(Original post by MathsNinja)
I'm of exactly the same opinion; I think if you're going to learn to drive you should use that skill ASAP because treatment with an L plate is not the same as that without. Thus far I'm not nervous about driving; I would love the freedom of it, but there's almost no chance of getting a job here as I haven't come across any 0-hour contracts (which I kinda need because it's a graduate course so it's extra intense and busy).
A car would of course be helpful now as next year particularly I'll constantly be on placement and I'd rather not rely on other people to ferry me around. My parents are considering lessons as a Christmas present, but if again if there isn't a car at the end, I don't see the purpose.
Unfortunately with med, you graduate in July and start working in August as you have to apply right at the start of final year for jobs, of which a lot state you must hold a licence; a lot of training positions are linked for two years so you have to be able to commute to two different locations which vary in distance from each other.
Ah that's a slightly different scenario then, I wasn't aware you'd be basically going straight into a job.
But I'd still say you want to be getting out and driving as soon as possible after you pass. I used P plates for a little bit until I was happy driving but generally found it best to avoid using them as a crutch for too long. Experience trumps all here.
As someone on placement, I can say having my car is the only way I'm able to do my placement at all. I was fortunate to have learned before I started uni though, and as you say there isn't a ton of point if you can't get a car to use. I wouldn't be a huge fan of learning now, then not being able to drive until you graduate in 3 years.
If you want to be able to drive for your placement, then you probably need to start learning soon. But that's somewhat reliant on you being able to afford lessons, a car, insurance, etc. It's not exactly cheap. If your degree doesn't leave you a ton of free time, then taking fewer lessons over a longer period may be better for you and would be my preference over taking an intensive course right before you need to drive. Personally I think it makes you a better drive if you have time for it to sink in, even if it costs more and takes longer.
If that's not a financially viable option though, then you may have to look at learning closer to when you graduate. If you aren't financially able to support learning to drive and getting a car until after your placement, then I'd probably want to hold onto the money in case I needed it for commuting.
If nothing else, talk with your parents. Work out what each option means for you financially and see what sort of support they're willing to give.