One L of a price for getting behind steering wheel
Daughter #1 came home with L plates last week, which is terrifying enough.
But the thing that was scarier than sudden chest pain was a quick look on price comparison websites for insurance quotes.
She’s 17 next month, is keen to pass her test as soon as she can and has lessons lined up for the first day she’s allowed to get behind the wheel as a learner.
But the cheapest insurance quote, from a company I’ve actually heard of, to drive the boss’ little hatchback to get some extra practice in between lessons was pennies short of £1,900 a year.
I’m not condoning it, and people who do it want their backsides kicking, but at those prices it’s no wonder some just chance it and don’t bother with car insurance.
Whenever the subject comes up, daughter #2 announces she will be buying a moped on her 16th birthday, although I suspect she’s just saying that to provoke a reaction – and like any overprotective father I bite every single time.
Thankfully, daughter #1’s Auntie Organised has, instead of Christmas and birthday presents for the last 16 years, put money into a bank account to cover the cost of driving lessons.
Because prices aren’t what they were when I pootled around the streets of Barrow-in-Furness in a little Nissan Micra on my way to fluking my test first time in 1994.
Driving instructors must have nerves of steel.
Mine had a permanent grin on his face and spoke very slowly and quietly, like he was in tremendous pain but his powerful medication was about to kick in.
Imagine spending your working days in the passenger seat teaching teenagers how to drive a without running over little old ladies.
Have you ever met a teenager who doesn’t know everything already? Because I certainly haven’t.
Daughter #1 has started talking on the school run for the first time since Year 4 as she’s full of questions about driving.
Finding the biting point on the clutch is her biggest worry, along with the 20 other things you do without thinking before you’ve driven 100 yards.
But the best piece of advice is something my instructor said 22 years ago. Treat everyone else on the road like they’re an idiot.