On the road to financial ruin

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YEAAUURRSS! Daughter #1 passed her driving test this week.

Her first lesson was on her 17th birthday in November and roughly £1,300 of lessons, test fees and insurance costs later she’s the very proud owner of a full licence (when it arrives in about a fortnight).

Her text came through at 11.55am on Tuesday and it read: “Passed!!!” Which was a lot nicer than the one she sent last month which read: “Failed. I’m so annoyed.”

But fair play to her, after flunking by the tiniest of margins she gritted her teeth, got back behind the wheel and practised – not just until she got it right but until she couldn’t get it wrong.

I swear that young lady will be Prime Minister by the time she’s 40. One driving lesson a week wasn’t going to cut it so a few months ago we put her on our insurance and three nights a week we pootled around Morecambe and Heysham doing test runs, reversing around corners, parallel parking and reverse bay parking.

The boss is a nervous passenger at the best of times – imaginary brake pedals are fitted as standard in every car she travels in.

So to put her in a car with daughter #1 would be like strapping a hot-faced screeching toddler in the front seat – months of good work undone in minutes.

So it was left to yours truly to essentially comply with the law and provide ballast. Prescription sunglasses on and phone connected to the car stereo we drove the test runs to the sounds of Kraftwerk’s Minimum-Maximum live album,

David Bowie in his prime with the Spiders From Mars and Radiohead’s In Rainbows. I know it’s in the Highway Code that the driver always picks the music, but let’s face it, who’s doing who a favour here? Maybe that’s why she really pulled her finger out for her second test, she was hearing “Boing Boom Tschak” in her sleep.

But she’ll be fahren fahren fahren auf der Autobahn soon enough – at least when we’ve figured out how we’re going to find the money for the eye-watering insurance costs.

Last time I dared look our insurance company wanted to charge us £1,900 extra a year for daughter #1 to go on our insurance as a fully qualified driver. Literally highway robbery.