18 and Out…

29 06 2008

Having not written anything for a while, this post is more a continuation of my grievances regarding age. I have previously recorded my thoughts about the minimum wage and how unfair it is that, as a youngster in my academic year, I cannot earn the same levels of minimum wage as some of my academic peers.

Bearing that in mind, I was hugely annoyed to learn recently that I cannot hire a van until I am 21 years old (irrespective of how long you have held a driving licence for). Now this irks me for two reasons. Firstly, my licence tells me, on the back, represented by a series of letters and numbers, that I am eligible to drive a van (up to a certain size). Secondly, I have held my full licence for about 3 and a half years. Which I think means I have enough experience of driving to understand how to safely drive a van. The trouble is, I’m still only 20. Most hire companies that I have looked at will not hire me a van because I am under 21, and, by their rationale, therefore inexperienced, unsafe, and likely to do damage to any vehicle that they hire to me.

Which, quite frankly, is rubbish. What should be considered is the length of time the licence has been held for, and it’s ‘cleanliness’ (how many points it has on it). Not age.

In a bygone era, 21 used to mean something. It was a sign of maturity, children were reaching adulthood, and were ready to reach out in the world and stamp their own unique mark. It doesn’t mean that any more. In Britain we can vote (yes, we can vote for people and have a say in politics, but we are still too inexperience to hire a van) and drink at 18. Many people now have children in tow by the time they are 21 (as evidenced by “Britains Youngest Grannies” on the TV the other day). 21 is becoming more and more meaningless to this modern generation. It seems that it is only members of the older generations that see this birthday as still, somehow, important.

I was recently asked what I wanted to do for my 21st in the summer. I haven’t given it any thought in all honesty because to me, it is just like any other birthday. I am not gaining anything by being this age (other than the right to hire a van),  unlike I did when I was 18. I just wish there was some consistancy in the world, if I can do other things like vote, or drink, or raise a family, why can I not hire a van? Answers on a postcard please…




One response

7 07 2008

Doesn’t help your license is all dirty :p


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