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Should I drive again after 15 years?

(61 Posts)
LadyBella Wed 09-Sep-20 09:34:21

I haven't driven for 15 years because DH always buys cars that I feel are too big for me. Have been happy on public transport which is very good in our area. But, because of the virus, I don't fancy buses and trains any more. Never enjoyed driving but wondered if I should buy a small car so I can trundle round the local area. Not sure if I've lost my nerve or how to get confidence back or whether not to bother. I'm dithering.

Daisymae Wed 09-Sep-20 09:35:46

Have a few lessons and see how you get on. Will inform your decision.

Westcoaster Wed 09-Sep-20 10:22:22

We bought a new car last year and I didn't get on with it at all (too big, too many bells and whistles) so stopped driving. Recently bought a wee car rust bucket for getting myself around locally and it's great. Undoubtedly a stupid time to be buying a car with the limitations in place, but it's a new lease of life, specially with winter approaching.

After 15 years a few driving lessons would be a good idea ... even after a year I had forgotten little things, but soon got into the swing again. smile

kittylester Wed 09-Sep-20 10:29:36

I think there is a test available that older people can take. I'd do it as I cant imagine not being able to drive.

Callistemon Wed 09-Sep-20 11:00:35

Yes, have a course of refresher lessons.
Good luck

Farmor15 Wed 09-Sep-20 12:28:37

My mother took up driving again in her 60s having not driven for about 30 years. She hadn’t kept up her licence so had to do driving test, but she continued to drive for the next 20 years until she decided she might be a hazard to others! During that time she lost an eye to cancer, but was certified fit to drive, so was able to continue. It gave her great independence as she got older, so go for it LadyBella 🙂

silverlining48 Wed 09-Sep-20 12:35:35

Definitely do it. Ladybella, think of those bus stops when it’s cold and wet and the bus is late/doesn’t turn up. Take a lesson or two or go out with someone initially then the world really will be your oyster.

Farmor15 Wed 09-Sep-20 15:07:23

A suggestion- consider getting an automatic car- much easier if you’re not a very confident driver. You can get small automatics like Corsa, Renault Clio, Ford Fiesta. You get used to the automatic very quickly even if you’ve never driven one before.

M0nica Wed 09-Sep-20 15:15:12

Most driving schools, certainly the big ones offer lessons taylored to the needs of those coming back to driving after a long break, but please ro have them.

I was speaking to a neighbour who for various reasons hadn't driven for 10 months and she was saying that her driving acuity had gone, she had struggled an junctions and roundabouts and said herself she was probably a danger on the road.

This is why, during lockdown, once I had done my weekly shop (a 4 mile drive to the nearest supermarket), I would take a circuitous 10 mile drive back home, using various routes, to make sure my road skills stayed honed.

silverlining48 Wed 09-Sep-20 15:49:11

Oh yes automatic cars are great, no more hill starts, no crunching gears, would not go back to manual.

Whitewavemark2 Wed 09-Sep-20 15:59:32

A lot has changed in 15 years. Road conditions, technology, your reactions etc.

Imo you will definitely need lessons before you take to the road again.

LadyBella Wed 09-Sep-20 20:38:49

Thank you all for being so positive. I will definitely consider an automatic car as, having driven one before, I agree how much easier it is. I was wondering about lessons... yes it's a good idea. Thank you! I feel ready!

cangran Thu 10-Sep-20 09:49:26

If public transport is very good in your area, do use it. I hadn't been on a bus since March before last weekend and was pleasantly surprised at how clean it was, how everyone wore face coverings and social distanced, with a limit on the numbers allowed on the bus. What the world definitely does not need are more cars on the roads. Please consider the climate before buying a new car, however small.

Albangirl14 Thu 10-Sep-20 09:49:35

I have an Aygo a small Toyota Automatic and it keeps me on the move and independent. My Mum was a widow ans I was so glad she could drive and I saw what a difference it made to her life.

polnan Thu 10-Sep-20 09:59:59

I have driven since I was early 20`s, always been self reliant in that respect.. lockup was not helpful as I wasn`t allowed out!
so the first time, (with friends encouragement) I got my little car going, and drove just round the local roads,

It was a bit scary, but amazing how it became the norm again.

so I say go for it... but I guess it depends on your locality, can`t dh take you to a quiet road or roads, if you have none nearby and see how you go..

polnan Thu 10-Sep-20 10:00:32

oh assuming you kept up your driving licence?

Carol70 Thu 10-Sep-20 10:27:42

I go with the other suggestions of having some lessons. I have never given up driving but when I was 65 I had some lessons because my parking wasn’t very good and I hated turning right into a busy road. The lessons were great: resolved my problems and gave me confidence that I was doing a lot right with my driving.

Theoddbird Thu 10-Sep-20 10:44:10

Go for it. You will enjoy the freedom.

Peewitt52 Thu 10-Sep-20 11:06:26

Absolutely you should! I did after 20 years. I had a couple of lessons to get the ‘feel’ of driving again and bought a small car. Haven’t looked back and go to places and do things I would never have been able to do on public transport. Am especially grateful that I did it given the current climate.
Just go for it and enjoy.

NemosMum Thu 10-Sep-20 11:09:32

Yes! Do it - it's freedom! Modern small cars are so easy to drive and you can get a one hour session for seniors from the Institute of Advanced Motoring where they give you some tips and hints.

PinkCakes Thu 10-Sep-20 11:20:35

After 15 years of not driving, you'll need a refresher course.

I don't particularly like driving, but it's convenient to do so, and my job involves driving about (locally). There is no pleasure in driving - traffic, speed humps and cameras, finding places to park, etc.

Aepgirl Thu 10-Sep-20 11:53:14

Definitely take a refresher course. Most driving instructors would be happy to do this. Certainly don’t buy a car until you are certain you are safe to drive.

ElaineRI55 Thu 10-Sep-20 12:01:44

Go for it. A few refresher lessons and you'll be fine.
A lot of women find it's hard to maintain driving confidence if their OH drives all the time and you don't need to drive to work etc.
It's worth making the effort for the freedom and independence it brings.
If you don't like motorways or long drives to unfamiliar places, stick to what you're happy with and gradually go further afield if you want/need to.
Good luck.

Brigidsdaughter Thu 10-Sep-20 12:03:32

Go for it.
If you feel your resolve weakening have a lesson in a driving school car and feel the joy!
I walk a lot, wont use public transport yet, butvthe car is liberating to get places out of the usual and the independence..!

Jaye53 Thu 10-Sep-20 12:03:49

yes go for it but do as all posters have correctly advised and have lessons first