For a little over a year now, my son has been eligible to obtain his learner's permit. I took him down to the local office of the license bureau and he picked up a manual, and I decided to let him make the next move.
Two months to the day after his 16th birthday he requested that I drive him to take his written examination. He passed, and he obtained his permit. He was surprised that it only cost $3.50. I reminded him that once he gets his driver's license there are insurance implications simply because he will be a male driver under the age of 26.
We have six months minimum until he can take the driving test, so he have time to reflect on the financial impact of his becoming a driver. Of course he wants a 2009 Ford F-150 4x4 pickup. I suggested a used Dodge Neon. He said he wouldn't be seen driving one of those. I said he wouldn't be seen driving at all. Life's tough when you lack your own wheels and a bank balance to support that habit.
I think we'll need to start looking for another vehicle, though. We have a 2002 Ford Escape, and a 2006 F-150 and both of them have standard transmissions. One thing that we need to think about is our own physical limitations. I am just emerging from a period of time when I underwent foot surgery and was hampered in my abilities to use the clutch pedal on the Escape (but not the F-150). Since I am closer to 60 than to 50, I may go with an automatic transmission the next time we buy a new car.
Oh well. Pray for patience -- We'll need it!