MOTORING NEWS - While being mobile enables you to be independent, sharing a car can be complicated.
Caught between the desire to be an independent young adult and having to share the car poses some problems. It is important to always remember that it is not your car and that everyone should be considerate..
Any time you drive your parents' car, you are borrowing it, no matter how often you drive it. Being allowed to use it is a privilege, not a right, and it is a sign of the trust they have in you. Don't abuse that trust. Go where you say you are going - don't use your parents' car to sneak out or disobey them. This is a sure way of getting your driving privileges revoked.
As we get older, we have the right to more freedom and independence, but that also comes with more responsibilities. Driving a car is a big responsibility. Treat it as such. Not only do you have the responsibility not to damage the car, you are also responsible for your own life and that of others on the road.
Prove yourself capable of taking on this responsibility by doing your chores around the house, picking up your younger siblings from school if asked and running errands with a smile.
Keep it clean
Wash the car without your parents having to ask you to. Earning brownie points is always a good idea and the more you prove that you are responsible, the more your parents will trust you and allow you to do your own thing.
Pay your way
If you have a job and you are sharing the car, prepare to contribute towards petrol.
If you get a petrol allowance, take care not to become the local lift club for your friends. This can be costly!
Make sure that your petrol lasts and don't be surprised if your parents tell you that there is no more money for petrol coming to you until the next month.
If you don't want to get to a dead stop in the middle of the road, always check the petrol gauge before leaving home. You think this is common sense, but for a young driver, it's not yet an entrenched habit.
Remind your parents to check with their insurer if you are allowed to drive the car under the current policy, or else adjust it! You never know what may happen. There are many idiots on the road and accidents are expensive.
Don't use social media while you drive and never pick up hitchhikers. Make sure you familiarise yourself online with the Automobile Association and Arrive Alive's safety tips.
The only way to manage sharing a car is through trust, cooperation, negotiation and maturity. Happy driving!
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