Before you set your P plater out there on one of life’s greatest journeys, you have to get through the slightly stressful and often confrontational Learner stage.
So what are the best Learner cars? Well, before we even answer that, could we just encourage you to invest as much as you can afford into professional driver training?
I recently told a young German man that we allow parents to teach their children to drive in Australia, and he teared up at the madness of it, and begged, “but you have to change this, it’s madness!”
And he’s right. In Germany, where they take driving seriously and die on the road at a lower per capita rate than we do, despite their high-speed approach, they realise that your parents are not the best teachers.
Essentially, we allow bad drivers to pass their bad habits on to create more bad drivers, and it’s bonkers.
Thanks to the logbook system, however, you will be forced to do a lot of driving with your youngster, and it’s important to remember that the car you drive might not be the best vehicle for them to learn in.
Learners - and P platers - need something small and thus easy to park, not overly powerful - wheezy and gutless is good, frankly - and above all, safe.
If your family car is, as is likely, a sizeable SUV, it really is worth thinking about getting them another, more sensibly sized vehicle to learn in.
If I had the money, I’d probably buy my kids a Mini with a manual gearbox to learn in. Fun to drive, easy to park, and imbued with the joy of cars, it would be the perfect choice, but not a cheap one, even second hand.
You could, of course, go a size down again, to a Mazda 2, Toyota Yaris or VW Polo size, but immediately that word “safety” will loom into your mind. Because some part of you just wants more metal around your precious offspring.