10:15:20

It is the sheer convenience of having my car outside my front door and I can decide if I want to go to X now or in an hour's time. My driving days are also limited because of my Macular problems. I only drive locally now but I still enjoy it, I like the convenience.

PRINTMISS Mon 09-Feb-15 10:31:36

I gave up driving some time ago, and everyone said I would regret it, to some extent I do, because I have to rely on my husband to take me out and about, which he used to be very good at, but not so these days. However, I know that I would be a danger on the roads, which is why I gave up, and I am not the sort that would take myself for a ride. Journeys have to be for a reason these days, and car rides will become a thing of the past if my husbands eye problem cannot be corrected. Having said that we have some lovely friends who are always willing to take us to any sort of general activity we are all taking part in. (we always give a gift voucher of some sort after a series of these). We live only ten minutes walk from the shops, something we considered when we moved, and there is a bus service occasionally.

merlotgran Mon 09-Feb-15 10:59:54

DH had to give up driving four years ago due to a stroke. I was more than happy to be the sole driver even though it was quite a commitment because we live in such an isolated spot and we need the car for everything. What pissed me off annoyed me though was that even though he deserved loads of sympathy because of his loss of independence, it wasn't until two years later that a friend gave me a hug and said, 'I wouldn't have been so willing. What about your life?'

I don't mind though in fact I rather like the control. wink

hildajenniJ Mon 09-Feb-15 11:01:42

I still drive, but would give it up in a heartbeat if I could use my bus pass at 07.30. We have a very good regular bus service here but the fare home would be £27.50 for the week. I put £15 petrol in the car and that takes me to work and back every day. DH uses the car more than I do, and he takes me to work. Work starts before the busses start running.

tanith Mon 09-Feb-15 11:06:55

I will be devastated when I have to give up my car, in fact by coincidence we went out and chose a new one (to us) yesterday , I'll be picking it up next week and I can't wait to try it out.. we promised ourselves a newer car when OH retired which he will in a few months he is keeping his for running around and mine will be my run around and 'going on holidays' car.
We live in an area of suburban London that has excellent transport links but I much prefer having my car sitting in the drive waiting for me when ever I decide I need to visit, shop or just go for drive for my own pleasure. I hope the day I hang up my keys if way down the line for me..

tanith Mon 09-Feb-15 11:08:35

I meant to add I'm sorry for those who have had to give up for health reasons but all power to you for realising it was your time..

Galen Mon 09-Feb-15 11:14:51

I have driven the long distance of 1500 miles in the last year. My car is 4 years old and has only done 5700 miles. Fortunately I don't pay road tax so it costs me very little to run. It's annual service and mot is the biggest expense.

annodomini Mon 09-Feb-15 12:01:01

Nowadays, for longer journeys, I 'let the train take the strain'. I've had a lot of shoulder pain in recent years and long drives exacerbated it. There used to be a good hourly bus service to Stockport past my house. This was withdrawn and replaced by a service that went part of the way to town, linking up with another bus. Return journeys are unpredictable. Fortunately, our village (town) is well served by supermarkets and I believe we are shortly to have an Aldi as well. Nevertheless, as the car is not in good shape, I am looking for a very small replacement, just to use as a local runabout.

Greyduster Mon 09-Feb-15 12:33:36

I would not like to have to give up the car, although we are lucky to have a really good bus and tram service almost outside the door which we use as often as is practicable. Public transport has it's limitations. I once, as an exercise, tried to get out to a reservoir I fish regularly without using the car. I caught a bus, then a train, then another bus. Then I walked a mile and a half to get to where I wanted to fish! It took the whole morning and when I got there I was so fed up it took the pleasure out of the rest of the day just thinking about getting having to do the same thing going back! In the car, it takes forty minutes. DH came out and rescued me, wearing his best 'I told you so' face! Like you, Anno, I have a problem with my shoulder at the moment and changing gear is a mare. There comes a time for all of us when we have to give up driving - I just hope it's not for a while yet!

Galen Mon 09-Feb-15 12:40:09

Well, I've to go to York tomorrow for a course on rheumatology and orthopaedics. I'm going up by train. It's a four hour journey and I have to be at the station 20 minutes before for my prebook end disabled assistance. It's going to be l long day. The course is on Wednesday and I do the return on Thursday. I think Friday will be a duvet day!

Coolgran65 Mon 09-Feb-15 12:53:15

Like Galen I also only drove 1500 miles in the past year.
And today I take my care for its MOT.
For the first time ever I did not arrange a pre-MOT service.
Some folks do more than 1500 miles per month.

A young car mechanic friend 'run his eye over it', checking brake pipes etc, topped up some levels, and advised I got two rear tyres, which were not vital but would be needed very soon. He said a tenner would do, I gave him £20. Tyres were £110.
Then down to the local car wash who did a mini valet, wax and wash, and a clean of the underside, for £19.

We use DH car for general use as it's a Qashqai and much easier to step into and out of, mine is a Focus and is 5 years old and has only 28000 on the clock, It has a great boot space.
I'd hate not to have it, it is an independence of my own, even though I do such a low mileage.

Anne58 Mon 09-Feb-15 13:26:25

Public transport where I live is a joke! There is only 1 bus a week to the nearest town, slightly better services to other towns, but I would not be able to use public transport to get to and from work.

The local taxis do not charge you for the distance traveled from your home to your destination, they charge from their starting point!! shock

Galen Mon 09-Feb-15 14:04:40

Mines a B class merc. I have an electric hoist in the back which puts my mobility scooter in and out. I live on top of a steep hill and would be housebound if I didn't have the car. The tribunal pays for a taxi to take me to and fro when they want me to work.
Unfortunately as my scooter takes up the whole of the back I can only take one passenger and can't take my dgds

merlotgran Mon 09-Feb-15 14:14:00

We're in the same boat as phoenix. It's a two mile drive to the bus stop so if the car is out you might as well do the whole journey. Taxis are very expensive and even if you drive 15 mins to the station you can't park when you get there!!

Friends no longer do long journeys to visit their DGCs and take the train instead whereas I'm still happy to do the motorway driving. I think if you start to lose your confidence it's time to stick to minor roads but I'm not at that stage yet.

It's important to have faith in your car.

Granny23 Mon 09-Feb-15 14:29:19

We had a taste of being carless for a week when our old car suffered a complete electrical failure. Our friendly local garage advised dumping it in favour of a newer car but finances would not stretch to that and we had to opt for the cheaper (£1,500+) repair. Had to call in loads of favours during that week to manage school pick-ups and clinic/physio appointments. Got the week's shopping home delivered but had to use the more expensive supermarket rather than our usual Aldi or Lidl. There is a good bus service but only if you want to go to Stirling City Centre (we don't) Only the hospital bus (2 hourly service) goes where we want to go but drops you a half-mile from school/clinic and is therefore useless as DH cannot walk far and cannot get on and off bus. Like Phoenix we have no taxi service in the village so pay for a double journey if we call taxi from town.

I was explaining this to an online 'friend' who said that we were foolish to move to a village (we have been here 40+ years) and should move into town (where houses/flats are double the price).

That week has left me haunted by the fear of how we will manage if car packs in or both of us can no longer drive through illness or old age - just when you need a car most.

crun Mon 09-Feb-15 15:04:34

I lost my licence on medical grounds in 2004. There was no good reason for it so I was furious, but by the time I had got my licence back five months later, I had become so used to making do without the car that I never put it back on the road. It was only going to Tesco once a week.

I've been cycling everywhere I needed to go, but my health has put paid to that recently, so I miss the car more now. Public transport is a PITA and more expensive. The hospital I use is 20 miles from here, it takes 2h 12m, out of which 68 mins is spent on the train, and 39 mins standing on platforms, and 25 mins walking. (On three out of four journeys I have had trains cancelled, adding up to an hour to the time.) I used to be able to cycle 20 miles in that time, but if I could still do it I wouldn't need the hospital.

Holidays are difficult, too, finding somewhere to go with a Youth Hostel, a railway station, and something to do that's accessible by bus is not easy or cheap. Last summer I had eight days in York for £353, out of which £151 was transport. That compares with £631 for a months cycle touring.

The car spent nearly a decade rusting away in the drive before I scrapped it in 2013.