Helping someone w/learner's permit practice driving -- but I have no car
January 9, 2019 6:51 PM   Subscribe

I have an adult (30 year old) child who is learning how to drive. He has a learner's permit and is taking a series of professional lessons; these are going well. The instructor says it would be good for him to practice between lessons. But I don't have a car.

I use ZipCar and rental cars. (As far as I can tell) those don't work because my child would not be an approved driver, and the insurance would not necessarily cover any accident. I can try to bribe my friends who own cars to give some practice time. Am I missing an obvious option?
posted by ClaudiaCenter to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You could buy an older and cheaper car.
posted by JayRwv at 7:19 PM on January 9

Paying the driving school or driving instructor for additional "practice time lessons" might be cheaper than buying a used car (and registering it and insuring it). Assuming he's taking his lessons at some place reputable and expensive (and I highly recommend that), maybe call up one of the cheap-ass "Ed's Driving School" you see advertised on bus shelters and stuff and say you'd like to drive around for a couple of hours a week, how much would that cost.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:36 PM on January 9 [6 favorites]

You can't get approved to drive a Zipcar until you've had your license for a year. I didn't get a car after getting my license and I didn't drive for a year (more or less) until I was eligible to rent one. I assume regular rental car restrictions are even higher than that, but I didn't rent a car for longer than a few hours until several years into getting my license.

I can't think of an obvious option other than bribing your friends. It's reasonable for people to look askance at loaning a car to a newbie because of the high risk of the newbie damaging it. Unless you want to start asking online if anyone is willing to help out, I suppose that's something you could try these days.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:39 PM on January 9

I learned to drive when I didn't have a car. I just paid the teacher for about 15 extra practice lessons. We picked a time that was slower for him, I came to meet him close to where he lived, and I paid cash up front, so he gave me a deal.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:54 PM on January 9 [9 favorites]

Just went through this. In our case, we have cars but live in a different state. Did a combination of paying for extra lessons and paying a friend of my adult child to let my kid drive their car. (Friend backed out after a near miss.) I think we ended up paying for about ten extra hours which made a huge difference.
posted by metahawk at 8:01 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]

Is there a reason that your son couldn’t rent a car, even if you paid for the rental and insurance on it? Then it’s in his name.
posted by amro at 12:12 AM on January 10

Oh, yeah, he doesn’t have a drivers’ license, so that was a dumb suggestion. Disregard.
posted by amro at 12:14 AM on January 10

Thanks, all. I feel answered and resolved. I will simply fork out for extra lessons (and will look for a cheaper alternative for the "extra" lessons).
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 4:48 PM on January 10

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