Testing times — 10 Comments

  1. I started driving aged (about) 15½ in a quarry where my father managed some concrete works. By the time I could legally venture onto the roads I was already quite capable of reversing, 3 point turns and hill starts (even on the unmade roads), and after some driving around with parents accompanying, I arranged a lesson with a "proper" instructor. He was concerned that I was far TOO confident, and I had to "Unlearn" various bad habits in order to have a chance of passing my test!

    • I forgot to mention in my driving "experiences" but I had a friend Johnny who lived in a huge house with a large field beside it.  Johnny had a car {a real banger; I don't know the make) that we used to drive around his field.  The field was on a steep slope (with a river at the bottom to add to the spice).  Great fun!

      As for bad habits, I very much doubt I'd pass a tset now unless I was very careful….

  2. I taught myself to drive in a 3-wheeler, on my full motorbike license. Boy, it was scary. The controls are all different!

    • Didn't that limit the type or class(es) of vehicle you could subsequently drive?

      • In Ireland at the time I got my first licence, a 16 year old could be licensed to ride any motor bike under 150cc.  At 17 I could be licensed to drive any car, tractor or van.  I had to be 18 before riding a motor bike over 150cc.  As far as I know this still stands here.  I would only have to do a test now for a vehicle carrying paying passengers or a large HGV.  Seeing as I have no need………

        • As I remember it, 3 wheelers (such as the Bond Minicar and the more famous Reliant Regal & Robin) made use of a loophole in the UK rules, in as much as they were classed as a motor bike & sidecar. They had to weigh no more than 8cwt – which meant fibreglass bodyshells – but you could drive one on a full M/C licence. My comment above was based on understanding that you couldn't pass your test in a 3 wheeler, and then jump in a conventional car. Much like passing the car test in an automatic – you couldn't then drive a manual without a further test.

    • When I began driving in the late 60s, it was costing me roughly double the premium that my dad paid for his cover, which I considered outrageous at the time. 

      Now the opportunist insurance cartel conspires to charge young drivers around 10x the price of an older driver – they get away with it because parents/grandparents will pay up just to support their offspring.   I simply don't believe that young drivers are responsible for claim costs of 10x those of older drivers – they just charge what the market will bear, crooks that they are.

    • If I remember correctly, it was £50 and was very difficult to get.  That was a considerable sum for the time.

      • £50 seems a colossal sum, though I think a young driver in Ireland now faces premiums of a couple of thousand

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