I was just reading Meg Cabot’s blog. You know as you do when you have a deadline and you’re worried that it may defeat you. Because Meg Cabot writes around four thousand books a year and never misses a deadline. So I figured reading her blog might make her productivity and non-lateness rub off on me, who has never written more than one book a year. Fingers crossed.

And what did I discover? Meg Cabot doesn’t drive either! Doesn’t have a license. I am not alone.

Well, actually I know that because I live with someone who doesn’t have a license and hasn’t driven a car since 1988. But he knows how to drive. Whereas I do not. I had exactly one driving lesson and it did not go well.1 Besides I’ve never really liked cars and have always lived in cities where you don’t need to drive.

So who else of my readers—over the age of 18—doesn’t drive? Any of you?

  1. Do not ask. []


  1. rebecca on #

    not me. i drive. i have my own car. i didn’t get my license till i was 17, though. (gasp!) the culture loves driving. it’s good that you live places where it’s not practically a necessity of everyday life. i mean, i could get around w/o a car….and i did for a year….but it was hard.

  2. allreb on #

    I think I’m in the same boat as Scott. I technically know how to drive, and I have my license, but I really, really hate driving. A huge part of the reason I live in the city is to avoid ever needing a car.

  3. Lianne on #

    After I get my license, I plan to avoid driving.

  4. lisa on #

    I can drive, even have a piece of plastic to prove it, but I don’t own a car and rarely get behind the wheel. Since 2004, I have chosen to ride a bike and use PT for environmental, health and fun reasons. Driving sucks!

  5. Suzie on #

    I don’t drive. I took a few lessons when I was a teenager but never got my full license. And then the trainer’s permit expired when I was in college and I never bothered to renew it! So I’m 26 and don’t drive, and now with the cost of gas and insurance so high, I’m glad I don’t.

  6. Dan Goodman on #

    I don’t drive.

    I’ve discovered that if I say “I might have learned to drive, if my father hadn’t tried to teach me,” people think it rather less odd.

  7. carrie on #

    I’m 27, don’t drive, have never driven, and really see no need to. I can bike, take a bus or wheedle a ride out of a friend or relative. It’s really nice never having to worry about making an insurance payment, or about not having enough $$ for gas.

  8. Tez Miller on #

    21, lived in Melbourne all my life, and haven’t even sat for my learner’s permit. Never had the motivation, and even if I did I still wouldn’t be able to buy any car. And nowadays, couldn’t afford to buy fuel either.

    Have a lovely day! 🙂

  9. Donna on #

    I too am a non-driver. I drove around a church parking lot once when I was seventeen, but was too afraid to go over three miles per hour and just stomped on the brakes a lot.

    Turns out, that’s not conducive to actual driving on a road. With other drivers.

    Then I accidentally drove over a curb when I meant to reverse and the driving lesson ended with my mother begging for tranquilizers.

    So now I walk or take public transportation. Soon I plan on getting a bike. It might help that I’ve lived in Seattle all my life.

  10. elodie on #

    I’m 19, and I don’t have a license yet. I was getting mine at 18 in Hawaii, then I decided to go to paris for college, where having a car would be… insane 😛 Plus getting your permit here is some crazy mess, expensive and many many driving hours with instructor to do… yeah. No fun. And I’m not tempted to try and get it when I’m back in Hawaii because with the cost of gas…learning to drive would be like signing up for a very expensive MMORPG 😛

  11. Lawrence Schimel on #

    Have license, have not driven in near decade.

  12. Samantha L. on #

    I’ve had lessons, and got as far as having a learner’s permit and a car at one point, but overall I’m just not really very GOOD at it, and being pretty much a dyed-in-the-wool city kid anyway I’ve managed to maintain my carless ride-cadging lifestyle up to the edge of 40. Not that it’s not annoying as all hell when your circle of associates all live out where the buses don’t go and you can rarely be certain of getting to a party until you’re actually there, but so far as daily life goes I can deal, more or less.

  13. Cheryl on #

    My parents never had a car, and I was over 30 before I learned to drive one (though I had driven motorbikes for a long time by then). I don’t have a car in the UK. When I’m in the US I generally let Kevin drive because he’s a much better driver than I am, and I’m a much better passenger than he is.

  14. Gina Black on #

    i don’t drive. i quit on 11/7/06 when a woman drove into my car and then went ballistic on me. it was my fifth accident in five years. none were my fault. three of them involved hit-and-run. I sold my car and I use the bus. not easy in Los Angeles. but doable.

  15. Jenny Davidson on #

    I too am a non-driver. Got a couple lessons from friends in grad school years, but really there was no incentive to try and get my license, everything to do with driving fills me with horror!

  16. Dess on #

    I’m going for my license because i have to, but I’m in the same boat as Donna. Driving scares me. >.<

  17. KT Horning on #

    I’m a non-driver, too. Gosh, I hadn’t realized there were so many of us!

    I’ve always had a pretty easy time of it, as I live in one of the few American cities designed for people, not cars. Props to Gina for living in L.A. without a car.

  18. Liz on #

    I have a license but I don’t drive. I have a bike, and that doesn’t need tax or insurance or petrol or breakdown coverage, and if I’m going further afield I have buses and trains (and I can read on those). There are times when a car would be useful, but on the whole I don’t miss it.

  19. London on #

    As KT says, I had no idea there were so many of us non-drivers! I despise driving, which I like to blame, like many things, on my ex-boyfriend. 😉 As soon as I moved to Boston I sold my car and never looked back. I couldn’t be happier. My commute to work now involves ten minutes on the T and a half hour walk, most of which takes place on one of my favorite streets of all time: gardens, wrought iron fences, beautiful old brownstones, etc.

  20. Jen on #

    I was a *late* driver. After failing my driving test three times (like you, “don’t ask”) as a teenager, I moved to a city where I didn’t need to drive. I was in my mid-20s before I summoned up the courage to drive again (and only because I had to have a license for a research job requiring… travel by car). But I was in my 30s before I owned a car.
    Now with gas so expensive, I am glad I had those many years without a car to practice using public transport and/or walking to get places. I can go days without driving anywhere.

  21. Cheryl Rainfield on #

    I can drive, and I have my license, but I don’t drive. I had a bad experience with a backseat driver after I first got my license. And it makes me tense/anxious to drive. I take public transportation a lot. I like being given lifts by friends, too.

  22. Brent on #

    In my area you pretty much need to drive. All of metro-Detroit (USA) is a great big suburb. Daily commutes of 30-60 minutes are normal. A 10 minute drive to the nearest grocery store is normal. Public transportation is spotty, covering only a few key routes in any given area. Taxis are very expensive (minimum $20 per ride).

    If you live around here and don’t drive, then someone else drives you.

  23. Gary Gibson on #

    Don’t drive. Never have. Had a dozen lessons the same number of years ago and discovered I really, really hated driving. I also seriously unnerved the instructor because I kept giggling maniacally as soon as I had the engine started. It’s a stress thing. I laugh like a loon when I’m in a tight spot. Can’t afford any more lessons, certainly can’t afford a car. Thought about a moped or motorbike, but I can’t wear a helmet (exacerbates skin problems). Live in cities, so rely on: buses, subway, biking, taxis, etc. At my age it’s probably a bit pointless learning anyway. Nuts to driving. I’d rather sit on a train and read.

  24. Merrie Haskell on #

    I’ve been driving (on private roads) since I was 9 (when I could reach the pedals). Since 4, if you count sitting on granddad’s lap and steering while *he* worked the pedals.

    That’s life in farm country, though. I wish I lived in a place with real honest-to-God mass transit.

  25. Patrick on #

    I don’t drive in NYC. I’m not sure that counts though. I can’t imagine driving in Manhattan. I’d kill far too many pedestrians while getting scolded by a GPS voice.

    I prefer the cabs in NYC so I can just look at the various condos for sale on advertised in that little video screen.

  26. Jude on #

    I live in a rural area, so I was forced to learn how to drive (although I didn’t get a license until I was 19). The ironic thing is that I absolutely *love* to drive. It’s ironic because I dreaded learning, postponed it, and now I can’t afford it. But I still love to do it. You never know which of those things you avoid will become a true passion until you stop avoiding them and plunge in.

  27. Celia on #

    Not only do I not drive, I grew up in a very small town, and still didn’t bother learning to drive (what was the point? It wasn’t like there was anywhere to go–we lived in farmland.)

  28. Camille on #

    I don’t know how to drive. (I started to learn, but…er… yeah. No drivey.) I’ve never lived anywhere where a car would be a benefit. (Plus, in my hometown, you can’t drive until age 18, which messed up some of the logistics of getting me lessons in ways too complext to go into here.)

    I want to learn, though. It’s a good skill to have in case of apocalypse, as movies have taught me.

  29. Justine on #

    Camille: I always figured if the apocalypse comes and driving is necessary I’ll just figure it out. I’ve seen enough people drive and enough movies of people driving. It doesn’t look that complicated. 🙂

    But, you know, I live in Sydney and NYC and unless movies and TV have lied those two are the first to get wiped out. So the likelihood of my ever needing to drive is very low.

  30. Caroline on #

    I don’t have a car but I need my licsnse for getting into bars.

  31. Mark on #

    I’m in the same boat you are. I’m 23; most of my friends at college at least know how to drive, even if they don’t have their own cars, but I’ve only had a few driving lessons, and they did not go well for me either. And I’d rather live in a place where I can walk everywhere anyway.

  32. doselle on #

    Shakes head.

    Imagines dozens of healthy, non-drivers attempting to flee zombie hordes on public transport, bicycles, and roller blades. Sees zombies feasting on your tender, well-toned meat.

    I driver for same reason I know how to shoot a gun.

    One day, the zombies will come and its them or me. 🙂

  33. Tole on #

    I don’t drive. I live in Melbourne so I don’t need to -but I also don’t have any vision in my write eye, which means I don’t have any peripherial vision out of my drives side, which strikes me as a really bad deal. That and the only being about to see out of one eye meaning I don’t have very good distance perception and think every oncoming car is going to hit us, means that I think me driving around other cars would be a very bad idea.

    That said, I agree with Doselle, and want to learn to drive for when the zombies come…

  34. Justine on #

    Zombies move slow. Cars and guns unnecessary. But youse lot are USian. I am aware that I will never persuade you of that.

  35. Ariel Zeitlin Cooke on #

    I learned to drive at 31 so I’ll never be a really natural driver. I grew up in NYC and didn’t need it. Or so I thought. But really I must speak up for the unparalleled luxury and freedom of being able to decide in the morning to drive to the beach. And doing it!

  36. Justine on #

    I’m greatly enjoying all the non-drivers coming out. Bless you all!

    I am puzzled though by the number of drivers who feel compelled to tell us how wonderful it is. As if our not driving somehow impinges on their enjoyment of driving. Very odd. Us not wanting to drive does not affect your gas-guzzling ways. Relax. Go forth, make pollution, spend way too much of your money on fuel. We will not stop you!

  37. Danielle on #

    Yewwww! Let’s hear it for the non-drivers! I finally got my licence at the age of twenty-six because everyone I knew was plaguing my life out but I still hate driving and avoid it at all costs.

    I just wish I lived somewhere that everyone used public transport all the time — like New York.

  38. doselle on #

    Cultists! 🙂

  39. Dan Goodman on #

    Caroline — I don’t need a license for ID. Minnesota issues a state ID for non-drivers.

  40. scarlett on #


    Rookwood Cemetery was never the same..

  41. scarlett on #

    nor, for that matter,
    the basset

  42. Cat Sparks on #

    I cannot drive. My parents never drove either so I figure its genetic.

  43. Lizabelle on #

    I don’t drive, despite, um, several attempts to learn. *blushes*

    I’m perfectly happy as a non-driver most of the time, but I would like to be able to drive occasionally, if only to give my boyfriend a break.

  44. Christopher Miles on #

    I don’t drive. Apparently this makes me a burden on society. I figure it’s the other way around, but what do I know.

    UK comedian Ricky Gervais doesn’t drive. I think that’s down to laziness rather than anything ideological. Which, if I’m being honest, is probably my excuse. That, and fear.

    Amusingly, ex-New South Wales premier Bob Carr doesn’t drive. Which is funny since his name is ‘Car’, with an extra ‘r’, probably taken from ‘Vrrrrrrrroom’.

  45. Ellie on #

    I have my license but only because my parents made me get it. Now I just refuse to drive anywhere I’m too scared to drive I hate doing it. The only trouble is that there is no decent public transportation where I live so I have to beg for rides a lot. One day I will be able to move.

  46. Merrie Haskell on #

    re: driving during the apocalypse

    Not knowing how to drive will work for a little while during the apocalypse. Driving an automatic transmission car when the only other people are on the road are squishy zombies is a piece of cake.

    However, come day 600 of the apocalypse, what if you have to select a manual transmission car to push down an incline and pop the clutch because the battery–all batteries–are dead from disuse and you left your well-maintained car a thousand miles away when you trekked to Las Vegas to defeat Randall Flagg? And there’s no Murphy’s Auto anywhere near by?

    That’s going to be the day when the drivers–specifically the ones who know how to shift gears and have ever had a dead battery–will win at apocalypse.

    Just sayin’.

  47. Winchester Grey on #

    I technically, probably, kind of know how to drive… I had some lessons 20 years ago when I was 17. So in an emergency, I could work a car, I suppose. No license, though. Nope. No, ma’am.

    Three cheers for cities and public transport!

  48. Justine on #

    Since the apocalypse is going to start with a bacteria that destroys all petrol and petrol based substances, the ability to drive a car is irrelevant, not to mention deadly.

    However, I am at peace with the fact that no matter what flavour the end times comes in I do not have the skill set to survive. Not unless people are desperate for a good story teller by the fire, who’s good at cooking with garlic scapes and ramps, and knows quite a bit about Elvis Presley.

  49. Patrick on #

    It’s true that zombies do ask Elvis trivia and only eat those who cannot answer.

  50. Jessica on #

    I don’t drive. I’m scared to.

    I’m glad in a way i don’t. How many cars on the road do we need?

  51. Liset on #

    an apocalypses = needing to drive?
    NO WAY!
    I’d say I’m a Pro when it comes to living through an apocalypse
    (cause it’s my favorite genre of course, I could totally survive with just a hammer against a mob of zombies!)
    and a car would be a disaster!
    You need a bike!

    Good thing I don’t know how to drive a car!
    But then again I don’t know how to ride a bike either…

  52. Liset on #

    oh you guys already discussed this… I got ahead of myself -_-

  53. Jessica on #

    I’m 21 and don’t drive, though it’s getting to be more and more of a pain.

  54. hillary! on #

    ALAS! I live in a town where it is beneficial to know how to drive, and I do not. Correction! I can turn left, right, and, on occasion, I can stop.

  55. Sali on #

    My partner can’t drive. I’m being evil and making him learn. This is because we relocated to a different city and he works somewhere hard to get to on public transport. So we have to live within walking distance as he also can’t ride a bike. I used to have a 20 min commute on public transport. My new commute would have been 1.5 hours and so I drive. I don’t want to drive. Therefore he has to learn so we can move. He would be driving in the opposite direction from the rush hour traffic and I wouldn’t have to drive to work. Driving to work is rubbish.

  56. cestmoi on #

    Can drive but don’t. Live in US, not in a big city. Still don’t.

    In my experience, even in a supposedly-transitless city like Detroit, Denver, or L.A. if you don’t want to drive you can usually find a place to live that’s near transit.

  57. Tim Pratt on #

    I deeply hate driving, but have to do it four days a week to get to work. My job is in the Oakland hills and buses are, shall we say, erratic up there. (There is a bus, that gets close to my office. A couple times a week, anyway. At useless times.)

    I could bike, if I were in better shape, and if the hills weren’t so ungodly steep, and if I didn’t have a baby in tow a couple of those days. I hope to go carless someday.

  58. Jennifer on #

    Another non-driver here. This is considered horrendously bad in California. I live in one of the few towns where one doesn’t have to drive, but it still causes me a lot of problems. The entire state is not set up for non-drivers. If I want to go out to the nearest city, I’d better only want to go during working hours (and not at night, the cops were called the last time I took a bus at night), and I can only get so far as downtown. The town I live in has a great bus system…but again, not on weekends, and not at night during the summer. I moved to the middle of town to make things a lot easier.

    But I haaaaaate driving. I have panic attacks behind the wheel. The last time I drove (age 21) I crashed the car. I scare the crap out of people in a car with me. I don’t think my non-driving status is changing any time soon. All I do is think, “If I screw up, people die.”

  59. sylvia_rachel on #

    I don’t drive, either. I am 34 years old and have never driven a car — or, indeed, passed a Learner’s Permit test. My husband knows how to drive, and has a licence, but we don’t have a car. He belongs to a car share for the few times a month that we need the use of a car, and the rest of the time we use public transit and our feet.

    Fortunately, I live in Toronto, where this behaviour is considered mildly eccentric rather than, as in some other places in North America, certifiably insane.

  60. caitlin on #

    Yay! There are more out there like me! I don’t drive though I’ve had a learner’s permit twice and gasp yikes actually taken the road test once. Horrid teary experience. I live in Seattle’s Cap. Hill/d.t. area so having a car would be plain silly.My nephew turned 16 last week and he’ll be driving before I will. Non-drivers rock!

  61. Benjamin Rosenbaum on #

    I drive when forced, but I relocated to Switzerland so I could bike instead.

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