Pink Phizz

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

These boots are made for walking.

Well, I've been thinking about wanting to get my license here in the UK. The one thing I really miss is being able to drive. Just puttering down to the supermarket would be a thrill for me. I was already aware of how difficult and expensive even getting the privilege of being able to drive here is than in the States; however, now I am even having a rethink of whether or not I even want to consider it. For those living back in the States, let me give you a little heads up of what it takes to be able to drive here.

You have to get a provisional, which is the equivalent to having a learner's permit in order to even get an instructor to teach you how to drive. And this costs approximately £35 pounds. The main reason why I would have to go through this procedure is because I didn't drive within a year of getting my first visa. I could have legally driven in that first year on my state-side license. Now, after being here for more than two years, it would be (is) illegal for me to do so. It also entails sending paperwork in, including your passport, etc. Then, when and if you get your provisional, you have to line up an instructor which will find you digging into your wallet at about £20-£30 pounds a pop for an hour. Now I haven't a clue how many hours it would take for me to get the hang of driving, or rather of being able to pass the driving test; however, I would imagine I would have to take at least four or five lessons. At, say, £25 pounds a pop, that would be approximately £100-£125 pounds for lessons.

Now as far as the testing goes. The tests are broken up into two parts (just like the States). Theory and practical. The theory test costs about £20 pounds for each time you take it; hopefully, just the one time. The actual driving test is about £45 pounds each time you have to take the test, which is usually more than once, cause it's so damn frustrating!

If you add all of this up, it comes to around £225 pounds. And I think you may still have to pay for the actual license, which I think is £35 pounds. If, and it's a mighty big IF, I only had to have four or five lessons (ah huh, right), and IF I passed my theory and practical tests the very first time (ah huh, right), then all of this would only cost us approximately £260 pounds. For the privilege of me driving to say the library or the supermarket. And of course, that's not even taking into account the extra insurance, etc.

Something tells me that I don't want to drive. Seems to cost too damn much, both in the pocketbook and healthwise. Healthwise, because I don't think my nerves would be able to take the pressure of the said tests. Aarrgghh!!

Now if we should ever win the Lotto. Well, that'll be a whole nuther story. I won't care how many lessons, tests, whatever I'll have to endure to be able to drive down to the library or supermarket. Until then? Walking is really good for you. Heh.


At 12:29 AM , Anonymous alison said...

HI Alice. Alex got his provisional licence through very quickly. We slapped an L plate on and occasionally he drives around. Ulitimately he's going to have two lessons to go through the test process so its just a case of finessing his 'Britstyle'. The practical test is a doddle, im sure youd sail through it. I think id fail the theory test nowadays though! For now why not get the provisional and then see how you feel. Id recommend it. Youve all that countryside down there to have a drive around and get confident..I cant see you needing 5 that should save some dosh.

At 8:50 AM , Blogger "Alice" said...

Thanks Alison. I've been thinking about it. I want Krip to get an automatic though. I have driven with a gear shift all my driving life, but I just can't fathom the left hand side. Too right-handed I suppose.

At 4:24 AM , Blogger Mike's America said...

Isn't socialism wonderful? Make everything so damned expensive that only rich people can afford it.

And make everyone else take the bus.

At 5:03 AM , Blogger MonicaR said...

But Mike. Walking is healthy - and you know what our resident environmentalist wants. ONLY what's best for us...

Alicenot - I would have a TERRIBLE time with a manual transmission on my left. Maybe it would just take several trips out and practicing to get comfortable with it. Heck - being on the wrong side of the car AND the wrong side of the road would be enough to send me over.

At 8:13 AM , Blogger "Alice" said...

mike: as you can see, everything costs over here.

monicar:"would be enough to send me over." not to mention cars parked on both sides of very narrow streets and having cars trying to pass each other going the other way. i've covered my eyes many-a-time just holding my breath that Krip doesn't clip someone's side mirror!


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