When is it best to learn and why?

Hesitation happens with many learners who more often than not delay the inevitable, but how long is too long to wait to learn to drive?

The impatience of youth, entry to the job market or the need to get to college tend to be the main drivers behind why young adults and their parents invest in intensive courses or block booking. That, and the innate urge to flee from the guardians’ gaze – even if they are paying!

Apparently the brains of boys can continue to develop up to the age of thirty where girls reach neurological maturity at around twenty one years old, this difference will come as no surprise to some! However many skills take moments to pick up but the rest of your life to perfect, such as patient consideration for other road users…

For my 18 year old self, the offer of a crash course OR money for shopping was a no brainer – i wanted clothes! I had plans to move to the big city where, what with the congestion charge and public transport, I’d have no need for driving; it’s actively discouraged! No one could possibly understand…


Sure enough I didn’t need to drive in London, but what about when I wanted to escape?! Over time and with a variety of missed work opportunities, I began to realise the trade off I’d made and, interestingly, I realised I was actually a little scared.

My craving for camping, weekends on the coast and overseas car rentals went unfulfilled; I was reliant on friends and I had to plan holidays on the beaten track – something had to be done.

So at 31, after 10 years of deliberation, I find myself without a license and a raft of psychological baggage skewing my perception towards driving and with much less cash and free time than I had at 18. Looking back I can see how the enthusiasm of youth can lead to effortless learning.

Driving is a necessity for most, a preferable past time for many, and one of the few skills that confers the freedom to go anywhere in our interconnected world. And who knows what the future holds with the arrival of cars that run for a 100 years on a single tank, online car shares and back to the future hover boards.

Is driving the modern equivalent of a coming of age initiation? Where tribal chiefs evaluate the youth and affirm they are ready to be a responsible adult? It almost feels like it! At 18 I certainly felt the responsibility but by now I feel like I’m about to learn heart surgery.

Like learning a language, driving lessons are best done through block booking and intensive courses, before we’ve had chance to create narratives like how silly our accent sounds or that being in the driver’s seat confers godlike powers.

There’s an old saying that the wise learn from the mistakes of others. So from one fool to another; get started early!