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Shall I learn to drive/get a car.

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#1 dekaspace



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Posted 12 December 2016 - 01:40 AM

I have mental health problems (though doctor and occupational therapy think its more linked to routine) its more I feel miserable most of the time and don't want to leave the house and even 5 minutes walk to bus stop is a struggle and when I do the buses take so long due to route, for example 9 miles from me is a £4 carvery, 25 minutes drive by car, if I got bus not counting waiting for connections or late buses would be about 1 hour 20 minutes, to go to city which is 40 miles away by bus (which I have a bus pass) about 2-2 and a half hours, 40 minutes by fast train but thats £10 return.


I live in a area with a lot of beautiful small towns, museums and countryside but to get anywhere buses go round housing estates, routes with traffic and instead of a straight line they go around (in the housing estate as I said before way)


Also a car is less hassle, theres a lot of Sunday Market/boot sales near me and I could drive them them and get bargains, cheap food etc and have a day out.


If so a smart car may be the best.


So is a car a good idea? I am 34 and never owned a license, saved up about 7 thousand pounds (which is a problem since benefit limit before getting it lowered is six thousand)


The main reasons for not getting one before was more the anxiety over driving, I am the sort of person who is anxious about a task until I learn it (so learn slower) once I learn I am better than average.

#2 gmboy


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Posted 12 December 2016 - 10:03 PM

Cars are not cheap to maintain and run, not to mention the cost of learning to drive.  Even though you have saved up enough, do check out the likely costs (MOT, approximate insurance for the type of car you want to buy, the amount of miles you plan to do and the cost of fuel for your type of car, an amount in case of repair, roadside assistance such as AA or RAC, vehicle excise duty).


If you think about how much you would spend to maintain and run a car, say over a year, you could then compare it to how many £10 train journeys you could make in the same time period.  This could help you decide the most cost efficient way of spending your money on transport to improve your life.


If you had a car you might still need to walk for 5 minutes to get to your destination, if there wasn't a parking space close by.


Do you get stressed if things don't go to plan and you have to make quick decisions?  This could be things like not getting a suitable parking space, unexpectedly having to follow a diversion, another road user doing something dangerous that you have to respond to.


Are you on any medication that could affect your driving?  (e.g. making you drowsy)


Ultimately it's up to you whether you want to get a car or not.  I just thought I'd raise some points that you may not have considered.  You don't need to answer any of these questions on the forum if you prefer to keep the answers private.


I learned to drive about 8 years ago, but I have never owned a car.  All my learning experience was during driving lessons.  I then had to wait 2 years after passing my test until I could join a car club or rent a car, so I didn't drive for all that time.  I had a driving refresher lesson before I drove again independently and now drive occasionally.  Public transport where I live is fairly good, so environmentally and financially it would be hard to justify owning a car.

Edited by gmboy, 12 December 2016 - 10:03 PM.

#3 Charlie C

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 03:21 AM

I always wanted a car. I hate buses and crowds of people especially if somebody sits next to me, it makes me feel uncomfortable. But because I'm on ESA and DLA I'm afraid that driving could affect my benefits and I won't be entitled to them, they sometimes with fail you because it show you can concentrate and stuff like that. 

#4 gmboy


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Posted 18 December 2016 - 12:35 PM

On the other hand, it might show that you can't tolerate being around other people. Or you might drive somewhere then don't attend the thing you planned because it was too stressful trying to find a parking space and so you went home again. You might only drive occasionally when you have low stress levels e.g. to get into green space, which are not well served by public transport.

So I don't think having a car versus not having a car is as simple as getting benefits or not. Indeed, some people get a car through their disability benefits.

#5 trekster


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Posted 13 January 2017 - 08:41 PM

I drive a motorbility car and claim disability benefits.

#6 binary


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Posted 22 February 2017 - 09:47 PM

I find driving very calming. If I have a busy day with too much sensory input then I enjoy taking my car out for a little drive in the countryside.

I find traffic jams stressful but that's because they waste my time.

Other drivers can be unpredictable and grumpy so I drive quite slowly (but not so slowly I am a hazard) so I don't feel pressured to whizz about and I don't make eye contact because I don't need other people's stress from driving invading my calm space in my car.

Why not book a few lessons and see how you take to it?

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