Yesterday I saw a very pretty little MG B GT driving through a local town with L-plates on it, and I was a bit surprised because not only was someone teaching their own child (I assume) rather than an instructor but also because it wasn’t a run of the mill supermini they were using. It was a great thing to see someone who was new to driving being exposed to an old car and I would imagine it could be quite the bonding experience between parent and child.
It did make me question, however, whether it is better to learn in a modern car or an old one. For me, driving a lot of old cars when I had fairly recently passed my test helped me to understand how to drive in a way I couldn’t have been taught in a modern car and helped to improve my driving a great deal. The problem with learning to drive in an old car is that it has none of the mod-cons that you will soon have to know how to use to pass your test. I would imagine that most young people who are learning to drive probably know how to use all of these features just by instinct alone – but it isn’t a certainty. This is increasingly becoming important as more features are added to cars that are deemed to be necessary knowledge.
A driving test is similar to any other test that you’re expected to pass – it probably isn’t a real world test of your abilities but is instead testing how well you are able to conform to the requirements which have been set. I think it would be great if more people had the chance to drive an old car for an extended period of time – but I doubt everyone would agree. The MG B GT is a great choice for a new driver as they are a fairly cheap car to buy and to run, they’re not too fast for a new driver and provide a back to basics driving experience. Perhaps the best way is to provide a balance for a young driver with instructor lessons in a modern car and parent taught lessons in a car that makes you learn to drive properly, but thats just my own opinion.