Dealing with your kids driving ambitions!

For some, parents and kids alike it can be stressful and certain precautions need to be taken.

Jeroen recently shared this with other BHPians.

This applies to all of us who are parents. But at one point in time, all of us were kids and we wanted to drive the family car, if there was one obviously. Not quite sure what is customary in India in the way how and when kids might obtain their driving license.

How do you deal with that? Would you allow your kids, clutching a brand new driving license in hand, to drive your car? How did your parents deal with it when you got your driving license?

For some, parents and kids alike it can be stressful and certain precautions need to be taken.

Here my own story, all set in the Netherlands at the time:

My dad was a lawyer and cars meant absolutely nothing to him. From very early onwards I started pressuring him to buy some decent wheels. Which he actually did – VW K70, Audi 80, Audi 100. Before that, it was DKW (Autounion) and a VW 1600TL.

In the Netherlands, you have to take driving lessons and pass a theoretical test before taking your driving test. It is very expensive, today thousands of Euros easily.

My parents knew I was desperate to start driving. So on the day I turned 18 (legal age for driving at the time), I had my first driving test. My parents paid for all my driving lessons as my 18th birthday gift.

I was highly motivated and within weeks, passed my theoretical test (100% score ) and the practical driving test. I still had to wait for the actual driver license to be mailed to me, which took another week or so.

On the day it arrived in the mail, I could not wait for my dad to come home. As soon as he came through the door I waived my brand new driver license in his face. He went up to his office and came back with the set of spare keys to his Audi 100. “These are yours”, he told me. From now on, you do all the family driving.

Go and start driving now, because the more miles you make, the better you will get at it. All my mates thought my dad was the coolest. None of their dads would let them even touch their cars, let alone drive it. True to his word, he never ever drove himself when I was there, or drove my mum anywhere. That was my role from then on. And I could take the car anytime he wasn’t using it too.

Mothers were of no relevance. In those days, very few women drove.

So I did maintain the same approach with our three kids. They each were allowed to take driving lessons and the theoretical test at our cost as their 18th birthday gift. Once they got their license, they were allowed to use our cars, including my company lease cars.

Passing your driving test is quite a big thing. About 75% fail the first time. You will have to take more lessons, new exam etc. So with three kids, it is almost a given that one or two will fail at least once. All three passed in one go. Although our eldest son managed to piss us off big time, for failing miserably on his theoretical test.

Whereas on the practical test you might just get unlucky, there is simply no excuse for failing your theoretical test. This was a very smart kid, who was already at university. So he just did not take it seriously enough. We made him pay the retake himself!

I am quite comfortable sitting next to any of our kids driving.

So, how was it for you? Did your parents allow you to drive the family car? Did they encourage you? Or were they very apprehensive about it?

How do you deal with your kids ambition towards driving and, potentially, using your car.

Let’s hear those stories!!

Thanks to Jeroen once again! Check out BHPian comments for more insights & information.

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