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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there everyone, I'm new to the group, so it's lovely to be here. However, to be honest, I'm likely one of the few here who isn't even a driver... yet.

I've been looking to learn to drive at the ripe age of 37, having waited for the EV infrastructure to get better(I've never needed to drive as I've lived in big cities). Now it has(and I'm living in the borders) I've decided to take the plunge!

Sadly, the DVSA advisor explained there's a year(!) wait on tests now, and there's still no such thing as an EV-only licence, with automatic lessons strangely costing a lot more overall.

Odder still is that despite petrol getting the oust from 2030, the DVSA keeps insisting I learn manual transmission and petrol "just in case" and that electric vehicles are "too niche to have a test category".

I wonder why the DVLA/DVSA are so against EVs, despite being an inevitability? Moreover, does anyone have any tips as to what I should do? Bite the bullet, get a manual licence when all the 17y olds are finished getting their backdated tests, and do as they said and "aim for petrol, EVs are too niche"?

I'm still baffled there's no plans to make an EV-only school and test bracket, personally...
 

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There are 2 licenses, nothing to do with petrol etc. just manual and automatic. If possible try for a manual as this covers automatics and gives access to things like hire vans which are usually manual.

You can learn and take the test in an automatic. I believe there are already some instructors teaching automatics using EVs
 

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Hi there everyone, I'm new to the group, so it's lovely to be here. However, to be honest, I'm likely one of the few here who isn't even a driver... yet.

I've been looking to learn to drive at the ripe age of 37, having waited for the EV infrastructure to get better(I've never needed to drive as I've lived in big cities). Now it has(and I'm living in the borders) I've decided to take the plunge!

Sadly, the DVSA advisor explained there's a year(!) wait on tests now, and there's still no such thing as an EV-only licence, with automatic lessons strangely costing a lot more overall.

Odder still is that despite petrol getting the oust from 2030, the DVSA keeps insisting I learn manual transmission and petrol "just in case" and that electric vehicles are "too niche to have a test category".

I wonder why the DVLA/DVSA are so against EVs, despite being an inevitability? Moreover, does anyone have any tips as to what I should do? Bite the bullet, get a manual licence when all the 17y olds are finished getting their backdated tests, and do as they said and "aim for petrol, EVs are too niche"?

I'm still baffled there's no plans to make an EV-only school and test bracket, personally...
DVLA are agnostic as to whether you get a manual or an automatic license. They also don't distinguish between petrol, diesel, LPG, hydrogen, battery
 

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TBH, not much point in learning to drive a manual now, IMHO. EVs are going to be mainstream before long. I switched from manual to a hybrid in 2005, that had no gear changes, auto or manual, as it used what amounts to an EV-like transmission, with no clutch, torque converter or whatever. After 16 years of hybrid, PHEV and now EV driving I can't much see the point in having something that needs gears to be changed, and even less point in having a clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There are 2 licenses, nothing to do with petrol etc. just manual and automatic. If possible try for a manual as this covers automatics and gives access to things like hire vans which are usually manual.

You can learn and take the test in an automatic. I believe there are already some instructors teaching automatics using EVs
Oh I know that there's only 2 licence types, I'm just baffled as to why the automatic one is actively deterred by the DV, considering it'll (eventually) be more pertinent.

Sadly for me, the auto tutors are significantly more expensive - that's when they're not all booked out for nearing a year!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh, one thing I noticed as well (which I didn't include in the original post) is that the private tutors in the borders I spoke to seemed quite antagonistic/laughed off the idea of me going electric from the very start.

Fair enough they were both quite old lads, but I didn't expect it to be treated as such a fad by them.
 

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They can see their job diminishing as EVs are easier to drive and they would only need to teach roadcraft not clutch control 😉
 

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There is virtually no difference between driving an automatic and an EV. My last car was the first auto I've ever driven, took me a while to stop reaching for the gearstick, driving manuals subsequently seems odd now. I take the point on hiring vans which are likely to be manual for quite a while. Learning manual will hedge your bets.
 

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They can see their job diminishing as EVs are easier to drive and they would only need to teach roadcraft not clutch control 😉
yeh a big part of learning in a manual is learning the hand/foot co-ordination. I still remember the hours and hours driving up and down private roads and on an old airfield to learn the basics. On a Sunday morning there used to be a convoy of about 10 cars going round and round in circles on the airfield :ROFLMAO:
I'd agree it's still worth learning a manual as you mention with hire vans etc. I still drive the occasional van at work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
They can see their job diminishing as EVs are easier to drive and they would only need to teach roadcraft not clutch control 😉
You know what, it might actually be as simple as that - I'm sat thinking they're trying to give me the best advice, but they may have just been trying to save their own face!

I think what I'm getting at is I'm still quite amazed we're this close to the big "vehicle changeover" of 2030 and even the tutors and licencing board seem totally weighted against EV. Even if you learn solely EV (which seems significantly simpler than a manual petrol car with clutch etc) you still don't really get a bespoke license, more just the closest available thing, and the tutors are telling you to "go petrol anyway just in case" the whole way.

If it was 1995 or something, I'd have understood. But now, Im so sure I just want to learn auto/EV only - it's just all this faff has given me a bit of doubt now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
TBH, not much point in learning to drive a manual now, IMHO. EVs are going to be mainstream before long. I switched from manual to a hybrid in 2005, that had no gear changes, auto or manual, as it used what amounts to an EV-like transmission, with no clutch, torque converter or whatever. After 16 years of hybrid, PHEV and now EV driving I can't much see the point in having something that needs gears to be changed, and even less point in having a clutch.
Well this was my thought really. I thought it was past the point of needing these things as a necessity, but all those tutors/DVSA lady really gave me some doubts by how hard they pushed manual & petrol.
 

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A "manual" licence would also be good if you ever hire a car, especially somewhere like Spain. Whilst you can hire automatics, they are more expensive.

Interestingly, my other half is Canadian. When she took her driving test over there, many years ago, she took it in a manual. However, their licence, like the US one, doesn't differentiate between them. So, when she moved over here, DVLA would only issue her with an automatic one. No big deal per se, as we have only ever owned automatics over here. However, when we go to Spain, she is not allowed to drive the usual manual car that we hire.
 

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I really don't understand why automatic tuition and licences should cost more. Automatic is obviously easier. And electric is the same as automatic for driving skills purposes. Maybe the instructors charge more per lesson because you won't need so many...
we're this close to the big "vehicle changeover" of 2030
It's not a big changeover, it just the time after which you won't be able to get a new ICE vehicle. Older ones will be on the roads for years after that.
 

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There is virtually no difference between driving an automatic and an EV.
I strongly disagree! I got an automatic ICE as a courtesy car for two days and it was so much worse

I have a full manual licence and I’ve driven almost exclusively manual cars before this BEV… I would argue that’s better than an automatic ICE, although it may just be a matter of habit
 
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The courtesy car you get at the dealers will probably be an ice manual, I never got an auto when my car was in for servicing or repairs despite driving autos only. Funnily enough I took my sons manual Citigo in for a service and got an auto...
 

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I just think you have been receiving the same advice that you would get from many people on here, that it is on balance a reasonably good idea to learn in a manual because it gives you both options. Manual ICE cars will be around for years yet so it's good to have the option, but the number of people taking their test in an auto and receiving an auto only license is apparently going up, but from a small base - a few years ago hardly anyone took an auto only test.

I presume fees may be higher, if they are, because instructors with an auto car will historically have been thin on the ground because no one wanted to learn in an auto. That will transition over the years but again, won't be an instant switch.

There will never be a separate "EV license" - an EV is an auto - what difference does the means of propulsion under the bonnet make? - it's an automatic.
 

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The hire car argument is valid. From personal experience I can say that it is very hard to hire EVs, especially for larger vehicles like people carriers.

Now by 2022-2023 it will likely become easier to hire EVs in major cities, but hiring a people carrier in a small town that´s an EV? That likely won´t be easy or even possible at all 5 years after that.

Can you be sure you´ll never need a car hire on vacation? Can you be sure you´ll never need one for business (factoring in that you might change job).

It depends on your knowledge of your future prospects. But it might be worth learning manual for UK drivers.

To anyone learning in 2025 or 2030 it might not be worth it, but for the time being it just about is.
 

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TBH, not much point in learning to drive a manual now, IMHO. EVs are going to be mainstream before long. I switched from manual to a hybrid in 2005, that had no gear changes, auto or manual, as it used what amounts to an EV-like transmission, with no clutch, torque converter or whatever. After 16 years of hybrid, PHEV and now EV driving I can't much see the point in having something that needs gears to be changed, and even less point in having a clutch.
The only reason I can think of is if you have to rent a car on holiday, or for work, or drive the pool car.

These will be manual transmission through much if Europe for a while longer, unless you want to pay a lot more.
 

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Oh I know that there's only 2 licence types, I'm just baffled as to why the automatic one is actively deterred by the DV, considering it'll (eventually) be more pertinent.

Sadly for me, the auto tutors are significantly more expensive - that's when they're not all booked out for nearing a year!
The DVLA really don't give a monkey as to whether you get an auto or a manual licence
If you want to get a license quickly, get an auto.
( And the BEV bit is irrelevant).
 
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