Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Who Can Afford to Drive?

One of the things I miss since I have moved here is driving.  I know that sounds crazy to most people, but for me I love to drive.  Most people find it stressful or a pain in the ass, but I see it as relaxing and a form of freedom.  Since moving here, I have only driven a hand full of times and in a city like this it can be a little stressful.  You have to watch for cars, bikes coming at you in every direction, people crossing the street at random times and you have to watch for trams that run in the middle of the street, all while driving a manual transmission.  Now luckily when I was growing up, my parents had manual transmission vehicles and I learned to drive on that.  In Tallahassee, that is no easy feat.  Tallahassee is very hilly, so having to stop on a hill and then go in a manual can be very challenging.  None the less, I learned how to drive a manual but only owned automatic cars.  Now in the Netherlands, almost every rental car is a manual transmission which is completely the opposite of that in the states.  Now why is this an issue?  It really isn't an issue for me, but I just thought it would be easier to learn how to drive on an automatic vs. a manual.  So why bother getting a drivers license since I don't own a car?  Well, my U.S. drivers license is only good for six months here.  After that I have to get a European drivers license.  If we rent a car to go somewhere, I will need to have a valid drivers license.  Plus the idea of having a foreign drivers license was really appealing to me.  I went to driving school's website to see if they teach driving classes in an automatic vehicle I found something interesting.
Like most Americans, I either have motor dysfunctions or have developed a fear of driving.
I was surprised to see how European's view driving an automatic.  I have been driving 24 years and never realized that I was either afraid of driving or had a motor dysfunction.  I called to get pricing on driving classes and was a little shocked.
                                                     -Driving manual:          € 99,00
                                                     -Theories class:          € 24,50
                                                     -Theories exam:          € 31,00

That isn't too bad, but that is just the start of it.  Now for the real cost.

                                                     -10 hours of  practical driving:   € 459,00
                                                     -Physical (really?):                     €   29,00 
                                                     -Driving exam:                            € 235,00

That is € 877.50 to learn how drive/take test (that is $1,124.87)  Who can afford this?  I wonder if they have a layaway program here?  We'll just have to see if it is worth it or not.  Maybe I ride dirty for a little while and if I get pulled over, play the stupid American card.  


  1. If you wife has the 30% ruling, you just trade it in.

    Although I might suggest a few driving lessons.

    1. She doesn't have the 30%. I was bummed when we asked. It would have been great to just trade it in and cheaper.

    2. She doesn't have the 30%. I was bummed when we asked. It would have been great to just trade it in and cheaper.