Bucketlist #6: Have and Drive a Car

I never saw myself driving a car. Ever. I mean, I’m not scared of vehicles that go fast… as long as I’m not the one who’s behind the steering wheel. That’s why driving a car – me?! – seemed impossible.

Bron: autoscout24

I don’t know how much you know about driving a car in Belgium, but we can learn to drive a car with a supervisor when we’re 17 but not before we have passed the theoretical test. Also, you can take driving lesson’s in a professional school when you’re 18. When you have completed 20 hours of driving lesson’s in such a school, you can keep on practicing yourself, i.e. without a supervisor. That’s what I did – at least, as soon as I had a car to practice with…

Auto

During my first months at the University, I took driving lesson’s and after 20 hours I didn’t see myself fit yet to start practicing – on the public road! – by myself. I mean, what if something happened and I had to solve everything by myself? Help! Luckily, a friend of the family offered to go with me. It wasn’t so much that I wasn’t able to drive a car by myself as that I was too insecure to do it.

I took the classes in September-October and got a car in January. Because of the snow, though, I didn’t start practicing until the snow melted away. By then February came around. Four months after I first started practicing by myself, I declared myself fit to take the exam – which I passed on the first try! How proud I was… Honestly though, one of the reasons I took the exam so early was that I felt challenged by a friend who had also practiced for no longer than four months. Another reason was that I’d promised my friends I would drive them to an attraction park at the end of the month. I wanted to show off my car you know…

One more thing: I don’t think it’s “smart” that those who haven’t taken the 20h-classes and haven’t practiced by themselves are allowed to start driving by themselves as soon as they get their license. I mean, the first time you drive somewhere by yourself is pretty nerve-wrecking! And it’s not because you now have a driver’s license that you are an expert driver all of the sudden.

Besides that, learning to drive a car en owning a car were both on my bucketlist. I combined them, because in my case one isn’t possible without the other. My close family had either automatic transmission or leasing cars. I couldn’t practice with those, so we had to buy a new car. And don’t I love my car!

What I was looking for in a car:

  1. It couldn’t be a Volkswagen Golf – I mean, everyone here has those. I wanted something different.
  2. It had to be either black, white or silver – in that order.
  3. It had to have a radio – and preferably a CD-player and AUX-gate (USB was optional).
  4. There had to be airconditioning.
  5. It has to drive economically – I am a student and everything above €20 is expensive. I don’t want to spend my entire budget on gas. That’s normal, right?

I still think that list is very achievable. I don’t need an integrated GPS or heated seats or whatever. Just the basic stuff.

Guess what I got?

  1. Chevrolet Spark – it’s new. It’s so new, in fact, that four years later still not everyone knows about its existence. How unique can you be? In my own city, only two other people drive this type of car.
  2. It’s white. And it’s cute.
  3. It has a radio, CD-player and AUX-gate. So much music to play!
  4. The airconditioning sucks – when you turn it on the car turns into a freezer immediately, there’s no in-between. But! I got what I wanted.
  5. Even though it’s a city car, it doesn’t really drive economically. The gas tank, too, doesn’t have a big capacity, which means that every 400km (if I’m lucky) I need to stop at a gas station.

Auto

PS. I have been driving this car for three years now and I am so proud to say I have never gotten a fine nor have I been in or caused an accident. Yes, I do think it is worth a quick mention!

When did you get you’re first car? What’s your dream car? Have you ever been in an accident? 

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