Getting a driver's license is a rite of passage for a lot of teenagers. But what if you don't have a car or any plans to drive frequently? Should you still get a driver's license? Absolutely! Having the ability to legally drive is useful in a lot of situations. Here are six reasons why having a license is always a plus.
6 Reasons to Get Your Driver's License Even Without a Car
Getting a license has its pros and cons. If the idea of driving has never appealed to you, you're not alone: 17% of Americans don't drive regularly, or at all. But having a driver's license is still worthwhile — and you should consider getting yours.
1. You Can Take Turns Driving on Trips
If you're carpooling to school or going on a road trip, having a license lets you take turns driving. That's helpful, especially on long trips. And safe, too: it's never a good idea to let your friends drive tired or impaired.
2. Drive a Rental When You Need It
You may not drive in your day-to-day, but you may need to occasionally. For example, if you're hauling furniture (and don't want to pay movers) or if you flew to a vacation destination without public transit (and ride-sharing is expensive). Renting a car even for a few hours can be affordable.
3. You Can Help in Emergencies
Preparing for if or when an emergency happens is important. Having your driver's license could solve a lot of problems.
Say you need to take a loved one who is sick to regular appointments, but they're not mobile enough to take public transportation and ride-sharing is prohibitively expensive. Being able to drive someone else's car (or even a short-term rental) is useful.
4. It Gives You More Options for Where to Move
Unfortunately, pedestrian infrastructures, bike lanes, and public transit aren't great in the vast majority of the country. If you need to move to college or accept a job in a smaller town or rural area, not driving makes life hard. Getting your license now ensures you can keep your options open about the future.
5. Some Jobs Require a Driver's License
A lot of job openings require having a driver's license. Sometimes that's because the job duties require occasional driving. Other times it's because employers think anyone who doesn't rely on public transportation is more likely to get to work on time — even though that's not always true.
Having your license (even if you walk or bike to work) gives you more freedom of choice when seeking employment.
6. Auto Insurance May Be Cheaper
If you ever get a vehicle, you'll pay less in auto insurance if you've had your license for a while. Sure, there are ways to get discounts on car insurance. But having gotten your license some years ago can make a big difference.
Taking the Road Test Without Having a Car
In most places, you need to take a vehicle to the DMV to take your driving or road test. But that vehicle doesn't have to be registered in your name.
You can borrow a friend's or family member's vehicle instead. As long as it is insured, and the owner has given you permission to drive it, you can use it to take the test — even if the owner is not with you.
Some driving schools have their own fleet of vehicles that can be used for the road test. Call around to find out if that's an option for you.
Start Getting Your License Today, Just in Case
Don't be intimidated by the process of getting a driver's license. It's simpler than it seems. Whether you're a teenager or over 18, you can take driver's ed classes online. The online format makes it easy to learn at your own pace and to fit lessons into your busy schedule.