What age did you learn how to drive a stick?

chaos386

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My first practical lesson was a 2 hour session in a Safestway Nissan 200SX, when I was 15, but the real practice happened when my dad bought a 1985 BMW 325e when I was 17. He had intended to drive it himself, but I, uh, sort of weaseled my way into driving it to school every day. :p
 

justvisiting

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hmm the good ol days, when I had time to drive.. 16? on an E30. My dad taught me, took me a few hours! of stalling... The easiest cars to learn on are hondas...

but i've taught a good few # of people over the last few years; most of them get the basics within 20-30 minutes - downshifting by the 2nd hour- only stalling a few times. Its the pressure of driving on the road that gets them. It really depends on who is helping you. The hard part is finding someone who trusts you with their car... I taught all my friends on beater cars their families owned for insurance purposes.
 

GM_IV

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Relatively late in comparison to everyone here. I learned this year, at 24 on a first gen Mazda6. Took a few hours to get used to it and trying to stop habits developed after driving automatics for so long...like stopping but forgetting about the clutch. Still not good at instant shifting but that just requires practice.
 

Eye-Q

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Same time I learned to drive a car, around 18. The instructor had a Golf IV SDI.
Same with me, but since I'm older now it was a Golf III TDI. My father took me on a learner driver training area shortly before that in his Golf III (manual, too). I hate automatics with a passion, they let me get unconcentrated - my boss says it's a more relaxing way of driving (he only drives automatics, but can drive manuals, too), but I feel bored when my left foot and right hand have almost nothing to do.
 

Davetouch

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Unfortunately at 17, when everyone else (in the UK) does. Obviously no messing about with this automatic bullcrap (and I still haven't driven an auto after 1 1/2 years driving). I still remember back when I was 10 or 11 that my parents promised me they would take me on one of the 'Early Driving' things you can do where you basically have a driving lesson at 12 or so on private land. That would have meant so much to me but they never did give me one.

As for how long it took - I was a learner for 3 months, but actually learning how to drive a manual took a couple of days with only a few hours in the car. To become good and smooth at it probably a month or two. But only properly smooth etc a week or two after I passed because the clutches in my instructor's new Fiesta and my parents' 10 year old van are very different (much much heavier in the Kangoo).
 

Cobol74

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17 - prefer manuals really, but I do appreciate the benefits of an automatic when driving for long periods in heavy stop/start traffic.
 

The Spie

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24, in a US Army VW 9-pack in Germany. One of my sergeants taught me. We didn't have automatic passenger vans, so I was required to learn in order to do my job, which required a significant amount of driving. I'd never been behind the wheel of a stick before my first lesson.
 

Hemihead

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13 years old, when i got my first car as a birthday gift. It was a 1974 Toyota Corolla.
 

rickhamilton620

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Never, because my parents insisted that I get an autotragic..(You're too clumsy for a manual..you'll instantly crash)..even though I paid for the car myself. :(

I'm pretty sure I won't get a manual car in the future either, as whatever I'll get next will be just new enough that I'd be gutted if I managed to break it shortly after buying it.
 
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PelicanHazard

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Not enough practice to say I've learned, but about half an hour in my buddy's '92 Saturn in our high school's parking lot when we were 18.

I get the theory and did well enough during that half hour, but that 'well enough' didn't include anything but low-speed flatland.
 

CAPT_Howdy

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Age 11, on a 1942 McCormick-Deering tractor. I guess that doesn't really count, though, because tractors are generally put in one gear and then left there.

So I'd say 14 on my 1974 Kawasaki F11 250. Shortly thereafter my dad bought a new 1980 GMC C2500, so that's the first 4 wheeled vehicle that I shifted for myself.
 

mpicco

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I was like 14 when my dad was teaching my mom how to drive in my grandma's Renault 9... so I wanted a go too, and it wasn't too hard.
Then in a vacation in France, my dad left our car, which was towing a small trailer, parked slightly badly cos it blocked a part of the road inside the service station 'complex', while he went with the rest of my family to have coffee. So obviously a truck then wanted to go through, and I had to move it. I admit I stalled it the first time but the second go was great success.. must have been 17.
Then I learned properly at 20 when I finally got around to getting my driving license.

I really learned how to drive with a stick AFTER I made my driving license at the age of 18. I learned on a Mk. 1 Golf diesel, mind you, and those you could start rolling with just letting the clutch slip and without pushing the accelerator pedal at the same time. A diesel has enough torque to start in idle, you know.
While this is true, I have a friend that managed to stall his brand new Astra Diesel.
And also my mom's '98 Escort 1.4 is incredibly gutsy for it's size. I managed to start it in 5th gear on level ground just for the heck of it, and I think it will start rolling in 1st gear without any throttle input if you're delicate enough with the clutch. I'm pretty sure my Renault would stall.
 
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Xeonidas

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I was 13 when I first drove a car with stick, it was ford focus. I almost crashed.
 

Matt2000

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17, the car I learned in was manual and every car I've driven since has been. When you're learning to drive in this country there are other things to worry about and you generally pick it up in the first couple of months.

I have to admit that the easiest car regarding gears has to be the Series. You can just hold it on the bite at traffic lights and it won't care.
 

t3h r0x0rs

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About 15, if I remember correctly. It was on my brother's CRX Si, in my driveway or supermarket parking lots. Grinded the gears and stalled of course, but I think I got the gist of it.
 

Zesty

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First had lessons in driving stick when I was 22. I had been on an automatic-only license for a year beforehand, because I did the driving test in my mum's automatic car, which was all I had access to at the time. I got my provisional license very late, most people I know I had that by the time they were 18. I used to live / study in an area where there was ready access to public transport so I had no need for a car, and so I was on a Learner's Permit only for almost three years.
 

NecroJoe

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I learned in Driver's Ed in high school, and was the only one in my group to not stall the car with the manual that we trained on for 3 days. After that, I had an automatic for 6 months, and then my REAL training was in the parking lot of a closed grocery store on the way home from the dealership after picking up the '97 Ranger my parents leased for me. It was only a $95 a month lease, so it was actually cheaper than the repairs on my first car, my Oldsmobile. :p My mom drove it to the grocery store from the dealership, and one of my fellow grocery store co-workers gave me a lesson, and I drove it he rest of the way home from the grocery store. The rest is history.
 
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