Our children have known for years that Mom and Dad will not be supplying a car for their 16th birthday. They've been told since early childhood that the age at which they're allowed to get their license depends on their behavior in the years prior to reaching driving age. Driving is considered a privilege, prior to adulthood, in our home. (Call us crazy, but if a teenager is slamming doors when they're angry at a sibling for borrowing a treasured article of clothing without permission, I highly doubt it's in the public's best interest to hand over the keys to the Mercedes to the petulant tyke. Ok, it's not a Mercedes, and the boys are past the tyke stage, but go with me on this one...) There's just much to be said about self-control.
The kids have also been aware that, as the parental units (the apparent popular way to refer to one's parents these days) see driving privileges as a prize to be earned, the prize-winner would be contributing the required funds to attain the aforementioned prize. Definition: Mom and Dad aren't paying for the permit, classes, license, car, gas, repairs or insurance. If we needed the boys to drive, rules might be different, but convenience is the only reason I see them needing to drive for me, and that just isn't a big enough need.
Anyone who knows the boys at all can attest to the differences in their personalities. Preston is like his Dad - he enjoys his alone time. Bucky is like his Mom - he needs social contact frequently. Preston's pretty good at saving money. Bucky can save money temporarily. Preston likes to weigh the pros and cons. Bucky likes to figure it out as he goes.
Preston sees no purpose in spending all the money to get his license now, when he doesn't need to drive and has no car. His theory is "Why should I spend money when my parents take me wherever I need to go?" - that theory is fine, for now, because he doesn't need to go very far. Of course, once he actually needs to get a job, that will change, but his theory is workable for the time being.
Bucky, on the other hand...
...is not content to wait till he's 18 to get his license. The first step accomplished, he now holds his permit. Cost - $22.00
It will take him a while to save the money for classes. Last time I checked, the cost was over $300.00 and he's broke right now. He'll have plenty of time for practicing. With Dad.