14-year-old Valentine drives his own car to college

In Saint-Alban (Côtes-d’Armor), Valentine, 14, is an ace driver and never forgets his turn signal! ©Helen HERAULT

On the coast of Penthièvre in Côtes-d’Armor (Brittany) we often meet her on the departmental road that goes down from Saint-Alban to the port of Dahouët and drive her yogurt pot. Probable cement taste: the body has a depressive gray that contradicts two small round lights, hedgehog.

The situation is not trivial when Valentine, 14, in the 9th grade, parks his Citroën Ami, small car without driver’s licensein the car park a few meters from the Saint-Joseph college in Plèneuf-Val-André.

college feeling

Valentine never took the bus to go to college. “When she was in the sixth grade, I could keep up with her. I liked it, admits Brigitte, her mother. It was our moment: we argued in the car on the way there, we debriefed on the way back…”

And then Valentine grew up, and Brigitte was a little busier. Choosing a car without a driver’s licenseso that’s what his daughter wanted more autonomyespecially for the trip to college.

“My father didn’t want me to have a car. He found it dangerous,” says the teenager. But what Valentine wants… At first, the friends were really amazed to see her get behind the wheel of her mini racing car.

There are even teachers who asked me to take a look at it!

Valentine

A little experience… and wisdom

The young girl is not at her first attempt. With a mother farmershe has already handled machinery in the fields.

There I deny her the small roads, I prefer her to drive on the by-roads: the roads are well defined, there is room to drive. I think there are fewer risks.

Brigitte, his mother

What Brigitte doesn’t say is that Valentine is a teenager with common sense. She is calm, discreet, mature. ONE responsible girl, helpful, resourceful. The kind of girl you don’t hesitate to entrust with responsibilities.

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Besides, with parents who work a lot, the beautiful blonde is resourceful.

I use my car to go shopping. And to take my dogs to the vet, Coton, Nuage and Neige, the family’s beloved bichons.

Valentine

Crack proof

Before she could take the wheel from her friend, the young girl still had to get herself together his ‘cracked’ driving licence, category AM, which can be taken from the age of 14. “She went to Guingamp (Côtes-d’Armor) precisely because the driving school had a friend,” says her mother.

SAINT ALBAN.
An original, fun retro car: that’s what seduced the teenager. ©Helen HERAULT

The study took place over one day, between a questionnaire on road safety and driving in the situation. “A formality for her,” the mother rejoices. The instructor quickly realized she was in control. »

For the appointment, Brigitte had taken it six months in advance so that her daughter can enjoy her vehicle as soon as possible, bought from a Citroën dealer.

It was a show car. It had 150 km on the clock. Otherwise, it would have been several months of waiting.

Brigitte, his mother

Pocket size

Late last spring, Valentine showed up at college behind the wheel of his Playmobil® car. “The first time I parked it so I could see it when I was at recess,” she recalls.

Except that during the break the car had disappeared ! “I went to warn the CPE and the director who asked. “Because of works, the Friend, light as a feather, had been moved like nothing, a little further. “All you need is a pallet lifter,” smiles Brigitte, the mother who calls his daughter’s vehicle “sin apéricube®”.

Small size of the cart may turn out to be a real one active. “I broke down once, in the middle of a hill. I hadn’t charged the battery enough…” 75 km range, you can’t miss it! Phone call to dad. “We lowered the car and it turned quietly back to the trailer.” Practice !

No airbags, no gadgets

In the morning in front of the dormitory it has become a habit: girlfriends are waiting for Valentine and her friend. Sometimes she has one in the passenger seat. “We always ask for the parents’ agreement,” Brigitte announces. Although I have full confidence in her, I can understand that people are reluctant. »

The mother herself hesitated. The friend is one base car: no airbag, no gadgets, no high beams “It’s not made for riding at night”. Plate, plastic, four wheels, a steering wheel and an electric motor.

It does not go faster than 45 km/h. And then it was that or a scooter, so… She never goes very far. And inside at least she is safe and she can carry her things.

Brigitte, the mother
Valentine Ami college 14 year old car
Brigitte has full confidence in her daughter’s driving, who is resourceful and already experienced. ©Helen HERAULT

Love at first sight for Citroën Ami

As for the schoolgirl, it was the Ami look that won her over: very fun with its slight retro side. “We went to see other cars without a license,” Brigitte sighs. But at 14, the teenager knows what she wants. And above all, what she doesn’t want.

When we saw the Friend in the car park at Fnac in Rennes, it was the one and no one else!

Valentine

And during assembly, the wagon wins all the votes: As in Deudeuches in the past, the windows are opened by pushing on them. No handles on the doors, simple synthetic straps.

Two places. No trunk. No car radio, but still the USB connector to connect the phone. Orange DDE storage pockets and must: a panoramic roof! Everything to charm!

Less than €7000

Even the price seduced Brigitte. On a budget of €6980 after a discount of €900 from the state, because it is a electric vehicle, Valentine has already paid half of it with the money she had saved since childhood. “And now she finances the other half by working with me on the farm at weekends,” explains the mother.

When the vehicle is due in two or three years, the idea was to resell it for Valentine’s benefit.

An electric vehicle does not lose much value…

Brigitte, his mother

Soon accompanied driving

But in the end, “we plan to buy a motorhome in a few years. It might not be bad to tow the Vennen in a trailer to be more mobile when we land,” reflects Brigitte.

For the mother, this experience is essential :

That’s a real plus! Valentine had already mastered driving a little, but is gradually gaining confidence.

Brigitte, his mother

And even though her daughter already does like a chef behind the wheel, it is now busy: it will also undergo accompanied driving. To become a real pilot!

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