Perfect timing

I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post, but there is a slight (and rather annoying) irony attached to the timing of my getting rid of my car.

Apparently the new-style photocard driving licences that we now use here in the UK need to have the photo updated about once every ten years.  That’s fair enough, as one’s appearance does tend to change somewhat through time so it makes sense to have a reasonably up-to-date picture for ID purposes.  What’s annoying is that my renewal notice arrived just about the same time as I found somebody to take my car.  What’s even more annoying is that it costs twenty quid to get the thing renewed (not counting the costs of postage and getting an up-to-date passport photo – unfortunately I can’t use one of the five year old ones (*) I still have, even though I still look pretty much the same).

Despite the fact that I’m not planning to have a car in the near future, I think it’s well worth keeping my licence (which means I have no choice but to renew the photo). Not only will it enable me to hire a car if I need one, or to get another car at some future point (as most likely I will one day) but it’s a very handy form of ID for many other purposes too.  Also, I think if I relinquished the licence now and then wanted to get it back I’d have to undergo another driving test, which is not a prospect I’d relish (and it would certainly cost a lot more than £20).

In case you’re wondering, I’ve had my licence for quite a bit longer than 10 years (I think it’s about 17 by now) but I only got a photocard one about 10 years ago, the first time I changed my permanent address after they had introduced them.  Fortunately you don’t have to pay for licence renewals every time you change your address or other details (I may have had to pay for the first photocard, but not subsequent ones).

(*) I mean, of course, photos taken about five years ago, not photos of me as a five-year-old.