I've got my driving test in a few weeks, only a decade or so later than most people my age did it. So here's why I delayed for 10 years, and why I changed my mind.
Reason 1: The Environment
Driving cars is bad for the environment and stuff. Loads of carbon dioxide, a fair bit of nitrous oxides, complex hydrocarbons, etc. I really don't get on well with traffic fumes, so thought it would be hypocritical to moan about cars and drive one.
However, I now don't think the problem is cars per se. I think part of the problem is the way that the tax system is structured - petrol isn't expensive enough and clean alternatives aren't cheap enough. Part of it also is the way society and cities, etc are constructed - it's actually really difficult to cope without a car. What really brought this home to me was buying furniture. Unless you get it from the kind of expensive place that delivers it, you need a way of carting it around. And there's not much you can carry in a rucksack....
Reason 2: Social Responsibility
10 years ago, I didn't think I was ready to be in control of a tonne of metal moving at 30mph next to small children who would be killed if I swerved slightly. I think I've got more reliable since then; I think there are also a lot of drivers who don't even consider this.
Reason 3: Laziness
If I had a car, chance are I'd drive it everywhere. Then I wouldn't get any exercise and would get fat. Possibly true round here, especially with school dinners. But less true in Oxford - there's a lot of places you can't drive to / it would be slower to drive to. Oh, and I can't help myself to lunches any more.
Reason 4: Being Awkward
Still true, but it's now more awkward for me not to drive than it is for society that I don't.
Other reasons to drive:
- It's inconvenient for other people giving me lifts
- It means I can go shopping more easily when shops are further away
- More flexibility in visiting people who don't live near public transport routes