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Thread: At what age did you learn to drive...

  1. #1

    At what age did you learn to drive...

    and in what vehicle?

    I just had a flashback to my 1st driving experience -
    I was around 13 years old (I think?!). The husband of my Mum's best friend owned a Ford Dealership in West Cork (Bandon) and their son of similar age to me was my best mate. They had a shonky brown Mk1 Fiesta that we used to take up the inclined field behind the Garage, just to act the maggot! On my 1st outing, I tried a hand-brake-turn... the hand-brake bit, the rear-wheels bit, but then the hand-brake lever came off in my hand. The car rolled over, but somehow we managed to get it back on it's legs and limped it back down to the Garage. Ah, happy days.

  2. #2
    I guess I was also about 13 Rory, on the family farm in a Triumph 2500, it was easy to drive - Automatic, power steering. It belonged to one of our farm workers, it was all quite smooth and sensible. A year later he let me have a go in his MKI Escort, then the horns sprouted out of my head, thought I was Hannu Mikkola!


    For those younger members on this forum, this is what a Triumph 2500 looks like

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  3. #3
    Regular Kev_G's Avatar
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    First drove a Xr3i at college when I was 16 on the back lanes. Lad let in my class let me have a little go and then when I was 18 started doing my lessons and passed. Waited a year as I was saving for a car and to pay for everything to go with it like insurance, tax and then the lessons on top.
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    Regular Biscuit's Avatar
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    I had to T-Cut one of those bastards when I was 12.
    Ever since then I hated them. Loved Stags though.
    On topic I was 15 in an Escort van on an industrial estate when I worked Saturday mornings for my Dad's mate.

  5. #5
    Regular Chris D's Avatar
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    Not until I was about 18, around 1992/93. I pretty much joined the army straight from finishing my GCSEs and didn't really have an opportunity until I was in my final year at the Army Apprentice College.

    I paid my own way. Took lessons with a Welsh lady in a 205 Diesel. Passed my test first time, in Monmouth.

    Mum and dad bought my first car. It was an A reg Mk2 fiesta 1.1. Paid my own insurance - £900 TPF&T. That was a lot back then. Dad nearly bought me a Capri instead. Whilst it would have been cool as mustard, the insurance would have crippled me.
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  6. #6
    Regular tallchap's Avatar
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    I was 12 and my brother was 14. Our Dad taught us on the perimeter road of a local airfield in our Mum's Mini Clubman Estate (NFO 208M). From that point on, I was hooked!
    I've done it 'cos Gary told me to.....

  7. #7
    Regular stevem's Avatar
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    16 . In my stepmom's beige metro.

    Passed 1st time , I'd spent a number of years very slowly tidying my nan's mk1 morris mini which was bequeathed to me.

    I taxed and insured it myself from proceeds of saturday job. Seem to remember it was about 300 quid TP, which was a vast amount when you earned £17 a week. 9 quid to brim the tank and it would last me all week !!
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  8. #8
    Regular Joel's Avatar
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    I'm still learning.
    If the whole world was filled with just animals and David Attenborough, it would be a beautiful place. Unfortunately, it's been overrun by 7.6-billion assholes.

  9. #9
    Regular Dave G's Avatar
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    7 years old at my sisters friends farm where my sister had horse share. Was in my Dad’s 1989 Cavalier 1.6 GL and used to go like monthly if not more.

    There was a big concrete bit and my Dad said ‘bet you can’t get to 70mph before the other side’

    Explains a lot.

    From the age of 11 we used to go to the Hornchurch ‘Cardrome’ - I believe it’s still there.

    Loads of set out roads, roundabouts, traffic lights etc for learners.

    I ABSOLUTELY loved it.

    My Nan lived in Romford so every time we visited we’d do an hour there once a month or so.

    That was in various of my Dad’s Cavaliers, from 1993 in a red top SRI.

    Fond memories.

  10. #10
    Regular Dave G's Avatar
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    http://www.drivecardrome.com/self-tuition.html

    Bloody brilliant place.

    I was £10 I think back in 1994 so £15 is too bad for 2018

  11. #11
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    12, in a yellow metro that belonged to my great aunt. Then 13 in a Passat GT estate in a field. It was sooooooo much faster. After that people let me drive their cars, all on grass/fields/family land. I was allowed to park and move stuff. Failed my first couple of tests with no lessons. 6 lessons later, and in the instructor's car, I passed. 2 majors and 6 minors in total.

    They eventually persuaded my great aunt to stop driving. But not before she managed to run her self over and also park in her conservatory.
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  12. #12
    Regular Mike Roberts's Avatar
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    13 maybe 14 me and my mate used to drive his Gran's Talbot Horizon up and down a 2 mile access road along the river Weaver that used to lead to their cottage. We ambled along to the radio and thought it was amazing.

    15 I nearly obliterated my Grandfather's 2.0 Montego on Stretton Airfield. My cousin had (legally) borrowed it and let me have ago, I hammered along a straight stretch and I remember it topping out in 3rd before a left hand bend came up. I just attempted it, because that's what you do on OutRun, right? I totally lost control, and only his grabbing the wheel and pulling the handbrake saved us from a big bank of earth and probably rolling it. I actually leapt from the car in fear before it stopped. It shit its head gasket in protest soon afterwards.

    Once my cousin had forgiven me, and I'd had a stern talking to, we then had a spate of buying RWD tat from the Loot. MKII escorts with a month's MOT and the floorpans hanging out, I think my favourite was a FIAT 132 twin cam. We had fields at the back of the house and the neighbour was into grass tracking Minis, so had a decent track laid out.

    17th birthday I was kicking my Dad out of bed and was out on a set of Ls in an Apple green 1303S before sunrise
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  13. #13
    Regular Diamond Hell's Avatar
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    On my 13th birthday.

    Ford 4000, around the farmyard.

    There *may* have been an unfortunate incident with my folk's MG Metro Turbo when I was 14, whilst they were on holiday and I was at home, looking after the animals.

    Couple of lads on a nearby farm were allowed to drive from when they were old enough to reach the pedals and had Morris Minor vans etc as 'field cars'. I was SO jealous, although did get to passenger, which was amazing.
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  14. #14
    7-8 years old on a farm driving tractors. My absolute favorite was the Massey Ferguson 135.
    Thordur Magnusson
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  15. #15
    15 and passed my driving test ON my 17th birthday

  16. #16
    Boring... Started on my 17th birthday. Citroen ZX 1.9i Volcane. Bit of a beast really, looking back.
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  17. #17
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    17 during 6th form in a Yaris. Didn’t get on with it, left for uni after a few lessons. Tried again at 19 in a Polo and passed second time.
    If I could have all the money back I have wasted on cars, I would waste it on a car.

  18. #18
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    Private roads: 6yrs old, SAAB 96, around the farm, on my dad's lap. First solo run was when I was 12, on a Ford 2000 tractor.

    Public roads: 17th Birthday, Alfa 75. It was dark and wet.
    Last edited by jacobyte; 16-04-2018 at 07:29 AM.

  19. #19
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    11 or 12, in my dad's gold Passat, on one of the farms.
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  20. #20
    Regular simonsaunders's Avatar
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    Fairly tame, tbh.

    At about 14, I drove my Dad’s mk4 Escort 1.3 L around an empty campsite field. I remember it being harder than it looked!

    That was it until 17, when I went out with my Dad, took lessons and passed my test.

    Seem to remember a bit of karting on holiday, the odd PW50 at county shows and the occasional Cub 90 field bike.

  21. #21
    Regular Neil Mac's Avatar
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    14, on a visit to friends in the Shetland islands. The lady of the house asked us kids if we'd driven a car yet, and when we said no, she immediately directed us to her Nissan Sunny saloon and a farm track. It was a bit bumpy, and I may have suffered from pedal confusion. Great fun, though.



    Didn't drive again until I was 17. Didn't have proper lessons until I was 18. Passed test first time when I was 19. Those 2 years of waiting were torture.
    "Fortunately, I'd taken a spare Gearbox, Turbo, Actuator, Banjo Connector, Steering Rack, Driveshafts, ECU, Wideband sensor, 57-51mm silicone reducing elbow and a Copper Banjo Washer." - Nige

  22. #22
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    From about 8 or 9, ride on lawnmowers and a petrol go kart in the back garden. The go kart was driven on grass, and it only had slicks.
    Mark

  23. #23
    17th Birthday. Although I learnt how to drive my mini 3 metres backwards and forwards on a tiny piece of wasteland for around a month before, while I was waiting for my 17th
    I'm arresting you for murdering my car you dyke digging tosspot

  24. #24
    17... Fiat Panda XLS FIRE

    1 whole litre and five monstrous gears

    Designed by a guy who had nothing but a ruler


  25. #25
    Regular stava's Avatar
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    10 when I was driving one of these up the field as my dad and the other farmer chucked bales onto the trailer. I could barely touch the pedals haha.



    I then graduated to the mighty Toyota Hilux. I was allowed to drive it around the sheep field

  26. #26
    So many interesting insights on this thread so far, and very witty..
    Enjoyable reading, thanks for your contributions to date folks.

  27. #27
    Regular findlay's Avatar
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    Must have been about 9 or 10. A friend lived out in the country and, among the rot boxes that were lying around was a Hillman Imp that started and ran with a bit of cloth as an air filter. We had no idea about the pedals and were left completely unsupervised with it to rattle around the field learning as we went. The silencer fell off and, from memory, it died and then refused to start again. It may have run out of petrol but I don't recall getting a shot of it again.

    Around that age I we had family holidays at Kenmore on the banks of Loch Tay. I'd sit on dad's lap and steer his Granada around the roads of Taymouth Castle.

    A couple of years later we were on holiday in a Caravan in the Torridon area, this was the first time I'd driven on the road. Dad allowed me to go up to 40mph while he sat alongside. There was nothing else on the road and I don't think mum was too impressed.

    At 15/16 we'd go to dad's yard at work and practice maneuvering, normally in a Mk5 escort.

    Driving instructor told me to book my test on the first lesson. Was given 10hours lessons for my 17th and passed first time with the last hour of the ten being my test.
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  28. #28
    Regular simonsaunders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobbit View Post
    17... Fiat Panda XLS FIRE

    1 whole litre and five monstrous gears

    Designed by a guy who had nothing but a ruler

    My first car was a 1986 Panda 750L. 4 speed. I’m jealous.

  29. #29
    Regular Tim in Yorkshire's Avatar
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    I think I was 10 in mum's Citroen Visa 17RD with full vehicle control in our fields.



    Prior to that it was Montego estates (1.6 and 2.0) sat on dad's lap with him doing the pedals and myself doing the sterring/gears.



    In the Visa it was exciting getting in to 3rd gear!

    Other driving experiences before 17 included but were not limited to:
    Austin 7 pick Up
    Tractors, grey fergie, some 70s John Deere, 4wd Massey with front loader.
    Toyota Hilux
    Toyota Cressida for skids in fields (we thought we were like this) :


    Note the above are not the actual vehicles but are accurate from a colour perspective!

    Second note I'm at home suffering from man flu today so expect to see some sh1te as I'm bored!!
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  30. #30
    I didn't get much of an opportunity before my 17th birthday save moving a few cars around here and there. I picked it all up fairly quickly though when I reached 17 - Mum and Dad bought me 3 lessons with an instructor who had a Citroen AX diesel.

    Because we lived in the back end of nowhere they soon realised it was in their interest that I passed my test asap, as I could run myself and my younger brother in and out of school each day.

    They bought me an ageing Renault 5 TL from a colleague of my Mums (D361HVU) and I then had an intensive course of lessons with both parents every evening. I still remember Dad saying he'd hit the dashboard when he wanted me to do an emergency stop, proceeding to hit the dashboard some 45 mins later. I just ignored him and carried on

    I failed my first test at 17 years 6 weeks old for hesitating at a roundabout. I still think that was overly harsh now! It's not exactly dangerous. I then passed at my second attempt 2 weeks later (in the Renault 5), which happened to be my brothers birthday, so that ruined his evening!

    The Renault 5 made it through 2 years of - lets be honest - abuse with me before being passed onto my brother. He used it for a year before it was sold to a guy that was moving to France. Mum and Dad then discovered it in a French village around 10 years later still on the road.

  31. #31
    Regular orsonbuggy's Avatar
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    Well, it was sooooo long ago, I can't remember whether it was in a selection of wrecked cars around the pumps (on shale) at my mates father's garage in Abberley, or on a tractor in the fields nearby during haymaking. I think it was in the wrecked cars. There was only one rule: if we could get it to run, we could lap the pumps until it died due to lack of fuel/coolant/whatever.

    We made up a 'game': Having bashed out the rear window (if necessary), one of us drove and the other had to get in through the rear window slot, switch off the engine and take the key out. Then it was swap roles and the winner for the day was he who lapped the most . . .

    It was mentally dangerous, which is exactly why it was so much fun Learned how to hang the back out, fine throttle control, judicious application of the handbrake to throw the 'invader' off, etc. etc.

    As for the tractor, that was great! I was roped in as driver 'cause they were short handed on the labour front and I was to small to hump the bales onto the trailer. In no time at all, I got the hang of steering with diff brakes, double de-clutching for all gear changes and the like.

    Motorbikes, I hear you ask? Well, I was about 12 or 13 and a mate from school lived in the manor house in the next village. He had access to the family stable: 125cc 3-speed BSA Bantam from Noah's Ark was the two wheeled steed on offer and I just loved it. Up and down the long circular driveway then, after a while, also up the short piece of road twixt either end to make a lap Eventually I took a gamble and went the mile or so up to the 'main' road and back where I saw 44mph on the clock.

    They were good times
    Chris
    The older you get, the faster you used to be.....

  32. #32
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    Chris wins the gold for learning to drive on a loose surface around flammable liquid dispensers. And the silver for the climbing in through the window of the moving car game.

    I learned to ride about 10 ish, late junior school. Twist and go scooter. Then a KE100 Kawasaki on old railway lines near Carlisle. CB750KZ was first proper bike. Then 1000cc Moto Guzzi's around Rowrah kart track aged 13 ish... full licence holding yoofs can't manage to blip a throttle on a bike far easier to ride now. ZXR750 at 14. The AR50 at 16 was ****ing boring... so I used the Guzzi instead. Cumbria plod objected, which was bang to rights. Saying they stopped me for wobbling all over the road in court though... that was an outright lie. Feckers. Ho hum, my defence of I've been doing this for yonks... aah.

    Cars was a Nova Merit, Cleator Moor industrial estate... with my mum. Everything else in our family was made by British Leyland and thus beyond shit.

    Anyone noticed the majority of responses evidence underage driving. I wonder if this corellates to skill set / awareness, or if that is co-incidental given the demographic hereabouts.
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  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy C View Post
    Everything else in our family was made by British Leyland and thus beyond shit.
    Ooo, I suspect that CaptSolo won't appreciate that ^ derogatory remark.

    Excellent replies folks, very enjoyable reading.

  34. #34
    My dad taught me aged 8 in his series 3 109 on a mountain near me. By 12 years old I was cutting fields for my dad's friend on his tractor

  35. #35
    Regular Andrewt's Avatar
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    17th birthday. 10 lessons and passed in a month. Not looked back.
    F80 M3. Missing a man up button and an M140i for good measure

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